I just broke my Greenland paddle by leaning on it too hard as I exited my Boreal. Was it my technique or does the paddle wear with age ?

What do I look for when I buy a new on ?

My first question is why are you leaning on the paddle at all?!

Don’t prop them on solid objects. If it’s on a solid, and you slip or something - the paddle takes it all. Bad habit - break it now before you break other paddles.

Hey - you asked!

I keep mine floating - on the side away from shore. Either slipped into the aft deck rigging (launching) or just held to the coaming (landing). With the buoyancy of a GP this gives more than enough stability for getting in and out - and I’m talking my SOF with ocean cockpit that I have to scoot into and is less than 19" wide.

You just need something to dampen the wiggles - not put the kayak in dry dock! This may seem less secure at first, but you quickly learn to quiet things down by keeping your weight centered over the kayak - not the outrigger Works with euros/wings too, just less buoyancy/more blade resistance (same principle applies to paddle float rescues as well - weight on kayak - not paddle).

Still, could be the paddle too. Almost certainly part of it. It shouldn’t break unless you really had a lot of weight on it. Was it self made or other? Solid wood or laminated? Proper vertical grain if solid? What wood? Where’s the break?

Lot’s of variables here. Gets almost impossible to say without seeing you get in/out of you kayak- and seeing the paddle. Odds are a photo of the break would be enough to say it was a grain issue. Usually is.

gp - what to look for
A wood GP should not get weaker with age. You didn’t provide much information, so we can only guess. I assume that you probably put too much weight on the paddle, and the paddle was probably weak or too flexible to begin with. What kind was it? Where did it break? How did it fail (lamination failure, break along grain (runout)?)…

Assuming you want wood, I’d look for a paddle (regardless of whether it is laminated or solid) made with vertical grain (quartersawn) for stiffness and strength. A good URL to help understand grain is at . Flatsawn is cheaper and can be satisfactory, but there are usually too flexible for my preference.

Also, a GP works well only if it fits you and your kayak. Get a custom-fitted one if possible.

Greg Stamer

Examples of good wood grain
There’s a pic of some cut-offs from paddle blanks I’ve used in my Greenland Paddles album on Webshots (the album is on page 2) at:

In addition to having vertical grain (or nearly so), the grain must run from end to end of the board without running off the edge. This is especially critcal in the loom area. For every 100 boards I check out, only 2-3 are suitable for paddle blanks.