Greenland Paddle advise sought

I am new to sea kayaking. Not new to paddling. I have been using a high quality fairly large blade paddle but lately I have been intrigued by the greenland paddles. Might be in part because I have spent some time in the arctic - I don’t know.

Could anyone point me to a few builders of good quality greenland paddles and also to some good instructional materials regarding greenland paddling. I think I will give it a go.

Greenland Paddle sites

– Last Updated: Nov-06-11 8:53 AM EST –

Northern Light Paddles. Very nice carbon fiber paddles.The NLP can also be broken down for transport.The NLP has become my main paddle as of late.

Don Beale Paddles - Very nice paddles. I have a few Beale paddles. My go to WRC paddle. Farly quick turn around time. Time may vary when Don is off teaching somewhere.

Tuktu Paddles. Chris Raab makes some nice paddlin sticks. He also makes other cool traditional gear as well. Most likely the next paddle I buy.

there are so many, plus
You might want to consider one alternate: the Aleutian paddle.

Look them up on the web. You’ll have days of surfing.

Main difference (beyond shape and size) is that the Aleut paddle does not require the canting that the Greenland paddle does. The Aleut resists fluttering on its own.

Sure for everything you want to know about greenland paddling and paddles. Please join if you are able to as they are an outstanding source of information.

Paddle makers that I know in no particular order: My first paddles were Beale paddles. extremely knowledgeable about wood, paddles, history and equipment. Another great guy. Bill makes a mean paddle as well.

Joe O’Blenis never saw one of his paddles but they are very well regarded over the net. not sure of the website.

All of these paddle makers are true craftsmen and make beautiful paddles. Chris Raab from Tuktu makes incredibly beautiful laminated paddles. Don makes laminated paddles as well and Bill mostly WRC if I remember correctly. All will work closely with you to get sizing down and to impart advice.

Now if you wanted to know about carbon fiber paddles I could really start talking. :slight_smile:

Paul (from Northern Light Paddles)

There is such a huge variety of
greenland paddle designs that I cannot recommend one over the other. It’s a very personal choice. Research what’s out there and get the one that looks like it will suite your needs. After you use it for a while try to make it to a kayak symposium where there are greenalnd paddlers. This will give you the best opportunity to try many different styles of paddles and see if there is something out there that you like better. Finding the right paddle is a journey and you’ll learn a lot.

I’ll throw in
Ed at Talon Woodworks:

handsome and reasonably priced 1- or 2-piece paddles.

Very Happy With Lumpy

– Last Updated: Nov-06-11 3:06 PM EST –

You don't get small, medium, or large. You get what fits YOU.

While I'm here, I might as well let you know that you'll probably want two paddles. What I've found is that the 'standard fit' will be your 'calm' or 'downwind' paddle. A second paddle, rather than being a duplicate spare, can be an 'upwind' paddle. It can be as easy as lopping an inch and a half off the ends of your 'standard fit' paddle length. You'll really appreciate it when the wind picks up.

Make your own
Google making a Greenland paddle by Chuck Holst. Great resource and if you have the minimal woodworking tools required it will cost under $10 for the wood. They are such a personal choice that you will want to make more than one; as you use them you find out what modifications work best for you. I wouldn’t pay for a premade wood gp, they are too easy to make yourself. Carbon gp is another story, look at Superior Kaykas if you’re looking to go that route.

Lumpy Paddles
Agree with Kudzu, have paddled a variety of GPs from different makers and have made my own, and Bill Bremer makes the best behaved most aesthetically pleasing paddles I’ve ever encountered. There simply something different about those paddles that makes them feel better in the water. Not sophisticated to know what that is, but others (including some very well know paddlers) who’ve used Bill’s paddles know what I mean.

Just make your own
What he said. You can make your own in a few hours with hand tools. You don’t even need minimal woodworking skills, you can do it with no wood working skills. Once you’re done you’ll have a paddle and woodworking skills, and you’ll never have to buy another paddle again. Its crazy what people will pay for a value added 2x4.

As for instruction on using it, Doug Van Doren’s video is highly regarded and available from Betsie Bay kayaks.

Another Lumpy Vote
I think you could make your own, but you’ll learn a lot from Bill when you buy a Lumpy and you won’t make a paddle that fits your hands as well in your first few tries. So make your own while you are waiting for your custom Lumpy and you’ll be really happy you did both.

Greenland Paddles

I make Beautiful old growth Western Red Cedar Paddle at a reasonable price. Check me out at



Don Beale highly recommended
I ordered my first Greenland paddle from Don Beale about 5 years ago. It is superb (Western red cedar). It is still going strong. Now I mostly use a carbon fiber from Superior kayaks, which is almost identical in shape and dimensions. It is a little lighter and indestructible.

Nystrom’s Greenland Paddles Step-by-Step
Spiral-bound, well-organized, lots of excellent photos, and (a la Brian’s writing style) he goes into much detail. I wish all how-to books were as clear as his. You can order from him direct. He posts here now and then.

The website is

Wood Cost?
Western red cedar in upstate NY goes for something like $3.25 a foot. What are you finding for $10?


for the great leads in input. You folks are great. What a resource this place is! There was a time when I would have built my own but my life now is such that I have to set time priorities and a recreational building project like this just doesn’t fit in. I’ll be reading and talking with folks to settle on some specs and then order something from one of the builders you have listed this winter. Thanks again.

I buy cedar 2x4 from Lowes for $7.50. You have to look through them to find one that is straight and few knots but worth the time.

Lumpy, Novorka, …
The best wood paddle I’ve handled and own. I’ve seen several of Bill Bremer’s paddles and they have all been as perfect as a hand-made piece of wood gets. I happen to like their shape more than the half a dozen or so other brands I’ve touched. I’ve also handled briefly some carbon Novorka paddles and they seem great too and their owners like them a lot.

I got his first paddle by accident at a point where I had not paddled a GP before. Somehow a local store had one at 1/2 price and having read how great Lumpy are, I figured I’ll get it and if I did not like it I’d sell it easily locally. Well, i learned GP paddling with it and several years later I still have it. I cracked it, skinned it in Kevlar/carbon and now it is bomb-proof.

Superior kayaks makes some too, but e wooden one I’ve handled I would have sanded-down differently, other than that it was good but would require some work to become perfect -:wink:

in upstate NY
You should call around to small mom and pop sawmills

and see if they have any white spruce. It may be harder to find clear pieces (small knots don’t matter) but you will have a superior paddle that might be just as light as cedar.