Paddle size vs boat size

Since you guys are debating this can you weigh in on my waterline? I’ll make a new thread

it’s titanic. :laughing:

It’s been a while, but just wanted to report back. I’ve been paddling my Tempest 170 and P&H Virgo all summer, and they’re both nice boats. I still can’t get totally comfortable in the Virgo. My feet and heels get sore after a while, but it’s a lot better than when I first got it, and my leg would just go numb. I guess maybe my body adjusted a little to the boat. The Tempest is fine. I tried a 165 at one point, and it was an awesome boat, but I felt like I was on the upper limit of the body size range. A Tempest in between the 165 and 170’s volume would be perfect for me!

Anyway, I’ve been using my Gearlab Kalleq GP, and it’s been great. I don’t get sore like I used to with my Euro. On top of that, I’ve paddled A LOT more than I ever did with the Euro. I’m about 20 miles away from hitting 1000 for the year, so super happy about that. I’m off this upcoming week, but of course, the Cleveland weather is going to take a dump, but I’ll get out there, anyway.

As far as the original topic of paddle size vs boat size, I’d say my GP is just fine for either boat. I think when I’m sprinting, I can get a bit more speed from the Euro paddle, but I can still get going pretty good with the GP. My normal cruising speed is around 3.5-4.5 mph with the GP, which I’m OK with since everything feels so smooth and flowing when I use it. I’m a little faster in my Tempest, but it’s not really a huge difference between it and my Virgo. My paddling buddies are a bit slower, so I don’t need to be hauling azz, anyway, haha. Sometimes, they’re lucky if they max out at 3 mph, so I can just glide along, and I barely feel like I’m paddling at all with the GP. I think I’m a GP convert! :grin:


Team Greenland FTW!


Well just to put this to bed…

I bought my son a tempest 170.

I ran my Tsunami 175 and his Tempest 170 same day same conditions.

Top speed Tsunami 175 - 5.85 Mph - 1 Mile Sprint after 3.11 miles.
Top Speed Tempest 170 - 5.79 Mph - 1 Mile Sprint. after 4.11 miles.

So evidently this ogre is slightly faster in the Tsunami than the Tempest.
Data Kids, not speculation.

The Tempest was easier to paddle, so in an endurance race all things being equal it may edge out The Tsunami but in a sprint where endurance is not a factor the Tsunami is faster.

Now for me 3 Miles is pretty much a sprint.

just some additional thoughts:

I’ve run 15 mile races, in my Tsunami 175, and smoked all the other boats Boreals, Current designs, You name it. But this was not really to do with boat speed or efficiency. It simply had to do with conditioning, I could maintain a 4.99 mph pace at the time all day in that boat. So by mile 7 I was so far in the lead. then the conditions played well into a boat with minimal or no rocker on the last 8 miles so you could surf. Everyone hugged the shore to be out of the waves I played in the channel (avoiding container ships.) but could paddle for 100 yards and surf for about 200 yards. So it all boiled down to conditioning and skill.

Speaking to that end Ive also spanked a few Surf-Skis in the Tsunami in a different race, they absolutely smoked me to about mile 8, but they ran out of gas and I was used to 10+ mile continuous paddling and that where I passed them as they were out of gas and struggling. Of course the young guys who were in shape smoked me. But to beat two Epic’s was a ego boost.

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That’s an interesting comparison. Just goes to show any boat can be paddled quickly!

I’ve been using my GP exclusively, and I think that’s the way it will stay. I busted out the Euro once during winter just because I got sick of water dripping on my hands. I can definitely go faster with it and get more power, but man, the extra effort is really noticeable. I love how I can just cruise along with my GP, with little effort, and silently slip through the water. I think giving up a little speed it totally worth it!


I keep forgetting to try this (regarding the annoying GP lap drip) but I have noticed in the displays of genuine Inuit GP and Aleut paddles at Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh’s large Polar World exhibit that all of them had narrow strips of cotton cloth wrapped several layers around the base of each blade above the loom. This had to be to divert/catch some riunoff. While I am reminded of this I’m going to tear some strips from the retired cotton bedsheets in my shop rag bag and wind them on one of my GPs so it’s ready to test on the next outing. I’ll report back on that.

Of course the GP drippage is why I always paddle with a skirt, but I have to regularly pop up a knee to dump the puddle that eventually collects on the skirt deck (all my boats are Greenland low profile so the coamings are low and level.). I’ve considered sewing a central pull loop to the middle of a skirt deck to make the drain effort manual, or sewing or gluing a tunnel that I could slip a flexible plastic stay into to elevate the skirt to provide runoff. But the latter could backfire and deflect down to make a deeper collection reservoir. By now my knee-pop routine has been a 16 year habit with GP use so I guess I can live with it.

@willowleaf, neatly glue some rope to the spot where it will drip outside the gunnels. That would only work with long paddles in low angle.

Unfortunately, my GPs are short (like me) and I paddle high angle.

Yes, that is unfortunate.

Yeah, the drippage is the only complaint I have with my GP. I don’t really care in the summer (I normally use a half spray skirt), but in the winter I pretty much need to keep the cold water off my hands somehow. Not too big a deal. Haha, I also have to lift up my spray skirt occasionally since water tends to pool in it.

My buddy actually put some rubber rings around his GP, and it keeps him dry. However, it kind of negates some of the advantages of a GP, IMO. I like to slide my hands around the paddle, especially when trying to turn my boat, and the rubber things would just get in the way. Plus, they don’t look great, and probably add some drag if they dip into the water.

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