Greenland paddle advice

At the recent Raystown event,I got to try out a couple of greenland paddles.I found them to be very easy to get used to,and since I tour ,easier on the long haul. I have narrowed it down 3 manfacturers,Beale,Mitchell,Tuktu. All are similar in price,but that is not my deciding factor. I will be primarily using this paddle with a QCC 700/ 21", also a QCC 500 / 23",and a Walden Rec. kayak / 24". The advice I seek ,is what length,and what loom length would work for all the mentioned boats. Or am I kidding myself to use for all of my boats. I am a big guy 5’11" 230lbs. The paddles I tried were 90",and 19" loom,and worked well with the 700. I prefer the non shoulder variety.Your advice is well appreciated.

Happy Paddling billinpa

I’m new to this GP thing too.
I had a friend make me my paddle. The loom length is not like a Euro measurment. The loom should be what you feel comfortable with. What I was asked to do, was to grab a straight shaft a few times with my eyes closed and measure the distance that felt most comfortable. My loom turned out to be 21.5, paddle 88" inches long

I think this has to do with how you use a GP.

You hold it near the shoulder of the loom / blade. Its a matter of comfort and control. I think I would feel pretty jammed up with a 19" loom

The commonly given methods
for sizing are good. No one can really size it for you but you. If 19" loom is OK for your shoulder/natural grip width, what you describe sounds fine.

I’m 2" shorter and have an 88" ( but I have an arm span that exceeds my height by a couple inches - at 5’11 1/2"). I have about a 21" loom (but am broad shouldered for my height). Also paddling Q700.

I have heard nothing but good things about Don Beale’s paddles - but have never held one. Did see a Mitchell at a kayak fest - nice enough, but did not interest me (already spoiled by my Superior). Dimensionally I think it was OK, but finish and construction seemed more like wood canoe paddle than GP.

I’d go with the Beale or Tuktu (only seen pictures of either). I have also seen a couple Turtle paddles that were decent.

My real recommendation has to go to Superior though - wood or carbon. Great design - nice soft shoulders - and computer cut for perfectly even faces. I’m fascinated with traditional gear - but not married to it as far as production methods go.

GP choice…
Don Beale has a remarkable reputation for making extraordinary paddles…plus…you will get personalized attention from Don regarding fit.

I use a Cricket 90" GP with 21" loom…shouldered. I am new at using the GP, and find the shoulder very helpful in terms of hand placement and maintaining the right angle for the paddle as it enters into the water.


EZ to make
I just tried out a Greenland paddle I made from a spruce 2x4. 3 1/4" blades, near square section loom, no shoulders, fairly thick edged blades, almost flat at the ends. Didn’t take long at all to make, about 3 1/2 hours. But I work with wood all the time (I make violins, not so different really) and have extremely sharp tools. The paddle feels light.

On the water, the dip angle stroke is very easy. Nicest paddle I think I’ve used. Fairly low splash and noise. Started to develop skill in the sliding stroke. Too much leverage against me that boat, a clunky old one. Probably perfect for my usual boat.

Features I found non-intuitive but worked: Length by traditional arm over head method & square loom. Square loom gives me a reference plane for dip angle & locks in the push and pull on palm and fingers. Nice. The length feels short because of a little slip. I tried it 1.5" more into the water and that was perfect, so I suspect this is just right for my narrower, lower boat.

A worthwhile exercise. Polite yakers are welcome to use my stuff to make on. SW of Knoxville, TN.