Paddle float for a Greenland paddle

I’m a novice, just gearing up for my first boat. I’m wondering what kind of paddle float, if any, to get for a Greenland paddle. Would a standard inflatable float, like a Gaia, stay on a Greenland paddle?

Paul S.

you dont need one
If you have a greenland paddle you should just learn to roll. That is the best paddle for rolling anyway. BUT a dual chamber float would hold on the best.

When you get a float use it to learn how to roll. Paddle floats only work in calm conditions.


– Last Updated: Jul-04-06 8:46 AM EST –

I read the back post on paddle float, need one or not. It's been my experience so far that I can barely do a self rescue on flat water. With a paddle partner I would raft up. Solo I would stay within swiming and towing distance to shore.

But for learning to roll, and maybe someday as some sort of outrigger or sponson for an emergency response to something, I was considering one. About 5th on my shopping list.

Paul S.

GP’s and Paddle Floats
GP’s do make rolling easier but I also believe there is a place for a paddle float. Not only in self rescues, but as an aid in learning to roll by attaching the float to your paddle. This technique will allow you to practice and refine your hip-snap, which is one of the prime factors in sucessfully learning the rolling technique.

Any ol’ float
Without getting into a major discussion of whether or not paddle floats are worthwhile (let’s just say I always carry one tucked behind the seat), any float will work with a GP. You may have to wrap the open end completely around the paddle before clipping it together so the paddle doesn’t slip out.

I like a 2 chamber float – I only use one but backup is good.

BTW, I think everyone who carries a paddle float should practice with it periodically. It’s easy to neglect when there are more fun things like rolls to do. But my first one this year, I neglected a couple of things that would have made it a lot more efficicent.

makes a compact one that is shaped for a GP. not sure how available they are. AC ‘may’ have it, might not.


A paddle float will work
on a greenland paddle but you will probably have to install another snap along the strap so that when the strap is wrapped around the paddle it is snug and it won’t allow the float to slide off the paddle during an emergency.

use of paddle float with gp
I am a novice as well, but have found a paddle float to be particularly helpful in learning how to balance brace. You might want to also take a look at the following link where Peter Strand offers some great directions regarding the use of a paddle float for de-watering a sof.


Thanks everyone
OK, it stays on my list. Thanks for the link singalong2, and the tip on the Wildy float Steve.


My Gaia float stays on pretty well too.
Plus, it’s a vital piece of safety equipment.

How else could you keep an extremely sea sick paddling partner upright if you have to tow him and there is nobody else with you to help stabalize him?

Suppose you dislocate a shoulder, how are you going to re-enter your boat if you are solo?

Their are lots of valid reasons for carrying a paddle float. I keep mine in my boat all of the time.

GP / SOF purists
should have to use seal bladders for paddle floats! (There, I’ve said it!–let the tomato-flinging commence)

If you feel that way you can use the Brooks avataq. It’s a neoprene version of the Greenland kayak hunter’s seal bladder float (see ).

That said, the avataq is bulky has a lot of windage and takes a long time to inflate. That said, they are easy to roll with (holding the bag in your hands). Some of the Walden crowd have used them to good-effect for teaching rolls.

Greg Stamer

A multi-use device. I always have in my composite. I should probably carry one in the SOF too.

My NRS stays on GO OK. Weird though as it has a different type valve on either chamber making it less than ideal to inflate/deflate. I think they figure both types are unlikely to fail/jam/freeze at the same time so your odds of getting at least one chamber going are better. I’ll eventually replace the floats I have with Gaia.

Paddle float rescue with all the climbing and balancing - with a bum shoulder though - no thanks. With shoulder injury I think I’d still opt for a reenter and roll - maybe with float, but probably not.

Possibility of shoulder/arm/hand injuries are also good reasons to be able to roll on either side - and with some one arm rolls like armpit/shotgun, butterfly, etc. Relying on a one sided-one way roll as a safety thing is being pretty optimistic.

I recently simulated some of this the day I blew out my shoulder - but kept playing anyway. Just went to the other side for recoveries. It wasn’t a dislocation - close though as I heard a pop - later/next day it was pretty useless. About 90% OK now - and time to restrengthen a bit.