Question for all GP Paddlers...

Wondering what was your last euro paddle was like before you converted?

I’m having a hard time liking my professional made GP. I’m coming from carbon euros and the GP is 10 oz. heavier than my other paddles. I don’t roll for fun and like to go without a skirt whenever possible so the GP fills up the cockpit.

What am I missing here?

I used to use mainly fiberglass
paddles because the lighter weight paddles didn’t hold up to the rigors of launching and landing through dumping surf and rocks.

My last Euro was a FG Werner Kauai 215 cm. I now use Beale 89" x 3.25" GP as my main paddle. My spare is a storm paddle by John Petersen of Shaman Kayaks.

I don’t ever paddle without a skirt, because my boat would be full of water each time I turned. Whenever I edge my boat the coaming is usually under water.

The ocean swells and wind waves also usually necessitate a skirt to keep from flooding the boat.

I went back to a Euro

– Last Updated: Feb-10-06 11:42 PM EST –

a Windswift. The blades are as easy on my shoulders as a GP. They are 5" blades. If your local dealer does not have them, email me. I have a pair you can try out.
I still really like my Beale... Just prefer the Windswift and Lendal

I don’t know
how much your gp weighs but I have been able to make them as light as 27 oz. It’s lighter than my inexpensive euro paddle. As far as water dripping into your open cockpit, that’s an inherited trait of the greenland paddle. An ocean cockpit would reduce or eliminate this problem. I have heard of some people tying leather or rope around the root of the blade to act as a drip ring or using one of those hair scrunchies. This was something that I found a little anoying when I first started using a greenland paddle but after I learned to roll, scull, use a canted stroke and develope the sliding stroke techniques I grew to enjoy the feel of the paddle and how it works and wouldn’t trade it for anything else. I don’t even notice the water dripping now. I had to use my greenland paddle exclusively for an entire summer to gain this appreciation for it. During this first year it always felt right when I went back to my euro paddle but I felt there was something for me to learn from the greenland paddle so I stuck with it and it paid off. Learning to use the different techniques that a greenland paddle has to offer has made me more efficient when using other paddles. It’s like many other things in kayaking, something different feels odd at first but you usually end up learning something and developing new skills if you give it time.

I’m still using both …
Just started using GPs this summer. So far I’ve made three. The first one came in at ~ 21 oz., the second around 23 oz. and haven’t weighed the third yet, but it is considerably heavier. Weights of GPs will vary considerably based upon the plank choosen. My first is northern white cedar and just happens to be from a very light plank. The other two are western red cedar, the third is several ounces heavier than the second and 3" shorter. I picked up a plank today to make a storm paddle. This may be the heaviest yet, but then again the paddle will be shorter, so who knows. If you make your own and can sort through a lot of wood, you might find one plank that is knot free and light weight that will yield a paddle comparable in weight to an expensive euro.

BTW, the 21 oz. paddle cost me $10.80 with tax, plus some sweat equity. What’s not to like about that? My euro paddles are middle of the road, so they are not the lightest. The carbon one weighs about 30 oz. I think the GPs are easier on my shoulders overall, but I really don’t notice a difference unless I paddle 15+ miles. I want to learn the sliding stoke and learn to roll with the GP storm. That way I can carry a one piece GP on my front deck as a spare that I can reach to roll up if I capsize and lose my primary paddle. Don’t know if this would ever happen, but hopefully I would be ready if it did.


Chuck, I REALLY want you to try
my Feather paddle.

I Am Strictly Euro In WW/Surf And GP

– Last Updated: Feb-11-06 5:32 AM EST –

in the long boat. I appreciate the GP most in windy and choppy conditions when I want to keep a steady pace. It just less affected by varying winds from different directions. I used to find the bouyancy helpful for rolling and bracing. Not the case anymore. It doesn't matter to me what paddle I have for rolling/bracing.


My Euro’s consisted of:
- Aquabound AMT Expedition (my first paddle)

  • Werner Camano
  • Whetstone T-1

    At ~30 ounces (average), my GPs are heavier than the Whetstone, but similar to the Camano and lighter than the AMT. The buoyancy of the GPs make them feel lighter in use than they are. I’ve used GPs in the 21-24 ounce range and honestly didn’t notice the weight difference over the course of a day’s paddling. Unless your GP is unusually heavy, I can’t understand why it should bother you.

    I also don’t understand why you would want to paddle without a spray skirt. I never do, even in the middle of the summer and haven’t found it to be a problem. If heat buildup is an issue, you can get white neoprene spray skirts from Brooks and perhaps other companies.

Carbon Wavewalker
…with fat blades. Similar to waterdoc, I don’t paddle without a skirt so water ingress from the GP is not a prob. My Greenlander is splined spruce and very light, I noticed no appreciable difference in static or swing weight in the switchover. My shoulders sure appreciated it though.

That’s what happens when things
get too hyped. It’s just a paddle, even though it has changed the way many people paddle, some may not want the change. You’re not missing anything, it just may not fit the way you paddle. It’s different. It’s not magic it’s just a very good tool for some but not all.

Though I will likely not go back to Euro unless surf paddling. My current Euro is a Grey Owl something or other, so if I decided to spend the bills I could substantially lighten it. But I like the feel of the GP and will continue to use it 95% of the time.

Like Matt said nothing magical, just the right tool for me.


i have homemade euro and gp’s

– Last Updated: Feb-11-06 1:02 PM EST –

they all weigh about 28 oz. i have reverted to the euro for better acceleration- surfing boat wakes- and more powerful sweeps during edged turns- easier to navigate the twisty creeks before i get to bigger water. when i use a gp i have a couple of wraps of 1/4" bungee tied onto the shaft where the drip rings would be, with the knots at the 'bottom' so the water drips off. that does much to keep the cockpit dry. i rarely use a skirt.

You can get just as good acceleration
with the GP, if you move to a verticle stroke when you need to pour it on.

You should also be able to turn better with the gp than with a Euro doing sweep strokes. Just use the GP like it was intended and extend it for more leverage.

If you remove the “drip rings”, you’ll be able to do that. In addition if you put a skirt on and really edge your boat, you will find it turns much better than it did before.

An intuative sliding stroke
is what makes the greenland paddle work well for me. If I used it like a euro paddle it would be a very limited tool. I don’t use drip rings because they would interfere with the sliding stroke and that would take the advantages away from the greenland paddle.

No, At Least For Me…
The GP is not maximized for that acceleration and maximum purchase on the git-go. If it did, I would be using it for surf and white water.

In most touring situations, quick acceleration is not needed anyway. It’s a matter of getting up to speed and maintaining in with efficiency.


Euro to GP
I was using a Werner Kauai Carbon - small diameter bent shaft. Carved a GP because I was having shoulder problem which referred pain to elbow and even wrist. My first GP came out at 27 oz. in western red cedar - exactly the same weight as my Werner. I haven’t even weighed my second GP . . . it’s heavier, but I still like it better than the Werner Euro. I used the Werner the other day (first time since my rotator cuff surgery) and although it didn’t really hurt me, it just didn’t feel as good as the GP. I like the organic qualities of a handmade wooden paddle. It’s just the right thing for me.


I guarantee it will fit in my Toyota Echo. Quite the sight anyway. Tempest RM 170 (blue) and a 19 foot SOF on top of the thing.

Yeah I get a lot of stares.


no, what sing said.
i especially like my gp when trying to impress neophytes with my greenland boat and native paddle

; ) honestly, i like my gp’s very much ( thats all i used for a couple of years, 2-3 times a week, year round) and use them often, but i like my euro especially when i am ‘playing’ with waves and wakes, and i feel my boat does edged turns better with the euro. i also use extended sweeps, canted blade etc that i learned from my gp with the euro. just mho.

Werner San Juan
My Carbon GP was significantly lighter.

My recently self carved wood GP weighs only 1 oz more than the carbon.

Sounds to me like:

  1. Maybe there is something about that particular GP that isn’t working for you - you’ll need to try several to know, or

  2. You just haven’t got enough miles on it - are only giving it part time status - etc., or

  3. You aren’t letting it do it’s thing and are trying to force some deeply ingrained euro habits on it, or

  4. Any/All of the above.

    PS - I can fit GPs in my A3 just fine if you need a disposal service… Might even trade you for a super light small blade carbon Waterstick Zen 210. Kim won’t touch it again after going to GP.

Hey I got dibs!