GP for surf play

I like my GPs. When people ask, I tell them what I like about it. I usually add that you wouldn’t use them for WW of course, and maybe not for playing in the coastal surf.

I’m wondering though, how many of you use a GP to play in the surf? Don’t picture them with surf ski in any event. But if playing in surf in a sea kayak, would you use a GP?

Just curious.

Paul S.


Good skill to be able to get a long boat through the surf zone.

However, surfing in a style similar to board surfing, you go with short boats with rails and short Euro paddles. As far as I am concerned, the former doesn’t compare to the latter.


(biased surfer wannabe)

My friends and I
frequently play in the surf in our long boats, and most of us use GP’s.

You can’t do the fancy tricks that you can with a surf boat and a short Euro paddle, but if you’re just going to play around in a long boat, they work just as well as a Euro paddle (actually better IMHO).

For all the reasons that a GP is easier to use than a feathered Euro, they work fine for surfing long boats. Disclaimer 1: I don’t play around in anything larger that 5-7 feet and prefer 3-4. Disclaimer 2: I’m an intermediate middle aged non-professional paddler who prefers getting to know one paddle across boats and conditions. That said, I don’t usually have trouble getting out and I have more problems getting in front of a wave than catching one, so accelleration doesn’t seem to be an issue whereas timing is. EJ style Bracing / rolling are easier with a GP at least for me. I can do a bow rudder to peel out just as well with a GP as with a Euro. Lastly, take a look at for some serious surfing in a SOF with a GP. Doubt the Greenlanders had a problem handling surf conditions.

GP surfing fun
I am not a regular GP user, but love the style of paddling. I have done a bit of surfing, surzone skills with a GP. Love the bounency. i have included a link to a photo of GP in the surf.

durability: i have seen more Euro blades break in surf conditions.

i use a GP for surf…
If I’m in a sea kayak, I surf with the GP. I haven’t done anything huge (3-5’ waves) but I’ve had some great rides and the GP didn’t really hold me back in terms of manuevering on the face of the wave or even accelerating to catch them. I do however prefer to use a GP with blades that are a bit wider than my touring GP for surf stuff.

I use a GP for long boat surfing…
…because it’s the paddle I have with me and I use it for everything. It may not be the ideal tool, but it works well enough for informal surf play. If I had a dedicated surf boat, I might also change paddles.

I find the greenland paddle
works well for surfing. I use a greenland paddle with a blade width of 3 7/8" and it gives me good contact with the water. The ability to slide the paddle also gives me excellent support while bracing and rolling. I suppose the main thing is that I am comfortable using a greenland paddle so that makes it a good choice for me.

When i think surf I think acceleration
that is why I favor a euro over a stick. That I can not give up the feel of the euro with which I have used forever. In my untrained hands, a gp is not fun.

For me, catching a wave is largely dependent on sprinting as fast as possible. Not a trait that gps are known for. Maybe I am still wrong on this. ;0

You Can “Lead…” With A GP
and still get a wave, tho’ the Euro will get more to speed from standstill.

My favoring the Euro has to do with with being able to do crisp “feathering” of directional strokes, e.g. bow/stern rudders, which allow quicker maneuvering like cutbacks, roundhouses, etc. You can get more blade in and with ease using a minimally buoyant and less thick Euro blade than with a thicker, more buoyant spread out blade of the GP.

Having said the above, the advantages of finer directional control of the Euro doesn’t make a heck of a lot of difference for long boat “surfers” 'cause you’re just picking a line and making a diagonal run much like a longboarder would. A GP will do the same.


GP permission not required in surf
You don’t need anyones permission to use a GP in surf or tidal races, they work fine. There are techniques that will help you sprint faster than a standard cruising stroke if you need it. Consult the QUSA website for that. To me the surf is more about timing going out and wave selection going in and the raw speed of a EP is not required. I prefer the EP with my river or surf boats. Much shorter, doesn’t get in the way, and easier to unbury the rails because I can use a fast, powerful cadence.


Rob G

Didn’t Realize “Permission Was Being …
asked…” Go forth and surf and blessings to all for whatever you choose!!!