I am a fairly new paddler only about 35 hours in the Kayak I am considering getting a greenland paddle, I currently using a very cheap two piece paddle. I have heard a lot of good things about greenland paddles and not much bad… does anyone know the downside to this paddle?


Looks Funny :wink:
You don’t have the instant power for surf or whitewater. Most don’t come apart so you can’t breakdown in tight spots.

and now for the pluses…

I always have trouble getting splinters in my food when I use my GP to flip burgers on the grill…

…seriously though, it can be a bit of a transition to move over from a Euro to a GP. I was used to the “grip” on the water with my Ikelos so found it a bit disturbing when I moved to the GP - especially with the bracing where I felt I lost some support. I had one made for me by Don Beale that has a wider (4 1/8") blade just to help out.

'Course, that could all be in my mind only, but having that in the back of my head was enough to move me to buy another Euro paddle so I would have it ready when I needed it.

I am not an expert, but…
I am not an expert on greenland paddles, but I will explain why I don’t use one. I have tried one, but stayed with what I had.

I can see where the Greenland paddle is good for long distance touring, as it is a narrow blade which does not have a lot of “Catch” in the water. This makes it seem easier to paddle with, but in reality each stroke pulls you forward less than a paddle with a larger blade. So the result is you do more strokes per mile, but each stroke is easier to make. You use less energy per stroke, but make more strokes. So a person will less muscles, or someone with arm/shoulder problems will feel this is a great advantage. Or someone who does very long distance will think this an advantage. When I tried one, I felt like I was peddling my mountain bike, on the level, in the lowest gear. I was paddling like crazy, and didn’t “feel” like I was getting anywhere. Just my perception of the paddle… No offense meant to anyone who likes or uses one!

I have a short length (215cm) “european” stlye paddle, but I have what I would call a mid size blade on it. It is a Lendal Crank shaft, with the Kinetik Touring Blades. This has a larger blade area than the Greenland Paddle I tried, so it catches the water better. I have sort of a muscular frame, so I can take advantage of the better Catch in the water. This blade size and design gives me a good catch, and yet is small enough that I can paddle 8-9 miles without being worn out. They also make a smaller blade size called the “Kinetik Touring S” blade, for “small”. What attracted me to Lendal, was that the blades are as easy to change, as a 2 piece paddle it to take apart. If I want to do a differnt type of paddling, I can put different blades on it. Lendal makes blades from plastic to Carbon Fiber, and either fiberglass or carbon shafts in either straight or crank. All are interchangeable.

The better “catch” in the water is also a help to me whan I start out from a stop, or for lean/sweep strokes turns. I have a 17-10" kayak, and the longer kayaks need a little more energy to get started, they are (normally) faster when going, but the better catch helps get going quicker.

I hope I have been of help. I did not set out to knock down greenland paddles, but just to explain why I was not crazy over them, and why I like what I have!

Happy Paddling!

The paddle blade is narrower, but its also much longer. The difference in surface area becomes less because of this. The canted stroke that is often used actually creates lift similar to a wing paddle. Also, because of the canted stroke and the width of the paddle, I believe that there’s less cavitation, which makes for a more efficient stroke.

Now, because of the length of the blade, its not always a very good choice in shallow rivers, but it was not developed for that.

Very few downsides
Whitewater is out.

Most prefer euro for surf.

Bow draw and stern rudder somewhat less effective.

Most everything else is a plus.

If you have even meager woodworking skills, download Chuck Holst’s instructions, buy a nice quarter-sawn pine or cedar eight foot 2x4 (or 2x6)and get to work. Lots of help available on the QajaqUSA bulletin board.

Or order from Don Beale or buy an almost finished blank from Superior Kayaks.

Len T

It’s all in the technique
If you use a GP with a typical Euro paddle stroke, you won’t get the most out of the paddle. That explains why people who casually try a GP often get the impression that it provides less thrust. It’s no different than someone picking up a Euro paddle for the first time and paddling with all arms. Incorrect technique results in sub-par performance. People who are equally proficient with both paddle types and have tested them back-to-back (like Sanjay) have found no difference in performance.

Inuits steal them.

What? …LOL