Multi-day touring with a GP

I’ve been using my GP more and more of late: more fun and super easy on my shoulder. At this point, I am inclined to make a total conversion and use the GP exclusively, with a storm paddle as backup.

My only concern is that I’ve never done a multi-day trip with a GP and I’m wondering what experience others have doing the same. Specifically:

  1. On a long trip, do your hands suffer more than with a euro (GPs being much wetter)?

  2. For safety I usually have my euro tethered to my boat. I can’t see doing this with a GP. Thoughts?

    I’d appreciate any insights from those with experience.

I use a GP exclusivly and I’ve been
wondering if you paddle for long periods with a Euro if your hands get all dried and does the skin then crack?

Seriously, I think you’re doing too much thinking about the gear and not about what feels best to you.

Killer whales are drawn to GP users.

Greg Stamer, I recall, used a GP for most of his lengthy paddling expeditions, and likely has some thoughts about your questions, perhaps even contained in his blog. He is President of Qajaq USA which (google it) also has a question forum of Greenland fanatics. They’d answer for you, I am sure.

My meory, which is now more faulty than a 1998 computer running glitchy Windows Vista, seems to think that even Greg–the GP aficianado that he is–paddled often with a Euro paddle for his trips. Largely for the reasons you mention, as I recall it.

G’luck, original poster.

Does 2 Days Count?
Do very long days count? I can contribute if they do.

Since the GP allows the hands to stay wetter the fingernails get pretty saturated and soft. Be sure and trim your nails close before your trip. If they’re a little long there’s more likelihood they’ll get bent back or broken.

Personally, I prefer to carry another GP rather than a storm paddle. The ‘spare’ has considerably less surface area than the primary paddle. Think low gear. Into a headwind or current I switch to my lower gear and am happy to have it. I stow it on the foredeck… under the bungies off to one side. I practice capsizing with no paddle in my hands, then retrieve the ‘spare’ from the foredeck and roll up with it. In short; no need for any kind of tether.

3.5 days in Chile?
Used a Superior carbon GP and it worked superbly. I agree about trimming nails.

3 things
1. Only paddle in salt water. Less skin issues!

2. You can leash a GP, and in some areas/conditions it’s a good idea (though a well stowed and quickly accessed spare can make up for lack of it). One I know works fine on GPs (and comes in handy for other stuff) is from North Water:

3. Kudzu makes a good point. Best if the spare is really another good regular paddling option. Something you switch to vs leaving stowed the whole trip. Variety for conditions, change for the muscles, etc. I often carry 3 paddles - on local day paddles for this (well, that and I just have too many paddles I really like).

About the storm as a spare: If you are really good and comfortable with the sliding stroke, do it regularly over distance, and like doing that - use a storm as a spare. Otherwise - it could be a bad choice - if not dangerous. Get really good with the storm or use something else. Your old euro, another full length GP of different specs (better), an Aleutian paddle (best). :wink:

Must be a Brain Thing
I don’t remember Greg using a Euro paddle for any reason other than he didn’t have a greenland one handy.

Because of cost to fly it to where he was.

Greg paddled around Iceland using two Superior Carbon 2 piece Greenland Paddles (a 86 inch and a 88 inch I believe)…and then again in Newfoundland…

This last time , he was using a Euro because of the extra baggage cost to fly with his Greenland Paddle…

I have done several multi week trips and never found any of the mentioned problems…they work fine…I only ever use a Euro paddle when I teach Euro stuff. Otherwise I only use Greenland paddles.

if You dont have suficient gloves or mitts…then just like with a Euro paddle…keep your hands out of the water. nobody is forcing you to submerge them…doesnt mater what paddle you chose. There is user control over many of the aspects.

Best Wishes


havent touched a euro
in a year or two. Except with the Scupper pros and friends going out for the first time. 99.9% of my use is with a GP. Can’t even imagine the additional strain and change of muscles on an expedition. I’d be miserable and sore the first day.


you might be right
Even though I recall Greg giving presentation on his Newfoundland trip and mentioning that he used adjustable length GP.

Could be a beer falsified memory though :wink:

Sort of

– Last Updated: Feb-18-09 6:36 PM EST –

adjustiable...because he used a 88 and a 86. He could take half of each and make a 87" paddle...makes it sort of adjustable.

one joy of a sameness of a paddle or 2 paddles that are take apart....and of course , put back together anyway you would like.

Best Wishes

A GP works fine for long trips
I’ve never had any comfort issues related to the paddle on multi-day trips.

As for leashing, IMO, it’s unnecessary, but you can use one if you like. I prefer to just set up my deck rigging to make stowing the paddle quick and easy. There are some pics in my Webshots albums at:

have fun, I only encourage you to
take a full size spare instead of a storm.

if you break you’re stuck with a spare on a long trip better make it something you want to paddle with.

While our physiology might be quite

I manage to switch back and forth with no problems. I enjoy each of the paddles for their own reason.

It is a tool to propel yourself, not a philosophy.

Not about Philospy

– Last Updated: Feb-19-09 2:27 PM EST –

Not for BB anyway. Not the coolaide drinker type. What he likes, he like because it works for him. Like most, he started with euros.

I'm likely pretty rusty with a euro. Last I used for anytime was with a rental - and was a bit awkward. GP really spoils you - but doesn't limit - and I still feather euros and wings. If I had a surf kayak or did WW a euro would be a no brainer. Same for wing and surf ski/K1.

I do agree that for people who use all types, switching is (or at least should be) no problem. Agree even more that each have their unique qualities/benefits.

I hardly use my GPs now. Mostly Aleut and Hybrid paddles. The hybrid has euro/wing hand spacing, so I might make a euro less awkward feeling to me now. Sold my last euros last year though, so I'd have to borrow one to find out.

Just go for godsake…
listen to your own body and try something without needing f’ing internet forum validation! You already know the answer. What is it with people?

Sit Down
Let me fix you a drink. I’m drinking Black Russians. You want one?

I’m sipping on a glass of Cranberry/Black current, oak cured, home made wine…

Think I’ll have another sip for Salty…I’m sure it will help him cope…

AHHHH…that’s better :slight_smile:

Best Wishes


Ha, fair enough…I’m off for a PBR!
If only life were as easy as trying to cope with paddling multi days with a GP…

Please accept my apologies.

No apologies Needed

– Last Updated: Feb-19-09 9:24 PM EST –

Salty...But go have the PBR anyway......We all deserve a little repreve from Life as it unfolds sometimes...

Best Wishes

Forgot to add for the original poster....if You get trashed in your boat and can't hold onto that paddle and need a leash...after you get tossed....exactly what is that leash going to be wrapped around? I'd rather lose it that die in a tangle because of it.

a leash has a