GP vs Toksook Paddle use

Just viewed the Derek Hutchinson inverview (thanks Jay!), and heard about Derek’s Toksook paddle along with is interesting critique of the GP.

For those who have used both the GP and the Toksook (Derek’s paddle), how would you compare the two? I use a GP, and appreciate it’s ‘kindness’ to my shoulder (aong with many other features).

Would the Toksook provide water resistance of the level that would fall somewhere between a Euro and a GP?

Would appreciate your thoughts…


The Toksook is heavy
but very forgiving. It will paddle high angle or low angle. The 90% feather and symmetrical blades make for natural positioning for rolling. The metal tips are great for pushing off of stuff. The “throw” weight is higher than a Euro so it does not lend itself to sustained fast cadences, it’s more of a cruising paddle. In use the weight of the paddle is offset somewhat by the bouyancy of the blades. The shear power it generates makes rolling a breeze, even if your technique is as poor as mine is.

I’ve only used a GP briefly one time so I can’t really make an educated comparison. I can paddle faster with my Carbon Euro paddle, but I use my TokSook about 95% of the time anyway.


It appears that usage of Greenland paddles is fairly common and the usage of Tooksook is very rare. This might mean something.

It appears that the Tooksook “must” be used with a 90’ feathering to be concidered “correct”.


– Last Updated: Oct-11-07 1:32 PM EST –

Toksook is really another euro paddle. It has symetrical blades which is nice and used unfeathered is quite forgiving. Since it's flat, it sculls much nicer than a cupped blade. They never got the manufacturing down as well as the current crop of light weight euros out there today. And I believe what Derek said is true: paddlers are led to believe that cupping and asymetrical designs are highly important. But it is nothing like a GP. It's just a symetrical blade, slightly heavy euro. I think it's weight was it's downfall. A friend of mine was the American distributor.

NJ, mine has a 60 degree feather.
The beauty of it is you can use it as a spare for someone’s lost or broken paddle because the symmetry allows right or left control. A little electrical tape in the center will unfeather it. As far as it is a GP or a Euro it is neither here nor there for me. A brick shithouse build, heavy, nice and smooth as a roller sculler but left in the corner most days.


I don’t think Derrick would approve!

– Last Updated: Oct-11-07 2:48 PM EST –

I don't think Derrick would approve!

With the Tooksook now being offered with the "Lendal Varilock" system, one can now peform apostasy at any (non-orthogoal) angle!

(I believe Derrick was quite adamant about the 90' degree stuff.)


“Toksook is really another euro paddle.”


Weren’t you paying attention?
It’s an Alaskan paddle! And I imagine Werner, Lendal, Onno, et al can just close up shop. They’ve obvously gone down the wrong path and are simply defrauding their customers. Ah well, Derek is Derek, that’s all.

You talking to me?

– Last Updated: Oct-11-07 4:05 PM EST –

From the website I included in the previous post (which I also, oddly, read).

"The Toksook blade, designed by Master Sea Kayaker Derek Hutchinson, is a rediscovery of the original willow leaf shape used by the Kotzibue and Nootak Inuit kayak hunters"

Here's the website (again):

(My post was a joke for Jay. I'm pretty sure he got it.)

Anyway, regardless of the origins, the Tooksook is not a Greenland paddle (Jay's point) not that it is better or worse.

Yes, in jest
My post was intended entirely to be a joke for you as well, and not in any way to offend. I’m in agreement with both you and Jay.

Drink the kool-aid!
Drink the kool-aid! (Yes, another joke.)

Derek Hutchinson’s comments
on the Greenland paddle were incorrect, in my humble opinion. Derek is one of the pioneers of this sport, in as far as bringing a FG kayak to my local shop, writing some great books to increase my knowledge, and setting the bar very high for future kayak expeditions. But if you would like to learn more about Greenland style paddling strokes I’d say go to the source:

Clearly none of these experts are using the horizontally low full-blade insertion Derek explained.

Given all his experience and knowledge he is still sort of clueless when it comes to traditional paddling techniques.

Thanks to all!

Use my GP instead of my Toksook
I used a Toksook for several years, having purchased it in 2001 after taking my first class with Derek and Wayne Horodowich of USK.

Even though Wayne is a personal friend of mine, I use my GP exclusively now. The Toksook handles sort of like a cross between a GP and and a Euro. It has the buoyency of a GP and offers a lot more support than an asymmetric curved and spooned Euro does.

The Toksook is much heavier than my GP as well. It works best with a low angle stroke when it is feathered at 90 degrees. I did my first rolls with the Toksook and it really made things easier, but not as easy as the GP.

If I couldn’t use a GP for some reason, I’d fall back to my Toksook.

I only look dumb - got it.
I thought any paddle with a round shaft is a Euro?

By the way, there was a big discussion on the qajaq site about why the euros claim credit for putting two flat blades on a round shaft which historically was done all over the world.

Certainly not the case!

– Last Updated: Oct-12-07 12:22 PM EST –

Certainly not the case!

The qajaq site is great.

(I meant to poke a little fun at Derrick not at Jay.)

I have never heard them claim credit
for that. I have never heard them use the expression “European Paddle” or any of its derivitives at all. “Paddle” is all I’ve ever heard.


Who is “them”?

Use both
Prefer the GP. As I was recovering from a shoulder injury, I played around with a Toksook. On the positive side: More bouyant, 4 piece design, variable feather and with Lendal shafts, length. I find it a bit easiier to roll with. I am using a 216 with no feather. Negatives, heavier, more fatiguing and a bit of strain on the elbow. I may buy a 175cm Lendal shaft which would give the Toksook a 200cm length. I liked the Toksook quite a bit for strengthening my shoulder and really liked the support of the blade. I do not use it much now that I am healed up pretty well.