Greenland Paddle Choice

Too funny! :laughing:

Sorry Steve

Not a commercial venture. They {along with many others} were a study to satisfy my curiosity on paddle sizing and efficiency for purpose.

Best Wishes

I learned so much from the threads on the Greenland paddle, I can express enough thanks. My interest started from following a novice, to tips from master and users. So much came from going down the “rabbit hole” searching, to find references to post as examples, to polish my knowledge on a topic before commenting, or from tips on how to innovate and improvise.

I’m located outside the east side of Baltimore. If anyone is in that area has an Interest in trying a Greenland paddle, but doesn’t have the means, let me know. I’ll build it. All I need to do is find another wood blank. What I hope to gain from it is feedback. If the paddle works out, you can use it as a guide to order a custom model from a paddle maker. I’ve also seen a number of paddles online around $200 in both carbon and wood.

I just finished watching a few videos from “Free Lee Valley Virtual Workshops”. I own a Tormex system and learned some great tips watching the video workshop.


Thanks. You laid-up the carbon cloth yourself?

Yes. I vacuum bagged . Made all the plugs and all the molds too. All original designs by myself based on different times in the last few hundred years of the Greenland Paddles evolution.

Span the years from total dependency on harpoons {more stealth was needed} to the use of guns and harpoons combined. {different needs for different hunting styles}

The paddles pictured here are all from the same era…I have others


Why carbon. Do you prefer carbon over wood or are they just for the adventure of making.

Carbon…Because I can do with carbon what I can’t do with wood.

Good quality wood is not only difficult to source , it is using up the last of the old growth trees. This is an issue that will need to be addressed in the not too distant future. Many have gone to laminated paddles somewhat for this reason.

I can compare shapes and sizes and also dial in the amount of flotation without a weight penalty. I can make two paddles with-in a tenth of an ounce from each other so in testing paddles against each other …weight is not in the mix as far as which paddle preforms and how it feels. Only the difference in shape is compared.

I can make the edges sharper with carbon.

Volume differences don’t rely on more , or less wood. Again , back to weight staying constant among the test paddles.

Among my experiment s was the feasibility of producing multiple paddles from multiple independent molds , where all the parts are interchangeable. {much more feasible with carbon. {it can be done with wood, but not to the same degree}

I have made a series where I can change any aspect of a paddle without changing any other aspect. {4 piece paddles} So I can make say a 86 inch paddle with a 21 inch loom, but am also take and interchange parts to make the 86 inch paddle with a 20 inch or 19 inch loom by switching parts around. I can also go from soft rounded to diamond shaped shoulder without any other changes. Or change the width of the blades. Many parts being made several years apart.

There are more reasons…but this is actually enough for me.

I have made many wooden paddles. I also like wood but carbon is very repeatable. So anything done once can be done again.

I hope this answered some of your questions.

Best Wishes


That’s more than enough reasons. The paddles look good. Have you found any feature to improve on the traditional design

This question make no sense. The paddles I’ve made are traditional designs …only refined slightly. I wasn’t re-inventing the wheel.

Photo sent to me by Greg Stamer

A 1750 era design

That’s great - thanks for providing the backstory!

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OK, appreciate your response. My impression was that you were experimenting with things like different blades, widths, shapes, flat face vs. curved face, and other designs that I don’t even know about. Part of the process is the journey. Looking forward to following your path, but I’ll have to do it with wood. I’m impressed with your level of expertise.

Just curious Roy - what material do you make your molds from: A layup or wood or something else?


I make my molds out of fiberglass and epoxy. A inexpensive option vs aluminum.
as most commercial molds are.

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Thanks for the info. I used to design fiberglass machine guarding. The supplier had a similar approach to what it sounds like you’re doing. They’d make a wooden model, lay up glass over that and that would then become the mold for making the actual guards.

Sort of…I was making each successive mold by making a plug from a mold I had already finished…Then modifying that plug …then making a mold from that.

That way only the desired change was made. It takes a lot of time.

Getting back to wood for a moment…

I gave the carving axe a decent workout this weekend, but in a piece of cherry that’s going to become a bowl, not a paddle. It could definitely be used for carving paddles, but my initial impression is that it seems like overkill on wood as soft as western red cedar. The weight of the axe would make carving it almost effortless, but it could easily result in going too far or splitting a chunk off the blank. I would use it only for the roughing out process, leaving plenty of extra material as a precaution, then switch to a drawknife, plane, spokeshave or combination of the three.

I’ll be doing a lot more with the axe this week, so perhaps my perspective will change with experience. If there was ever an example of a “scary sharp” tool, this is it, and I have a very healthy respect for it. Gränsfors Large Carving Axe | Gränsfors Bruk Sweden

Good tools. Agree that it’s a rough out tool. Have to get back to the hand plane and spokeshave. It all comes down to learning the tools. I expect well.get a video soon of carving a stake. Enjoy your ax and waiting to see how it turns out for carving bowls.

Once you find a paddle or two that you really like the next step is to learn to use it. The GP is the tool to have for bracing and rolling. Go out in some warm water and vow to get comfortable being upside down or sideways. Once you learn how to use the GP you will always get back upright when you want to.

OK. Almost always.

Rex, that’s crazy. You know you always get back up. Making a paddle is a sickness. I just found another prime pine 2x4 paddle. They were $5.00 6 weeks ago - they’re now $7.98. Who in their right mind would pay that much for a 2x4 . . . I mean to build a house. It’s still cheap for a paddle. I wasnt going to make another until I tested the first. It’s too cold for me outside, so I’ll make a paddle. This one will be shouldered.