No more GP excuses....

Just before I built my boat, I tried my hand at a couple of homemdae GPs. Very little in the way of clear cedar here in Wyoming and they both ended up pretty heavy. Plus, my non-existent woodworking skills yielded a paddle that had poor blade symmetry. Didn’t care for the way they went through the water and ended up killing them on the rocks.

The mailman (lady, actually), delivered my Beale GP today, #205 with a TAP ferrule. Dramatically different from my homemade creations! Bear in mind I had never seen or handled a GP in person before and had no idea how my carvings compared to what is proper. Now I know why Don is a rather well known paddle maker and I’m not :slight_smile: The guy really does nice work. Thank you, Mr. Beale.

Hoping to get out this weekend if the ice doesn’t beat me to the draw - winter has finally arrived here. I’m excited to see what a ‘real’ GP is like to use.

This will also be the last paddle for the Night Heron until spring as I’m going to cut her up a bit and install a day hatch (I can hear Brian Nystrom chuckling in the background!). Then I will permamently glass in the aft bulkheads, finish the rigging, and she’ll be done and ready for spring tripping.

And with Matt’s new video perhaps I can carve my own storm paddle! Thanks, Matt. You have no idea just how helpful that video is for rookies.

If you don’t hear back from me in the near future you’ll know that I’m a complete klutz and drowned myself trying to figure out this funny lookin’ stick!

Pleasant waters to all.


Don does nice work.

I think all new to GP would benefit from a good paddle to learn with - and as a reference if they decide to carve their own. All GPs are certainly not the same.

GP makes for a great and not too complex project, but how many make their own Euro paddles to save $? GPs just as a serious tool and not something to hack out just because wood’s cheap.

I’m building a SOF - and I’ll want my own self made GP to go with it (and as an excuse to keep using the planes and spokeshave I got to do the boat - addictive). Between my Superior carbon and Kim’s Beale #136 I’ve got great benchmarks, but I’m also a might intimidated as either would be hard to equal.

Just One More “Stick” In The Quiver…
GPs are great, as are other means of moving yourself through the water. All depends on what you want to do.

Enjoy. That Beale does make a nice one.


“I think all new to GP would benefit from a good paddle to learn with - and as a reference if they decide to carve their own. All GPs are certainly not the same.”

Couldn’t agree more. When I opened Don’s paddle tube I immediately saw just how far I had gone wrong with my carvings by not having a visual model to reference.

While I have no rescue skills yet with a GP, I was impressed with how easy it is to scull-for-support with this style of paddle - much more so than the Euro-blades. Learning to roll with it will have to wait until spring as my waters are down in the mid-30s now. Fine for practice but not for learning!

Believe I’ll use my Tempest instead of the stripper this weekend as I can better evaluate the GP in a boat I’m intimate with. The NH is still very new to me and not yet seaworthy.

I’ll let ya know how it goes!

Pleasant waters to ya.


'tis true…
different paddles for different applications.

I’m going to keep the GP off the river as I really banged my homemades up doing just that. The Euro paddles give better control with the currents anyway.

I’m really hoping the GP will be the ticket on those long days on big lakes with the afternoon winds and chop. Cruising the waters of Shoshone Lake in Yellowstone with a wooden paddle in a woodcore boat is very attractive.

And, if all goes well, I’ll try my hand at a storm paddle!

As an aside, do you use a feather angle when paddling with a Euro? And, if so, does it cause you any difficulty when paddling with the unfeathered GP?

I’ve been paddling my Euros unfeathered for some time now in preparation for the GP but I really don’t care for it. Like the feather with the fat blades!

Take care.


Parts Of The Quiver…
I use 15 degree offset on my surf paddle because I just need to sprint 4-6 strokes to get on a wave. Don’t find I need to rotate too much since this actually slows my strokes down. May be different over a long haul.

In white water, I use either 30/45 degree offset.

I use a GP almost always when in the long boat though I’ll occaisonally practice with a 60 degree Euro paddle just so I am familiar with it when I am working with someone using that. It does take a couple of minutes or so adjusting to it. But not all that much. I find I do more torso rotation with the Euro and more abd crunching with the GP when trying to go fast.

None of the offsets affect my sculling/rolling since I rely on the feel of the blade going through the water.


Rolling with GP
Mine taught me how to roll (actually, it insisted). It also taught me how to paddle it - by giving be sound feedback when off and silence when on. Not picking up another paddle while getting acquainted helped to - and soon I didn’t want any other paddles.

For rolling, do the math:

No brainer indexing

  • no power side/backside to think about
  • smooth sweeping and sculling in any direction + excellent buoyancy


    = fantastic rolling tool

    My thoughts are that the more miles you have on it “just paddling” - the easier it is to do anything else with it. Familiarity breed success!

I feather Euros and Wing
Standard 60 on most Euros - more like 75 on wing.

I leaned with feathered Euro (always felt better to me then non for touring) - I never saw any reason to alter my Euro paddling (other than to mostly stop it!).

I have no issues going back to GP (other than being glad to be back to GP). Different grip and mechanics. Yes, all are “just paddles” and have more in common than different, but let the differences there are be there - and take advantage of them.

Can you use both a hammer and a saw? Doesn’t the different grip and motion screw you up? L Bad analogy - but I think you get the point.