GP use in rapids?

I’m thinking about doing the Vermilion River Race in NE Ohio this Sunday. It will be my first time on this river. It’s an 8 mile race, Class I & II rapids.

At this point in time I use a GP almost exclusively. Some of my paddling is done on slow rivers, but mostly on larger bodies of water where the GP fits well.

My question is: How effective is a GP in class I & II rapids? Should I use it or stick with a Euro paddle?

Thanks in advance for the help.


I haven’t used a GP in rapids, but…
…I have used it in surf, rock gardens and tidal streams. The only disadvantage I’ve found is in shallow rocky water where you can’t the the blades fully immersed. If the rapids you’ll be paddling have reasonable water depth, you should be fine.

As much as I
love my greenland paddle on open water I use a euro paddle on rivers. The euro paddle gives me a strong fast brace and It’s shorter length is easier to move around in tight situations. I find that some of the techniques used with the greenland paddle such as extended paddle and sculling work better on open water than in tight fast moving water.

depends on the river…
If it is a deep river and the whitewater is in the form of wave trains and stuff like that, a GP would be fine. If it’s the shallow technical rock garden whitewater like you find around my area, a GP would be a bad idea.

But I think I’d bring a WW/Euro blade as a back-up / alternative in case you break the GP or things prove to be more shallow / technical in nature.

Great observations…
Thanks a heap!


If you did a flat water race.
What would you use?

If you answered GP, then use the GP in the I-II race.

With two equal paddlers in equal yaks, my take is the euro will be faster than the GP.



The EP vs GP question was taken on by a guy in Massachusetts several years ago.

He paddled the same course (Flatwater) twice wearing a heart monitor & kept the same heart rate throughout. One lap with an EP, one with a GP. There was no significant difference in speed between the two paddles.

However, when he did a third lap with a wing paddle, he netted a 15% increase in overall speed at the same heart rate.

I use both a GP and an EP, and I don’t notice any real difference in speed either. I just use one or the other based on my daily preference, or where I’m going — If I’m doing ww, or surfing, or playing in a tidal race, I tend towards the EP (And only the EP in ww). But for just about all other paddling, I use the GP. YMMV


Not using GP yourself…

– Last Updated: Apr-01-06 2:08 AM EST –

... you're basing this on what exactly?

Nice Troll though. Almost read like a real reply from someone with actual experience doing distance with a GP.

My take - based on use is Euro is slightly slower for me (over distance) or maybe equal to GP.

The difference is irrelevant out of context. It depends on paddler and technique. A 100% euro paddler will not get the same speed if handed a GP and vice versa - they will not be as good with an unfamiliar paddle. Even among paddlers who use both - they will have preference and/or more miles with one than the other. Naturally skews the results.

I also find GP is a bit less taxing on the body overall after a few hours.

Wing is faster than either (but you pay for it later).

Rank for speed:

Paddler being far more important.

Rank for least fatigue/strain/injury potential:

Of course, paddler is again the bigger variable. Conditioning/training more important than gear.

So long story short - yes, JackL will be slower with a GP than a Euro as he says. I'll be slower with euro than GP (again, over some distance) - but it has little to do with the paddle itself.

Jack, I switched to GP from the Euro paddler primarily because I was faster with it. I can paddle faster, further, and with less effort using the GP. I can’t argue with the results for me personally.

some of us remember sanjay’s post
but a bit differently. I remember the euro being a negligible amount more efficient (speedat fixed heart rate) and the wing being noticibly moreso…but 15%??? I think I would have taken even more notice. Maybe he’ll stop by and reiterate, or I might ask him when I next have the great pleasure of seeing him.

Yeah, I remember too.
Sanjay sent me and advance copy of that before it published. Can’t recall the exact number - but I think the wing was more like 6% faster. Consistent with other sources. He also felt GP was easiest feeling and wing the hardest.

It was 6%, not 15
That happens to be the same amount as is typically claimed by wing paddle manufacturers.

I should have said “significantly faster”. Not sure why 15% popped into my head, especially since I read the article Sanjay wrote.

Still have a photographic memory. Problem is, the camera doesn’t work so good anymore!

Troll ???
Why is it that I use the words: “my take” and that makes me a troll, but it is Ok for you to use them and your post is not a troll?

You know as well as I do that you favor a GP and are partial to it.

I was trying to tell the guy to race with the same thing that he would use in a flat water race, and I’ll stick with that.

Go back and reread my post!

Then go to a half dozen down river races and see who is using what, and them please come back and tell me what you saw.

I was in four down river races last year one of which was a I-II-III, two of which were I-II and one was I. - I saw one guy using a GP, and that was on the class I

How about telling the crowd here how many you were in, and how many of the racers were using GP’s

PS I would hate to be using a longer paddle like your GP when I run WW.

Sorry to unload, but I take offense at you calling my post a “troll”

Not so many cheers,


Figured that would get you.

You are 100% right that you did say your take. So troll was off base. Still, you are making assumptions from a VERY one-sided frame of reference.