question on 3-piece Greenland paddle

I’ve been considering a Northern Lights 3-piece GP for some time, since I have a Feathercraft Wisper and need a paddle that can break down small enough to pack with the kayak for airline travel.

I’ve used two shoulderless GPs for 6 years (a regular and a 72" storm) and greatly prefer them over any other paddle. I’ve also used other GP’s, also all shoulderless. like the FC Klatwa. The Northern Lights GP is shouldered and it is made to convert to a storm by omitting the middle section. This creates a paddle with 6.5" of loom between the shoulders. Paddling with my unshouldered storm I use a sliding stroke. Anybody have experience using such a tight shouldered GP – how does the shoulder affect using a sliding stroke?

Overall, is there any advantage to a shouldered paddle vs unshouldered?

Northern Lights paddle
Got mine a month ago, had been using paddles in WRC from Don Beale. Shoulderless. I’ve never used a storm paddle, and even out 2 weeks ago in gusts to 30 knots, the regular GP was fine. So I don’t know if I get the need for a short storm paddle. But I will probably at some point take the loom out, convert to storm configuration and see what that’s all about. maybe if for no other reason than it would fit better on my foredeck for a spare. So I can’t address the storm paddle question. I can tell you that now I actually prefer the shoulder. It’s automatic in getting to the ‘home’ position. I also find it easier to use a canted stroke with the shoulder. The paddle quality by the way is superb, I got mine with the white epoxy edges, looks really nice and gives a little bit of protection. It does however, chip off a little easier than I anticipated. probably need a good touch up at the end of the season.

Great Minds…
are thinking alike. I’ve also been looking at the Northern Lights paddle so I can travel easily. What’s not to like about shoulders? Besides getting the cant ‘dialed in’ easily, sunscreened slippery hands are not an issue. I ‘cant’ think of anything negative about a shouldered paddle.

FYI NLP Shoulderless
I have had a NLP 3 piece since they where first introduced.It is my favorite greenland in the paddle quiver.I recently sold a first generation paddle and up dated to a newer model.

I talked with the owner recently, NLP will be introducing a shoulderless paddle soon. I have seen proto-types on his facebook page. The best way to contact NLPs is to message his web page link.

Paul is a great guy to work with. He stands behind his products.

I appreciate the pragmatic feedback from NLP users. I admit I’ve been also tempted by the Novorca paddles for the beauty of their jewel-like color options, but a 3 piece one of his would cost more than some of my kayaks have! The NLP’s have their own sleek beauty.

Another thought occurred to me just now concerning shoulders – I imagine the slight recess in the paddle edge might make it marginally more secure when stashed under the deck bungee rigging. My unshouldered WRC has tried to slither out a few times, mostly when hauling the boat up a bank with the paddle stashed on deck.

Am probably over-thinking this regarding the shoulders. Guess I’ll go for the standard shouldered 3-piece NLP this summer.

it’s on the way (eventually)
Placed the order Friday for an NLP 84" GP. Just have to wait to find out when they’ll be able to ship it. Ordered it from Lyle Hancock at Folding Kayak Adventures in Colorado – he told me he just got back from using a Northern Lights GP for the first time on his latest guide trip to Alaska and loved it. Says he is finding he doesn’t want to use a standard type “spoon blade” paddle any more. Another GP addict is born!

shoulderless NLP
I have been testing the new shoulderless Northern Light paddle for a few weeks and found it an absolute delight. The blades are not as wide as the standard GP, the edges are very fine and the loom/blade transition is smooth.

I have been paddling with shouldered NLPs exclusively for a while and found them extremely strong (surf work included).

I always wanted a shoulderless GP for sliding strokes; now I have it.

The new paddle is also lighter than my shouldered NLP GP.

Hope I like it

– Last Updated: Jun-13-13 9:39 AM EST –

That was my one concern about the shouldered paddle -- the sliding stroke, which I do use with my cedar GP at times. I have never used a shouldered GP so I hope buying one isn't a mistake.

Are you using a prototype? I didn't think NLP was selling the unshouldered paddles yet. Maybe it isn't too late to change my order.

Gnarly, just checked your Flickr album -- whoa! you've got some NICE paddles (and boats and trip shots.) Can't look at your blog yet (stupid security blockages on office workstation) but I'll check it out when I get home since it looks like you're posting comments on the new paddle. BTW, do you publish or sell any of your photos? They blew me away.

greenland paddle
I dont want to start wars but this might. I can understand the NLP for travel purposes but thats as far as it goes for me. I have used many different brand paddles in wood and 3 different brands in carbon fiber. The NLP is my least favorite of every one, including the wood. As far as shoulder vs. shoulderless storm paddle, I’ve used both and can’t personally say that it mattered which one i used although my shoulders are soft.

Novorca makes a 2 and a 3 piece paddle. They’re probably the closest CF paddle to a Lumpy, which is what I use most of the time. More expensive than NL, but some folks like them better…

I’ve admired the Novorcas for a while too, but $600 for a 3-piece is a little more than I can justify at the moment.

shloulderless NLP
the shoulderless is apparently in production but not on the NLP website yet.

