Greenland Paddle on the Colorado River

I’m paddling down the black canyon from Hoover Dam to Lake Mohave in a few weeks and I was thinking of using my greenland paddle for the trip just for something different.

I normally always use a euro blade when I paddle sections of the lower Colorado River. I’ve used my greenland paddle plenty in ocean harbors and really big lakes, but I’m wondering about if its appropriate to use in a river with a 4-5 knot current. I’d have a euro blade as my backup paddle.

Any thoughts, opinions, and advise are welcome before I launch.

what classification???
What class rapids are u running? Isn’t the Colorado like class four and five? Are you using a sea kayak or a ww boat?

should be fine
based on friends’ stories and photos, Black Canyon is mostly flat water so you should be fine (not to say a GP wouldn’t be fine even if a bit rougher).

James Manke
Google on James Manke.

He paddled through the Grand Canyon with A GP last december.

It bites - or rather doesn’t
A strong current, if it’s uniform, shouldn’t make any difference. But if it’s not uniform and you need to maneuver across eddy lines or avoid big rocks it might be less than ideal.

Skinny paddles lack the bite for “right now” moves like a big powerful bow or side draw or rudder.

If the conditions aren’t likely to need such things then go for it.

CO River below Hoover is flatwater
The CO River below Hoover Dam is pretty tame, all flat water. But, the current can be pretty strong.

I’ve read about James Manke paddling the Grand with a GP and a sea kayak. One of the articles about his trip said that one of the people in his group had some difficulty using a GP in the rougher sections, but they figured out how to make it work even though a GP isn’t really ideal for whitewater.

I may hold off because the wind in Lake Mohave can get really strong and create a lot of chop and big waves. I’m thinking that I need a lot more practice bracing with it before I rely on a GP on a long paddle trip.

I’d bring it
I really like a GP for a long trip. Lots of folks use them for surfing. I have never seen anyone use them in whitewater but it has been done by goop paddlers a number of times.

I prefer a Euro for white water, shallow and rocky rivers, and for surfing. But, I really like the GP for long trips, even if it is rough water and especially if it is windy.

You should be fine.

– Last Updated: Feb-07-13 11:35 PM EST –

It's flat water. Even with wind, it's not going to be anything major. Greenland paddles evolved in high winds on open arctic waters.

Depending how far south you are going the big thing to worry about on the lower colorado river is power boats .. especially on the weekends.

I'm not talking about the wakes I mean collision avoidance.

GP and lower Co river
Thanks for the feedback about using the GP on a long river trip. I’l go ahead and use it.

Agreed about collision avoidance on the river on weekends. November to March isn’t usually a bad problem with avoiding power boats on the lower portion of the CO river, but the rest of year can sometimes be a free for all.

The Colorado River is the closest real river to me because I live in SoCal. I’ve had a lot of close calls and amongst the scariest encounters was in a no wake zone in castle rock bay at the top of Havasu.