How to ship or mail a GP?

What’s the best way to send my greenland paddle to Alaska in advance of my trip there?


I have a PVC pipe with end caps that I travel with all the time. short one that holds 2 breakdown euros and a 230 cm long skinny that holds 2 GP’s.

oversized checked luggage


I have shipped one piece whitewater paddles before and have just wrapped them in bubble wrap and stuck a label on them.

I can’t remember whether US Mail or UPS was cheaper. US mail has a maximum size they will ship. Can’t remember if this exceeds that size.

It will be expensive though b/c of the size. Probably will cost around $40-55 if I remember correctly

Go to and to and get rate quotes based on the weight and dimensions. The postal site will tell you the max dimensions…you will have to enter it as an oversized/large package.


like Flatpick sez. I had TWO Mitchell paddles damaged by UPS, both sent to me in cardboard boxes.

Have you tried an adjustable fishing rod case?


I used thinwall PVC with good results. The thinwall (commonly referred to in these parts as “sh*t pipe” is much lighter than schedule 40 & costs less too. I wrapped the GP in bubble wrap & slid it into the pipe. UPS took it a good ways with no trouble.

I got my
Beale GP in a cardboard tube by USPS priority mail. I think for around $15.

LEsson learned here Thistleback.

– Last Updated: May-24-06 7:33 AM EST –

Autumn 2005:

I bought a Beale GP from tsunamichuck and it was shipped by DHL in a nice long PVC type tube, plastic ends and plenty of tape. The DHL brought it to my door and guess what, no GP! You should have seen the look on my face when I looked at the end of the tube and it was open and empty. Can you imagine: they delivered the empty tube! Looked like it had fallen out of the end due to the wieght of the GP banging back and forth in there. Or else it was an inside job theft. Or both. Luckily, DHL shipping comes with insurance and with my photos of the tube and tsunamichuck's paperwork and calls, they refunded him the insurance na dhe refunded me the purchase price (even before he got the refund... very nice guy).

Moral: always insure. Overuse packing tape on the tube ends to prevent shifting of item and makes thefts more difficult.

Nope, DHL never did find the Beale. If you see a guy paddling with a Beale twig and a DHL hat, go up and bonk him on the head with your GP, okay, thistleback? Tell him it's from tsunamichuck and CD1.

oversized checked luggage $$$$
Is the high price you pay for oversize checked luggage worth the peace of mind that it is on the airplane with you? (supposedly)

Alaska Air wants $75 for 81" and over. Someone posted that they received a paddle through the US mail in cardboard that only cost $15 to mail. I checked the USPS site and calculated postage from Port Angeles, WA to Seward and it came out @ $9.95 for a guess at weight with a cardboard tube. Quite a difference! I think I’ll look into USPS mailing as my method of transport. Now to figure out the best tube. I think I’ll look at PVC and make threaded ends, then tape them in addition.


Beale number?
Don always burns a number of the paddle into his works of art. What number was it, and was it a laminated paddle or one piece cedar? At least folks can see that number to know if it was never sanded off…


Oops - forgot to mention…
I have shipped 4 GP’s via USPS Priority now. Do not send USPS Ground as its slower, and they penalize you for package size that would make it 5 times more expensive.

I use those “Free” triangular boxes, joined together to make one box as they also have good ends on them to avoid the “tape only” security issue as referenced above. (bummer)

As long as the package is 88" or less, I have found them to qualify for USPS Priority size limitations. Anything longer may end up being refused. I have paid less than $20 coast-to-coast.


Thanks Scott
Thanks Scott . . . that sounds very do-able. I think there is less chance of damage with USPS than with UPS or DHL or other shipping outfits.



Landscaping drain pipe
I shipped Yakima 60" bars and bike trays in that black plastic corrugated pipe they use for culverts and drains. Its 5 or 6 inches in diameter, is strong, thin, light, and cheap. It comes in 8’ lengths and you can cut it to length with a knife. Stuff some newspaper in there to keep it from rattling. I put four slits in the ends so I could fold the ends closed, then fastened it with tape.

Staples office store next door to my office accepts packages for UPS. This was one of three packages I shipped with various Yakima parts, and it cost in the neighborhood of $35 for all three.

Seems like the triangular box approach will work, too. Might be cheaper and easier. The pipe will better resist damage, but either way should work.

I have also checked my whitewater canoe paddle on the plane, naked. But that is a tough paddle. The only drawbacks are that it will count as a piece of luggage and they did put a bar code label on the blade and the sticky residue from the adhesive took years to come off. If I cared I could have used paint thinner to remove it, but it didn’t seem to be hurting anything and I am lazy. If luggage count is not an issue, I’d consider just bubble wrapping your paddle and checking it on the plane. The luggage monkeys don’t try to break stuff, and if they do, the airline owes you one.

~~Chip Walsh, Gambrills, MD.

however you decide to wrap it, make sure you send it no lower than priority mail. It’ll go air, not ground, and I always received them. I’m still wondering what happened to my Christmas gift from 2002, it went ground. Do you have a place on the other end to receive it? If not, I can hook you up.

Paddle_Pirate . . .
Yes, I intended to go Priority Mail . . . and the lodging facility in Seward will recieve and hold our shipments until we arrive. We’ll be shipping a lot of stuff ahead of time to avoid having to take it all on the plane . . . we’ll be 8 days on the water so will need lots of stuff . . .

Thanks for offering to hook me up though . . . that was nice.


when the kite
shop that i worked at was open i used to ship priority mail…you can go to the website and order triangular priority mail boxes for free that will be shipped to your address…then it is very easy to put two or more together…

the usps dimension cap is something like 69" total (length + width + height) before the price goes up for an oversize…

this wayt he packaging is nice and light but quite strong…i have shipped this way for years all over the world without any problems…