GP eliminates edging.

This was my first time actually experimenting with moving my hand position on my greenland paddle, which I’ve only had for about a month.

It was pretty breezy, so the wind was pushing my Epic 16X around quite a bit, since I wasn’t using the rudder, and in this situation, if I was using my euro paddle, I’d be maintaining a consistent hand position and using edging to maintain boat heading and make turns, but with the GP, I just shifted my hand position toward one end of the paddle or the other to increase leverage on one side or the other to maintain the desired heading or turn while keeping the boat on an even keel.

While this made turning and handling shifting wind conditions easier and less demanding of the paddler, it also took a bit of the usual fun out of the paddling, since I usually look forward to getting my body more involved by edging hard when making sharp turns following the shoreline of our local lake.

The ability to shift hand position all the way out to the end of the paddle does make the GP and interesting tool to have available when paddling.

This is my first GP, so I’m just getting started exploring all the ways one can be used.

I’ve tried a GP just twice. It wasn’t bad, but wasn’t my cup of tea. I too do a lot of edging as well as bow rudders that I couldn’t do with the GP. I’m sure someone might chime in to say there’s a way to do it, but I prefer my euro :wink:


– Last Updated: Jun-14-15 12:39 AM EST –

There's no reason you can't edge a kayak or do a bow rudder using a GP. I think Yanoer is saying that the versatility of the GP removes the need to edge the boat, not that he isn't able to edge the boat.

Using a GP twice isn't enough to have an idea of what it can do, a couple of months is more like it. If you don't like it, that's fine, but you really don't have the experience to say what a GP is capable of.

A lot depends on the quality of the paddle - a good GP is worlds apart from one made by a novice. Even though they may appear very similar, little details make a big difference.

fully agree
"I think this paddle is crap" is what I said the first time I paddled with a GP.

My opinion slightly changed to rubbish on the second outing but I persisted since my buddy was paddling easier and faster than I was with a Euro.

After 4 years of Euro I finally decided to give the stick a fair go: I said 6 months (approx. 30 days on the water) and if at the end I still think that GP sux then I will give up.

It has been now 6 years and I only use GPs; sold all my Euros.

Some so called GP resemble more a lump of wood than a real paddle: those could have been indeed the paddles that could have put me off from fully embracing GPs.

For me the GP really shines when it comes to rolling. Years ago I took an unintentional swim and did a re-enter and roll. I had a Euro and a GP with me. The GP was the tool for the job. Sold my Euros right away.

Bracing with a GP is different. With my Euros I’d push down on the paddle. With the GP ya need to push down and forward. It took me awhile to get that down.

ditto what he (gnarlydog) said.

Only kept my Euros for friends to use with my loaner boats. And when they ask to swap me to test drive my GP I fret until I get it back. Sometimes carry a GP spare just to avoid having that scenario.

Euros do have some utility. I still use a Euro for class I and II whitewater. And when we do group paddles down to riverfront events like fireworks, a Euro is still handy for passing snacks from boat to boat.

Never used a GP
but I’m open to trying one for awhile to compare its qualities with my Euro paddles to see if it helps alleviate some of the shoulder discomfort I’m beginning to experience. I remain skeptical about their apocryphal qualities and don’t know why a GP should be an improvement over, say, my Epic touring paddle. Where can I buy a good one?

If that works for you…

– Last Updated: Jun-14-15 8:51 AM EST –

...and you like doing it, go for it, but it seems like bad paddling form to me. It's essentially like doing a sweep on one side and a short stroke on the other, which is something I've never seen anyone advocate. It's a short step from the the common beginner's mistake of paddling hard on one side only in order to control the direction of their boat. I prefer to keep the paddle centered and edge the boat. That way, you maintain an efficient paddle stroke and make better headway.

I also have to question why you would bother to do this in a rudder-equipped boat? Maintaining a course is the sole purpose of the rudder.

no edging ?

GP Mechanics Helped Me

– Last Updated: Jun-14-15 9:30 AM EST –

I can't offer any advice re where to buy a GP, as I make my own, but I can say that the GP has helped me with joint pain issues. I think it's a result of the blade shape, and how it affects shock-loading...

