Greenland paddling tips

@willowleaf Could be! I didn’t realize their flag looked like that. All I know is, it looks awesome in person.

Rounded or square?

I did learn to roll with it and found it much easier.

I think I had my thighs and knees working the kayak and the paddle kind of followed because I know I wasn’t working the shoulder at that time.

I really want to use it more but I have the issue with the obsessive car packer so I’ll probably have to split it or buy a carbon fiber one. The season is so short here.

The Eastpole 2-piece laminated cedar/pine Nanook Marluk GP is 275 Euros and ships free to anywhere in Europe (or the USA) from Estonia. I’ve been considering one – have seen good reviews of their paddles. Chris Crowhurst reported the 86 cm one he tested of theirs was only 20 ounces (no doubt a two piece would be a bit heavier).


I realize you didn’t mention this, but reading about the “strain” in using the Euro, do those who use a GP find it has less impact on your joints, e.g. hands, wrist, elbow and shoulders?


Mostly yes, but not 100% yes.

By that I mean that a euro paddle can be as easy on your joints as a GL can, ----- but only if you modify the stoke a bit. The catch of a Euro paddle is very solid and rather sudden and the faster the cadence the more you notice it. The power phase starts as soon as the blade in under water.

With a GL paddle the blade is far longer and narrower so as it’s immersed the pressure builds slower and the shock of the paddle blade stopping suddenly is not there.

If you practice a catch with little force and only apply the power about 1/4 to 1/3 into the stoke with a euro paddle it can be gentle on the joints too just like the GL paddle and the same reasons.

The shock is a function of it’s suddenness and also it’s positioning.

Without proper torso rotation the euro places a maximum amount of resistance at the very front of the stroke and if the upper body is not rotated well into it, that’s a place of less support from linier bone/joint strength then it is when the power phase is applied as the blades are even with the knees and thighs. (instead of at the feet) That power band is natural with the GL paddle because the whole blade is buried in the water at that position about even with the knees and lower thighs.

But you CAN use the same power application with a euro blade if you go slow and steady in the learning and let speed come by itself. Like a child learning to walk: The parents help the child to walk and gains skills of movement and balance., but the child learns to run all by itself.

Speaking only from my own quite limited experience I found myself trying to go fast before I learned the correct details of the use with a Euro paddle. I switched to GL and Aleut paddles in the 1st year. Now I have 2 well respected euro paddles and I am going backwards compared to most other paddlers. I am learning the correct euro stroke AFTER I learned to use the GL well. Most other paddlers start with the Euro and go to the GL after a few years. My strokes are slow steady and measured. I am not a fast paddler with my euro paddles because I am not ready for speed yet.

But I do find if I rotate a lot at the butt/hips/pelvis and do my catch with the Euro paddle it’s not hard on my shoulders. If I get a bit tired and stop concentrating on the rotation for each catch I do feel a but worn out after 6-10 hours with a euro paddle. If I rotate well and I also think of applying the power after the blade has been buried and if about 8-10 inches back of the start of the arc, the euro is not hard on me at all. But the stroke is more complex then it is with my wood sticks.

The GL and Aleut paddles however were FAR easier to learn and have a much flatter learning curve. Not just for the forward stroke, but for almost every other use of a paddle too.


For me it’s an unqualified yes.

Your car has a roof rack, so it’s a simple matter to make a paddle tube from 4" PVC, with a glued-on cap on one end and a screw cap at the other. It will carry three GPs comfortably and is inexpensive to make.


I simply tie them to the kayak rack itself and I have no problems at all. Out here we have 75MPH and 85 MPH speed limits on freeways and most highways are either 65 or 70 MPH. Yet in driving all over Wyoming as well as Utah, Nevada, Colorado and Montana, I have never had one slip even an inch. So I have found no need for any special GL paddle carriers at all. If I can carry a kayak I can certainly carry a paddle. One other way I have carried GL paddles is to stow them on the deck of the kayak through several bungies and simply load the kayak on the rack. Driving on highways at 65 MPH with the paddle stowed flat against the decks ; once more I have never had one slip even a little bit

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I just tie mine to the rack. I thought about the PVC pipe, but for now this works.

Tie a couple of wing paddles to the roof rack in @szihn 's neighborhood and you can probably fly!


You guys don’t realize what I deal with, an OCD packer. To put something else on the roof would take weeks of negotiation :woman_shrugging:

I get away with what I can.


Naaaa. That’s not true.

It take 4 of them.

Some of our summer winds hit us a few days ago.

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That high plains wind can get wicked, for sure. Had to pull off near Powder River for a time while delivering a Kevlar Wenonah canoe to central Idaho some years ago … thought the wind was going to tear it apart. Then last year, in west central South Dakota, the wind was blowing so hard that gravel from underpass shoulders was flying into the traffic lanes. Fortunately, no boat on top that time, but I did get five windshield stars as souvenirs.

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Probably an odd sounding question, but does anyone have experience with a GP in a pack canoe? I’m curious about trying it but not sure whether I’m curious enough to invest in a decent paddle.

Here are some things to think about:

  • How wide is the canoe at the point where you’re paddling? That will be one determining factor for the paddle length.

  • How high are the gunwales above the water? That is another factor in the paddle length.

  • Where will the boat be used? GPs are not ideal for shallow water, as it’s difficult to immerse the entire blade. Being high above the water makes it even more difficult.

Funny, but…YIKES! :scream:

It’s just a paddle and a couple of straps to hold it on. Humoring him will only reinforce the behavior. Maybe offering him his favorite snack, a pat on the head and a “Good Boy!” for putting the paddle on the roof will do the trick. :dog:

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Not with a pack canoe, but I’ve used my 220 cm Gearlab GP low angle with my Lady Bug solo canoe (13’ 8" with 26" gunwales and 29" tumblehome). Works OK, but I find it’s better with a vintage Bending Branches 230 cm wood kayak paddle I have with long tapered blades (similar shape to an otter tail canoe paddle). I sit higher than in a pack boat, of course (semi lowered canted bench seat) and have shortish arms and upper body so I had to be cautious not to bang my knuckles with the GP.

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There are two canoes I would consider using. #1 - 24.5" at the gunnels, 27.7 at the widest with the tumblehome, approx 8" above wl. Sitting approx 4" off the floor.

#2 - 26.5 at gunnels, and, I’m guessing 10" above wl. Sitting 3" off the floor.

I paddle streams and rivers quite a bit, but also lakes and could restrict use to that. Currently using either a 240 or 250 double paddle.
I’ve been pondering this for awhile just out of curiosity. Started watching a couple of videos just to get a sense of how it works and descriptions in this thread have been informative.

I made a GL paddle for my friend Steve Mankowski and he used it with his Oru Bay and loved it. In fact he quit using the paddle he got from Oru completely when he got the wood paddle from me.

I don’t know if the Oru Bay is similar to the pack kayak you speak of, but maybe this info is helpful.
If not, ignore it.

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