I never thought I would ever need anything other than a euro paddle, but as I was paddling through a particularly shallow part of Galveston Bay on Sunday, and doing the very low-angle stroke one has to do in water only a few inches deep, I though "I wonder if this would be a good situation for a Greenland paddle." Its long paddle surface and low entry angle might be an advantage for really shallow water, and I wonder why I hadn't thought of this before. Has anyone found that the long paddle surface and low paddling angle of greenland paddles makes them better for paddling in really shallow water than a euro-style, in cases where the water is so shallow that much of the euro-style blade is not able to be submerged.
“Does anyone use Greenland paddles for shallow water?”
well yes. and deep water. and in-between water.
It’s a tool.
Sorry, I didn’t mean to make you
have to comprehend the intent of my question based on context or anything like that, so I will rephrase:
Has anyone found that the long paddle surface and low paddling angle of greenland paddles makes them better for paddling in really shallow water than a euro-style, in cases where the water is so shallow that much of the euro-style blade is not able to be submerged?
just from the geometry of the situation is that such a shape probably will be even less effective. Won't be much of that blade in the water either, and you won't be able to give the blade the motion it needs to generate lift.
You think so?
I was in water that was so shallow that I could rest my Euro paddle blade on the mud, and about 1/3 of the blade was sticking out of the water, so my thought process was that since a greenland kayak has a longer blade surface, if I paddled at a low angle, a greater amount of surface area might be submerged. Unfortunately, greenland paddles are practically unheard of on the Texas coast, so I can't rent one to test my hypothesis. I don't want to order one just for this use, in case you are right, and I'll admit you probably have just as high a chance of being right as I do.
There’s still an angle
unless you used a really extreme sliding stroke where you had the entire paddle on one side of the boat or the other, so you could get the whole thing lower to the water.
I really think the spooned shape of the euro blade is what you want, even if it isn’t completely submerged. The GP gets power from “flying” outward through the water, as I understand it (I don’t use one), and not being able to do that in shallows is bound to hurt its effectiveness.
Your take on it sounds pretty reasonable to me. Thanks for actually addressing my question, too.
I find that my GP works extremely well in very shallow water when using the sliding stroke, so that almost the full paddle is in the water at a very low angle. Try it; you’ll see. But beware that getting comfortable with the sliding stroke takes a bit of time and regular practice.
If I can find a greenland to rent or borrow, I will try it. I’ll be the only dork out there paddling a SOT with a greenland paddle.
I use mine on my Tarpon 160 all the time.
and to actually answer your question, yes the low angle, wider than normal reach of the sliding stroke, make paddling in shallow water with a GP, quite enjoyable.
I find that a Euro paddle in the same scenario works as well, offering a different blade-in-the-water but the actual available thrust resistance is a moot point. they’re both tools used for propulsion and support and they work differently, and the same.
GP Paddling a Frenzy?
I have used GPs to paddle SOTs many time. Tsunami Chuck is trying to convert me, but I don’t think its got enough surface to move a boat like the Frenzy.
I have a Frenzy and have started using it again as it is the only boat I have that fits inside my van.
So can you explain
the sliding stroke to me or is it something that really has to be seen to be understood?
Actually I would probably use it in
my 12 foot tandem SOT, which, even with just one person, paddles faster than the Frenzy. It seems narrower than the Frenzy, but it may just be the contours of the gunwales fall off more abruptly, so it seems less a reach over the sides. It has a shallower draft, too, which is why I would paddle it in really shallow water. Great for birding.
What they don’t tell you…
…is that a GP has no drip rings and will put a lot of water into your cockpit. So if you are paddling without a skirt or trying to keep a camera dry, things are more difficult. A sliding stroke will work in shallow water but why do more work for the same result?
BTW I hate mine in shallow water and mildly dislike it the rest of the time…
Easier if seen
You can see it online at http://www.qajaqusa.org/common_images/gp_slidestroke.mpg
I see what you mean
It’s pretty cool looking, how the hands slide up the paddle.
GH, While you were using the wing paddle - since it doesn’t have drip rings either - did you have the same problem? Maybe you just need a narrower kayak without a smaller cockpit? L
For Reef’s question - GP has no real advantage in shallow for me, but my short storm paddle is pretty handy in narrow mangrove tunnels. Some curse GPs in shallows. Doesn’t matter as it’s what I paddle with and I would not reach for a euro just for some shallow water. I still had my plastic SOT I’d still have the euro that went with it as it’s better suited to wider hull. More paddle drips would have been a blessing on my SOT mid-Summer!
Yup, it works fine.
Your premise is correct. However, once the water reaches a depth of ~12", a Euro blade probably has an advantage until the water gets deep enough to use the GP with a more vertical stroke.
Thanks, I actually started thinking
about a storm paddle as a possibility today. I someimes paddle through narrow, shallow cuts in the grass, so it might give me a similar advantage that it gives you in mangroves.
Thanks, great info from all! NM