Greenland style paddle vs. low angle euro style?

I plan on paddling my new solo canoe, mostly, with a kayak paddle.
It won’t be the first time I’ve paddled a solo canoe kayak style.
It works well, except you get a ton of water in the canoe.
I recently tried another paddlers very long, low angle kayak paddle and found that it helped considerably, with the water in the boat, and the paddling style wasn’t as inefficient as I thought it would be.
Which made me start thinking about going the extra step and getting a Greenland style paddle.
I’d be paddling, mostly down quiet rivers, like Utah’s Green. I’m just wondering if a Greenland would work well for that or I should stick to a small blade, low angle euro style?

Stick with either a canoe paddle or a Euro. This is not the venue where a Greenland paddle excels. YMMV


And no drip rings on the GP.

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I assume drip rings help.

That said, I paddle with a lot of people in upstate NY who have a pack canoe, from casual paddlers to a couple who race in events like the Adirondack 90 miler. I have yet to hear one complain that they get an intolerable amount of water in the boat from the paddle.

If this is a huge issue there is something going on other than the paddle itself.

I use GP’s most of the time with my kayaks and bought a long narrow ottertail single blade to use with my solo canoe. I also use an older 230 cm kayak paddle with the solo canoe, which also has longer slender blades, 5.5" wide x 23" long. Works quite nicely. Photo below on the left beside one of my GP’s. Branded by Walden, but made by Bending Branches. BB no longer makes this model but you might be able to find something with similar proportions.

Funny you should mention the ottertail. I’ve been wanting one for years and, as I was lying in bed last night, I was thinking I might get one for my new boat.
I ordered a 250cm Werner Skagit, the $135 model. I figure I’ll try this, when I get my boat, and that will help me decide on length and blade size, then I can order a nicer model.

I may be the only one who does this, however I remove the drip rings from the 2 Euro paddles I use the most. Drip rings get in the way under bungees.

And, though many fight this concept …paddling is a water sport. Getting wet is part of the game/fun.

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Of course I have tried drip rings. Most kayak paddles come with them. I may try putting two pair on. One on the throat of the blade and one against the heel of my hand.
I’ve met others that have tried kayak paddles with canoes and they all say water in the boat is an issue. I guess it’s a matter of what you call intolerable. I don’t like water in my boat.
What I’m saying is, a long, low angle kayak paddle, paddled very low angle, reduces the amount of water in the canoe because the blade doesn’t cross over the top of the canoe. Anyone paddling using a high angle style is going to get a lot of water in their canoe, and I mean anyone.

Among their various paddles, Nimbus makes a quill paddle. That could be of interest:

Note that their prices are in Canadian dollars.


Funny story. For a while I was doing demos with some other paddlers at an annual sports expo. The person running it had a pool just big enough to fit a couple of 16 ft kayaks to demo rolls and rescues. They liked pairing me with the biggest person they could find for rescues.

One time a WW guy came in right after us, arrived with just enough time to hop in his boat and start talking. But had forgotten his own paddle. We tossed him one of ours.

He started out talking about drip rings. Which worked OK until he went to point them out. We had all long since removed them, they just got in the way. So he thought quick and pointed out where they would be.

Then he started talking about the control hand thing. A paddling concept which all of us had never been trained in to start with, by the time we were learning the BCU had put that aside. Unfortunately the control hand thing also goes with a pretty steep feather. Which wasn’t there when he tried to point it out on the paddle, we all paddled relatively flat or minor feather.

He fussed with the borrowed paddle to do his strokes. But the next session he showed up with his own paddle.

Using a GP means a lot of runoff, which is why I always paddle with a sprayskirt or wear quick dry or neoprene pants when in an open boat. Choking one’s optimal paddling technique to avoid getting wet strikes me as frankly pretty silly and/or seriously ADD. If one objects that much to getting wet, choose some other sport. Fretting about paddle drip is like a cyclist freaking out about getting puddle splashes or chain grease on their legs or bug splats on their goggles.

By the way, per all of the collected Native paddles in the Pittsburgh Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s permanent “Polar World” exhibit, the Inuit tied leather strips and cotton rags around their paddles between blade and loom, presumably to divert some runoff. I keep meaning to try that but never think to grab cotton rags on my way to the launch. I suppose because I am not really bothered by the runoff by now. But if I was paddling in icy waters I might try that.

I did something similar by tying a Turk’s Head knot near the loom on each blade. It worked OK but I decided I didn’t really need them. They looked kind of neat.

I often use a sliding stroke or extend one blade quite a ways for sculling or bracing and having obstacles of any kind on the shaft is just annoying to me. I don’t like shouldered GPs for that reason (I do understand why they are handy for a number of reasons, though) and sold a 3 piece Northern Lights carbon GP I had for a couple of years because the noticeable seam at the joints bugged me when I was paddling with bare hands. The Gearlab carbon I replaced it with has a near surgically perfect junction and flush lock button.

Outstanding & laughing here!

Everytime i teach a beginner class i fight to not mention “control hand”. Probably like many on here, I learned with a 90° RH offset. Mine was a 240 cm AquaBound Navigator one piece paddling a 23ish inch beam Looksha 17’. Amazingly I still have that paddle though almost never does it find its way to water.

I was happy to have missed the control hand in my training. It seems to do stuff to the wrist not dissimilar to what l later found is not a plan for my wrists in the J stroke. But it is an astonishingly hard held idea. Never made the sllightest bit of sense to me since the ideal is the fullest possible rotation to both sides. Which for some does still leave them w some feather, like 45 degrees. But the old 60 and 90 degree stuff, yoicks!

I found that between 12 and 20 degrees seems to be a very natural feather for me. My WW H2O paddle is built with I think 15 degrees, felt right immediately plus it is the only bent shaft paddle that has ever felt good to me.

But all of that is about days when l cared more about the details than l do now. I would like to work with someone to get the roll back better, lack of practice has finally rendered it more missing than not which is annoying since I had a beauty on both sides. I have spent time on my own but l think l need some time with a coach. I have an old problem w lifting my head that wants to come back, and my left side was a hard fought battle to start with. Should mention that l spent nearly two years battling a weird kind of claustrophobia just to get to where l found out l absolutely love the feeling of rolling. It feels so damned fun! I just had to stop the panic part long enough to do it,

I care about my strokes enough to want to control the boat in some amount of crap, and come home without having done damage to myself. Beyond that… l paddle far more conservatively in open water now since l am usually solo. And in areas l know well enough that it’d take a pretty mentally missing day for me to get beyond my remit. Over the years of paddling w my husband, l was always the more anal of the two of us about having head room in terms of some skills to handle an unexpected problem. Habit has never died.

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