GP blade shape

Seems to be the day for GP discussion, eh?

I’ve been using a home-made GP that I carved with one face of the blades mostly flat and the other side curved. The cross-section resembles an aircraft’s wing. I’m not sure this is standard GP cross-section. I think I used one of Greg Welker’s GPs, liked it, and then tried to emulate the shape when I made this paddle.

After using this paddle for about two years, I have never been able to decide which is supposed to be the power face. Every time I flip the paddle and change faces, I think, “this is it.” The paddle has a different feel on each face. I kind of like that.

I think the flat side requires a more precise stroke and I like the snappy feel from the blade at the end of the stroke.

So, question: how is a GP blade suppossed to be shaped? FE will probably recommend like a weenie-beanie, but even they come in a variety of configurations if I’m not mistaken.


Sounds like…
…you’ve managed to have something that behaves a bit like an Aleut. GPs are identical on all four faces.

yours is more like Aleution paddle

If you come to Raystown I will have the Aleutian paddle I made and mostly have been using since 2003. You can try it on for size, shape, color or whatever.


I forgot to try that one Dave
Saw it, and simply forgot. Maybe this fall…


Aleutian paddle
Hi Jim,

It will be there for you to try.


Hey Chip , how ya doin …
… i thought you would like to know , I found a very nice straight , light and strong paddle , hidden inside that 6 footer . It now has a 1-1/16 oval shaft w/ a much smaller top grip and thinner blade .

Guess what , it’s almost perfectly straight now (the shaft), except a tad of a twist at the top grip , which is part of it’s personality you know !!

If we are ever on the same trip
I’d like to see that. Are you able to use it standing, as you had hoped? It will please me if you are getting good use from the paddle. ~~Chip

Looked it up and I see the similarity
I didn’t know what an Aleutian paddle was but now that I have looked it up I can see mine is something like that, minus about 1000 years of innovation and refinement.

Mine is mostly flat on one face, and normal gp convex on the other. Nothing approaching concave, and no ridge on the convex side, just a gentle rounding.

My paddle started off as a huge gp. The first year, I called it “the plank” because it had a tip about 5" wide.

When I made it I followed a set of ergonomic guidelines, or tried to. After paddling some friends blades, I found I could go faster with a slimmer paddle, so over the following winter I planed it down to about 3.5" at the tip, and I also took the curve off one side, because I’d used a paddle like that and liked it.

So, I guess it is a by-chance, sort-of-like, Aleut. I had it at Raystown last year, and if I am lucky enough to make it there this year I will bring it this year.


Aleutian paddle
Hi Chip,

I expect to be at Raystown this fall. You can try my Aleutian paddle and compare it to yours. I made mine at the Skinboat School in 2003.


Chip , I haven’t put a finish on it …
… yet . I stare at it right now and consider ligthening (thinning) the blade area some more even , I think it could easily take it because I was kind of conservative there .

It will be perfect for standing and paddlin . Has a nice , very mild flex now when stressed against the floor sharply , just perfect , I think .

So what do you think about an orange tinted lacquer finish ??