GP for kid

-- Last Updated: Apr-30-11 1:35 PM EST --

I am fixing to make a GP for my son(5yr old). I know the length and shaft diameter needs to be adjusted to his size, but what about the blade width? Does the width need to smaller than normal to cut down on weight? We are getting him a kayak for his B-day and I want to have to paddle ready when the time comes. Any other tips or advise on making a GP for kids would also be appreciated. Thanks

Are you getting him a Greenland kayak?
If you don’t get him a Greenland kayak made for his size then the paddle will need to be longer than the Greenland method suggests I think. I wouldn’t worry too much about the paddle weight. Weight never mattered to me until I started paddling more than a few hours at a time. A long paddle for a 5 year old will be less than an hour.

Even early teens do not have the endurance that older paddlers do.

You are doing the right thing getting a boat early, I’d recommend one that is easy to re-enter from the water.

Blade width should be proportional to his hand size so he can grasp it for extended-paddle or sliding strokes.

We are getting him a
kids lifetime wave kayak. It will be more of a swimming platform for him to use on our small private lake. I do hope he likes paddling it as well, but he is 5 and nothing keeps his attention for too long.

We made our first GP togethor a few weeks ago and he said he wants one. A paddle that small shouldn’t take very long to make so if it’s off a bit I can reshape it or carve a new one. The kayak is 24" wide. Would you recommend adding some length to the paddle?

GP for kids
That’s great you’re making a GP together. Like others I’d also suggest a longer length than his measurements might suggest. Kids have a habit of growing fast!

Also… I usually try to suggest a shoulderless GP for the younger folk as a shoulderless paddle will allow a younger person more freedom to move the hands about while exploring rather than trying to dictate where you think his hands should be.

Enjoy the journey…


yes, much narrower
I made a GP for my 7-year-old, and sized it to her height for a 19" wide boat. You’ll need a longer-than-typical paddle for a 24" sit-on-top though.

For width, I matched it roughly to the distance from her knuckes to her first finger joint. I think it’s about 2 1/4" wide.

Kids don’t have (or need) much power, so a much smaller blade area is important. Also it keeps the weight down. (My daughter’s Cedar paddle is 15 ounces!)

I hadn’t thought about making it shoulderless. That is a great idea considering how fast kids grow. I will give it a try and thanks for the tip.