The Euro paddle has a large working surface area - the blade - located at the end of the paddle shaft - a lever, in effect. When it 'catches' the water, there's a lot of resistance concentrated a long way from the body - think of lifting something from the ground tied to the end of a stick - the further away it gets, the harder it is to lift.

A GP, on the other hand, has a much longer and slender blade, with the resistance distributed along its length, and a shorter shaft. This results in a softer 'catch', much like using a shorter stick to lift something from the ground. The result is less initial strain on the wrists/elbows/shoulders with every stroke, which can really add up over the course of a day on the water. And, of course, as you follow through the stroke, the force exerted continues to be better distributed than a Euro paddle, with the Euro's large blade well out from the body.

Finally, check out the plans for GPs on the 'net - they're not at all hard to make. My 1st came from a friend, the second one I made myself, the third was better , the next one better again...

Nothing exclusive
There is certainly nothing about a GP paddle that makes it able to be shifted that isn’t also true of a Euro paddle. And there is nothing to prevent edging right along with shifting the paddle. I do both and more without giving it any thought as conditions require it.

My experience with GP paddles is that while each stroke with a GP is softer, requiring a lot less power, it also demands a faster tempo to maintain a comparable speed with a Euro. It also seems to me that a GP works better at a high angle and maybe not as well at low angle. Also, in demanding conditions like surfing, when you often need to grab a lot of water very quickly, the GP is more likely to need a double dip to get it done. And finally, the faster cadence of the GP doesn’t allow for as much time for effective torso rotation. But, to each his own.

I got comfortable with GP within 30 mins
I had the same experience as others here the first time. Someone let me try a very nice and expensive carbon GP and I hated it. Then I decided to get one sized right for me by Tuktu and I’ve been loving it ever since. It only took me some 30 minutes to get comfortable with it the first time and the wind picked up dramatically, so I got to test how good it is in those conditions right off the bat. I left my paddling buddies behind, cutting the wind like butta!

I’ve Been Very Happy With These:

It is just the opposite
GPs are meant to be used at a low angle! That way you get most of the blade in the water and keep your arms low. And this does not prevent you from using proper torso rotation. I keep mine low and rotate normally and don’t need to have a high cadence to go fast.

Surface Area
I carry two GPs. One with significantly more surface area than the other. I have a choice between a faster or slower cadence.

GPs are meant to be used at a low angle!

– Last Updated: Jun-14-15 4:57 PM EST –

Nope, this is simply not true... It's an erroneous myth started long ago and passed along by the un-enlightened… The skinny-stick works equally well at any angle depending on what you want to be doing at the moment...

If I'm just lilly-dipping I'm likely using a lower angle stroke but when things speed up or I wish to throw a more aggressive stroke or two, I go to a higher, maybe even nearly vertical stroke...


While a GP may not be meant for low angle paddling, a transition from a low angle Euro, such as Werner Kalliste or Athena, will be easier than a transition from a high angle Euro, such as Werner Ikelos.

Reading this

– Last Updated: Jun-14-15 2:01 PM EST –

Magooch...I would consider looking at the size of the Greenland paddle that you are using.....many of the conclusions and statements that you are making concerning Greenland paddles.....tell me that your Greenland paddle is not of optimum size for you.

Best Wishes

Not what I said.
I didn’t mean to say that you cannot use torso rotation; it’s just that at the higher cadence, there isn’t time for it without using an exagerated and energy consuming rotation–relative to what it would be with a Euro at the same speed.

Also, I don’t think I said a stick can’t be used at a low angle. It just seems to me that they are more efficient at a high angle, because at a low angle, you would have to sway from side to side to get the whole blade in the water. But again, that’s just my experience.

Similar question
I’d love to try a GP, but the only place that sells them within reasonable driving distance doesn’t allow demos. Go figure.

I also wonder what benefit a GP would have (if any) over my current paddle, a Werner Cyprus.

I’m not about to buy a GP because that Cyprus was a Christmas gift and it’s an awesome paddle, but I sure would like to try one just to see what it’s all about.