Greenland Paddle Advice

I’m looking to purchase a Greenland paddle as my Werner Shuna, while a good paddle, just feels “off”. I also don’t enjoy the noise and the slight fluttering of the blade.

So my question is: Does anyone know of a place in Maine that rents these so I can try one? I know it sounds silly but I don’t really want to plunk down $200.00 to find its not for me.

Also I’m 5’ 7" 130 lbs and from my research I’ve come to a conclusion that a 24" loom, 3.5" blade and 77-83" over all length are what would fit me best. Does this sound right?

go on a club trip
You’ve got two great paddle clubs near you, and (if you’re in Southern Maine? Is that what you mean by SE? I’ve also heard Downeast area referred to as SE Maine.)

Hook up with either of them for a trip. I expect you’ll have an easy time getting advice, and free trials of other members’ Greenland Paddles.

Or if you’re Downeast, you can borrow mine for a trial.


– Last Updated: May-18-11 2:57 PM EST –

What length is your Werner?

I have a WRC GP 83"x3.5"(width), with a 24" long(oval grip shape 1.25"x1.5") loom. There is variability in grip positioning with this paddle since it's a shoulderless design. This is my 10th GP and is in very good shape since I rarely use it as I mostly waveski or ww kayak these days rather than tour. For these venues, I've come to much prefer big honkin' Euro blades.

Anyway, I expect to up on the NH coast over the memorial day weekend (hopefully enjoying some waves). Can arrange a meet if you want to check out the paddle or trade.


GP is a good paddle, but so is Werner Shuna.

Not sure about your noise complaint, but I even without seeing you paddle I can put on my expert hat and state that it is your stroke that makes your blades flutter.

Invest in instruction, learn how to paddle, then consider a different paddle.

For the info. I am in southern Maine, Raymond area, I’ll have to check out those clubs.

The only reason that paddle should flutter is that it is not being used correctly. A GP will flutter as well if not used correctly. Have someone evaluate your stroke.

I just made my first GP last week. I had never had an urge to paddle one and, in fact, whenever I have seen someone paddling one they kinda look funny to me. But… Just for shits and giggles I went and bought an 8 foot piece of red cedar and downloaded Chuck Holst’s plans and Matt Johnson’s video Both are free and easy to follow (ok maybe you have to read the plans several times). It took me about 5 hours or so but the final product looks pretty damn good and feels really nice in the water. Sure there are plenty of mistakes but it still works fine. My 11 year old son was amazed that I pulled a replica antique Inuit hunting tool from a hunk of wood.

If you want a GP I HIGHLY recommend trying it yourself. The cedar stick cost me $18. If you have no tools at all you can do it with a hand saw, a block plane and a couple sheets of sand paper all of which will total about $40 in the home centers. With a little patience I think it can be done even by someone without any woodworking experience. Good luck.

I don’t …
…really have anyone to evaluate my stroke. So all I have go on is watching instructional videos. I did take a day long course a year ago before I bought a kayak but I felt like I didn’t get a lot of critiques and pointers.

…I should go this route. My brother in law has quite the wood working shop and my Dad has plenty of wood working experience. Then I can use the money on some better kayak instruction.

It is
really not brain surgery. In fact, after building just one I am kind of surprised that these can retail for over $200.

One of the few points in the process where you can make a catastrophic mistake is actually picking out the lumber. Just be sure to pick a 2x4x8ft piece of western red cedar that is straight and clear, no knots or cracks. The grain needs to be vertical when viewed from the ends; like a bar code. Grain that is circular or angled is no good. Darker is better but I wouldn’t worry too much if it is lighter in color. Home centers won’t have it, you’ll need to go to a real deal lumber yard. You might have to visit a few local lumber yards to find a good piece. If you ask at the sales desk they will usually send you out to the yard and happily let you pick through the pile to find what you want. If they don’t have all that in a 2x4 you might have luck looking at the 2x6 pile. The problems with that are more waste and you’ll pay more for a 2x6. I just bought a 2x6 for my second paddle and it cost me $41 vs $18 for the 2x4. Still a bargain for a “200 dollar” paddle.

Good luck.

Yes to everything said above. Also, in order to save more money and labor you may want to add this approach to the mix.

Cheapest Route To Go…
especially if you are inclined, have time and access to tools (power tools, e.g. band saw, powerplane, sander, etc. especially whittle down the time). If you are in the area of NH coast on Memorial weekend, you are welcomed to test my GP since it is within the size you mentioned interest in (I think you top size end is about right for you, unless you have very short or long arms).

The other thing is, as mentioned above, lessons on stroke can’t hurt, whether you end up going the GP route or not.


Tomorrow/thursday in Falmouth library is the SMSKN meeting at 7pm. Come and join us. Announce that you want to try a GP. There are plenty of us who would help you out.

Try a lower angle paddle
I normally paddle with a friend who uses a werner shuna as his main paddle and i have noticed a few times that it seems to flutter for me. I think it’s either i am not using a high enough stroke or trying to put too much power into each stroke. It is intentionally a big blade and it doesn’t seem to like being used with a low, medium or sweep stroke. Try either really going with a high angle and lots of rotation, it might help, but for me i just found the shuna didn’t seem to fit me for how i paddle.

If you’re out with someone else try a bit lower angle paddle sometime, could be you’re using it at too low of an angle

For what its worth<br />I paddle with a GP and also a Werner Ikelos which is s little larger than the Shuna. Without seeing your stroke a couple of things come to mind. When paddling the GP I hold more or less chest high with a canted stoke.The blade enters the water on a much shallower angle and moves away from the boat, the catch happens later so blade comes out of the water behind your hip. With the euro I carry my hands roughly chin high and enters the water on a steeper angle, think spearing a fish. The catch happens sooner so it should come out of the water at the hip, anything past your hip you are just wasting energy. You also should take a look at the paddle length of the euro. It may be to long for you. Check out Werners web site for correct fit.

I paddle…
… with my hand crossing about chin height, paddle enters the water about where my feet are and exits a little past my hip.

I tried playing with various entry angles and lengths and angles of stroke and I seem to notice the flutter most when I pull hard on the paddle. Taking shorter strokes and hands chin high seemed to be the sweet spot.

The paddle is 210cm which seems to be the same measurement I got when sizing for a Greenland paddle.

something to try
One variable than people don’t try -

  • blade enters water with a certain angle to the kayak - think 90deg totally perpendicular, 180deg - totally parallel. See what happens when you vary that angle, keep loose grip on your paddle. Also, see how that angle can be adjusted without rolling wrists.

    Do both left and right blades flutter, or just left?

I guarantee you can find some very good instruction nearby, and also agree with the others that changing paddles is not the way to address blade flutter. For the money you’d spend on a new paddle, you could instead pay for an entire weekend with some of the country’s most well-regarded coaches (who coincidentally reside within an hour of your home).

Check out, and for some very skilled coaches. BCU instructor certifications are your best bet, in my experience.

Joining a club is also a really good way to get free instruction. There are many skilled paddlers who put a lot of time into the kayaking clubs, and these groups offer free skills sessions as well as group trips throughout the season.

loosen up! :slight_smile:
It’s a fair bet that your grip on the paddle is too firm. That shuna is a good blade, and it will find the correct angle if you relax your grip. Let the paddle settle into the right orientation on it’s own by keeping a slightly open grip with both hands.

Seems to be…
…just the left side. I never thought to observe the right side. It maybe both sides but the left seems to be the prominent one.