GP vs Euro impressions

Since buying my GP late last summer I must admit that my Euro paddle has gotten zero usage. But today I used my GP for the “out” portion of my trip, and then switched to the Euro for the “back”. I must admit that the sensation of speed with the Euro was noticable. Solid catch and quick aceleration. This compares to the gentle catch of the GP, and the higher cadence I had become used to. Verdict? If I need speed to keep up with other paddlers on a trip I will choose the Euro. Otherwise, the GP will continue to get the bulk of the water time.


Kind Of A Different Take
I think the the GP is just as fast as my Euro’s, ONCE the boat gets up to speed and the cadence is set. However, acceleration from dead stop is not the advantage of the GP. Nor having the blade area concentrated so you can grab more by not reaching too deep.

In white water and surf, I won’t use a GP just because I don’t think it is the most advantageous paddle to use for acceleration (needed in surfing) or more grab in shallow rocky water. But, I won’t use a Euro when I am out touring. The GP is made for a steady, long distance cadence, great as an outrigger, as well as offering a bunch of fun stuff to do because it’s highly bouyant.


i’m also the opposite
I love my Euro paddle in whitewater but when it comes to touring, my technique and paddling endurance isn’t strong enough to keep up with strong paddlers using a Euro paddle. However, what I have found is that with a Greenland paddle, I can typically keep up fairly well. Basically I can go faster, farther, with less effort with a Greenland paddle compared to a Euro. Obviously people have varying experiences but that’s what I have observed. I also like alternating between a high angle Greenland stroke, low angle touring stroke, and a sliding stroke. By varying my paddling styles I find I have much less muscle fatigue.

Could be technique?
I’d have to agree with Sing’s comments – the GP is not as fast starting out, but once you get going, it’s equally as fast as a euro. I use a GP quite a lot with my euro blade paddling pals and have never had a problem keeping up with them – in fact, I’m usually right out at the front or ahead of the group.

Typically, I start out using the GP with my hands at the shoulders of the loom (similar motion to a euro) but once I’ve built up some momentum I gradually change to a short sliding stroke, then to a full length sliding stroke. It’s kind of like starting out in first gear in a car and then shifting to a higher gear as your speed increases. Similar to a car transmission, high revs at startup (fast cadence) and lower revs at speed (slower cadence).

If you’re not using a sliding stroke, this could be the reason you’re experiencing slower speeds. Mastering and using a sliding stroke makes for nearly effortless all-day paddling at a speed that is comparable to your euro paddle.

Technique definitely makes a difference with a GP. There are a few good DVD’s that I’ve found helpful – in particular is the Greg Stamer segment on the Nigel Foster “Vol. 5: Forward Paddling” DVD (I’m not sure if it’s available on pnet or not).

Hope this helps.



I have no trouble whatsoever maintaining a touring pace with my GP, and can travel farther with no pain. Irishmanng hit 7.2 mph (sprint) using a GP in his Skerray according to my gps.

It’s not GP vs Euro
It’s likely GP vs. GP. How many have you tried? All GPs are not created equal. I’ve tried some that were pretty clunky and did not have same bit as others. What are you using?

Technique obviously also matters, but I use several different forward stroke variations (a more ab crunch Greenland style stroke taken more aft, and more forward wing stroke, combinations - all with some blade cant) that really make a difference.

In the few races I do - it is rare to see a euro ahead of me. Mostly wings, and some of those are behind too. I am not particularly fast.

Are you verifying speeds with GPS or knotmeter? I have. My Superior carbon is as fast as my Werner San Juan was (a pretty big blade paddle).

Even acceleration can be pretty much evened up (touring boat) by adding power incrementally and not trying to overpower from a dead stop. Take off needs to be modified a little. Watching GPS going from a dead stop is informative - and there are “tricks” to getting the most from any paddle. For all out sprint speed a good euro might get you another small fraction of a MPH, but only if you are more used to it. No way would I agree that a euro is automatically a faster touring paddle. Again, a GPS can let you play with variations and see what works and what doesn’t. Feel can be very misleading.

You want faster than a GP - get a wing (and expect to have to put a lot of miles in to take advantage of it - and watch those shoulders), not a euro. Euros are for Surf/WW!

Maybe I shouldn’t have posted my impressions without solid GPS data to back them up. There are many variables that I was unable to account for in this poorly-organized “test”, but sometime I will test both paddles against the GPS.

My one and only “head-to-head” test was with three other paddlers on a windy day last fall. I was using my GP, they were all using Euros. I kept falling off the back, which is not usual, and was thinking that the GP might be the culprit. Of course, I was nursing a lower back that was out of alignment. Again, thosevariables.

That said, I will still be using my GP for the vast majority of my paddling. But you gotta use the Euro occasionally just to maintain form.


acceleration is my
key complaint with the traditional paddle, otherwise I use it exclusively, still waiting for my ww lendal :frowning: