New GP is noisy and pulls bubbles

I just finished carving my second GP, and left the ends rather blunt. I used a very moderate radius on the end. I tried the paddle out, and it’s noisy, pulling air bubbles as I go.

Here are three pictures of the end of the paddle


Scroll down to the last three pictures. The pictures above that are of my first paddle.

Do I need to change the shape of the ends to quiet it down?


the ends look pretty blunt. you ‘do’ cant the blade FWD 15-30 degrees, eh? this helps.

pretty paddle, tho! :slight_smile:


Angle and technique
Yes, I do cant the blade, but the only time it doesn’t make noise is if I “spear the fish” in a very exaggerated manner at entry.


A Bit Thick

– Last Updated: Jan-08-06 9:12 AM EST –

on the ends for my taste. I like it to be be no more than 1/4" on the edges, from the tip to the sides, and also a more rounded tip profile. Rounder tip feels smoother to me. I tried a more "blocky" style, favored by some of walden pond scum. While this gives more bouyancy for rolling, I found the forward stroking characteristics not to my liking. I find a more clunking and plopping feel. Since then, I have gone with thinner edges and rounded tips.

The thinner and rounder tip, however, makes the paddle more succeptible to dinging or cracks. What I did was to shave the tip down to about 3/16" and then epoxy and glass the last three inches of the tip to give it more protection. Haven't had a cracked paddle yet.

Aside for blunt tips/edges (not my personal preference), I think the paddle looks good overall.


I think I’d thin the tips a bit.

– Last Updated: Jan-08-06 10:25 AM EST –

Round off the tip just a little further back to create a finer entry.

Looks like a very nice paddle though. Nice work.

Pretty Paddle
Nice carving job at least from the prospective of my untrained eyes.

Happy Paddling,


Here’s a visual reference link
If you used my video I would say that the less rounded ends are more of a personal preference of my own and of Jenson from Gail Ferris’ page:

Take a look at the drawing of the Jenson paddles on this page. The tips are almost thinned to a sharp edge. I don’t go that far with mine but you can thin it a little until you like it. In the end I think you’ll find the shape to be very quiet.

The paddle shown in entirety is
my first paddle. The second paddle I’ve made I did not post a picture, except for the tips. I’m going to take some better pictures today of the whole second paddle.

I used airwave’s video and Chuck Holst’s instructions to a T - therefore the wider radius than in pictured on my first paddle. My first one has very rounded and thin tips and is quiet.

Stay tuned for better pictures.


I just went out
I hadn’t paddled the paddle from the video because the weather has been so crappy.

Mine cut like a knife. I’ve carved dozens of GPs with varying tip shapes and although the tip shape doesn’t seem to make much of a difference I really like the style from the video.

What I do a little different than the Chuck Holst drawings is make my blade edges 1/4" thick. But still I have paddles with thick edges and I like them too.

My Deviation From Holst
is to keep a thicker cross section further down the blade. I don’t think I start to taper down until 1/3 into the blade. Nevertheless, I go with a thinner edge.

It really all is a matter of personal preferences. The thing with GP is you can make a bunch. The cost of material is cheap and time spent is enjoyable.

Right now, I split in my GP usage between a shoulder and a non-shoulder paddle. Can’t decide which I like better.


My experience
is that a thin tip and a fully rounded tip give me the most problems with ventilating. I have had good results with a 1/2" thick rounded tip edge that has a profile a partial half circle, not as flat across the tip as yours. There is technique that helps reduce or eliminate ventilating. It looks like you are using the spear the fish entry of the paddle and a canted stroke which should help. You might be trying to pull to soon on the paddle before it becomes submerged well into the water. It’s amazing how your technique will develope and you will develope a feel for how not to let the paddle ventilate and get a strong bite with the paddle. I would suggest maybe rounding the tip a little more so that It’s not quite as flat across the tip and play with paddle during the entry more. You should be able stop the ventilating with technique. Some paddles ventilate more than others.

Some observations about your paddle

– Last Updated: Jan-08-06 6:29 PM EST –

The tips and edges are too thick. They'be be durable, but they'll be noisy and prone to ventilation.

The blades are rather flat. An elliptical/lenticular shape is much smoother in the water and less prone to ventilation and flutter. It produces more lift and sculls much better.

Judging as best I can from the photos, your first paddle appears to be a much better design.

That's a nice piece of wood. It's worth it to re-shape it.