I have been an ambassador for NLP since the early days and have been using the 3-piece Greenland and Aleut.

I love the Greenland and until recently I would use it for all my paddling. Only now that the shoulderless has become available (it was in the works for while but moulds are expensive to produce) I have the option.

As for sliding strokes initially felt a bit odd with the NLP Greenland but after a few hours on the water I no longer felt the “bump”.

I guess I just got used to the shoulder and has not bothered me.

What I find different on NLP paddles to the other wooden ones and one custom carbon GP I have is the loom shape.

The flat section of the loom sits very well with my hand and somehow feels nicer without a hot spot that occasionally get form a more oval/round shaft.

Thank you for the comment on my images.

All of my images are for sale and occasionally a magazine purchases one. However I do not solicit the sale since the payment is usually not worth the effort.

I do supply images to my sponsors as a thank you for their support.

I also have found a few people pinching my images from the net without authorization.

Every so often they get busted for copyright infringement with associated fees.

is made in the USA , one at a time…NL is made in China, mass produced. the vote is with the money…many jobs have been lost over the years,

Best Wishes


copyrights and imports
Gnarly, I wouldn’t pinch your images (that’s why I asked). Both my siblings are artists and one is married to a renowned professional fine arts photographer – also have several close friends who make their living selling their artwork. I respect the value of individuals’ creative property. Have you considered publishing an annual calendar with your sea kayaking images? Even if it had sponsor ads on it, I’d love to have some of your shots to look at on the walls of my dismal office cube.

FR – point taken on the Novorca domestic production. Honestly, had I realized that the NLP’s were imports it might have colored my decision (my bad for not doing due diligence). I’ve always tried to support resident craftspeople when the choice was there (hence my willingness to pay the premium for Feathercraft kayaks). I do plan to order a Novorca eventually as my one-piece CF GP – have been admiring them for ages. Maybe a christmas present to myself this year. I’ll be retiring soon and doing a lot more ambitious paddling so I’ve been equipping the armada while the cash flow is still strong.

pinching your images equate with pinching ones Ideas?

How bothered would you be if a product Idea were pinched and then made in China?

I have no copyright on the take out loom idea for a Greenland paddle…but it would have at least been nice to have a thank you from Paul…

Yeah, that’s a tough one (somebody else capitalizing on your idea). Pretty much the basis for most of the Chinese economy. And also what separates successful entrepreneurs from those of us with great ideas who don’t bother to patent them.

I agree, thanks should be in order when such “pinching” happens, but maybe people are afraid that any such acknowledgment would create the basis for a lawsuit.

interesting concept
I find the concept of pinching interesting.

What defines pinching?

Well in my book most ideas are born from necessity and often refinement of existing ideas.

I have produced images that I have been inspired by others and I have inspired others with my images (to the point of explaining how to create a particular image and then see it executed to the letter by the photographer).

I also publish my findings and ideas on my blog for all to benefit. I like to stress the point “for all”.

Like my documentation of electric bilge pump and magnetic switch (not my idea but now an extremely popular article that many access and use as reference) was promptly appropriated by a manufacturer and then claimed “Patent Pending” to secure the market.

Despite my best efforts of finding the Patent Application to this date there is no such evidence.

Patent application cost a lot of money and only true innovative applications are approved by the Patent Office. If there are prior exampled of such “invention” there is no patent awarded.

So, before a person applies for a patent it would be wise to check if any similar execution of the idea already exists.

I have “invented” a few things myself only to find out later that I was not the only one with the brilliant mind :slight_smile:

As for pinching images: those are direct work that I have created that unfortunately is not tangible but nevertheless unique. If anybody uses that image without authorization he/she clearly breaks Copyright Laws.

They are however welcome to create an image that is their own, even if “inspired” by some prior image.

Northern Light Paddle - No Argument

– Last Updated: Jun-21-13 12:20 PM EST –

I agree... Though my personal preference for a Greenland paddle would be one made from wood and a few might call me biased, over the years I've used paddles from all the major Greenland-style paddle-makers, both in wood and carbon-fiber, and too many home-builts to count, crafted from both wood and carbon-fiber, and the the Northern Lights paddle is my least favorite of the three major carbon-fiber paddles as well.

Hard to describe and subjective of course, but if I were to compare it to a Euro, the feeling of the blade in the water might be comparable to a lower-level paddle vs a $400 Werner Ikelos or a nice Saltwood paddle. Subtle differences in blade shapes from a knowledgeable paddle-maker who understands his craft can make a huge difference in the feel of a Greenland style paddle in the water, and sweeter G-style paddles can be had, either in carbon or wood. Most any paddle can get the job done but some will put a much bigger smile on one's face…

One of the last Northern Lights Paddles I picked up had so much water inside the hollow blade it was literally sloshing about and I've heard similar stories from other paddlers…

As Little as I Travel
I think it’ll be more cost effective (and pleasurable) just to ship my Lumpy to Utah and back.

Northern lights paddles still in busines
I own the two types of Northern Lights paddles but need shorter looms

One other reasons I purchased these paddles from Northern Lights was the interchangeability of the looms

How’re after 1 1/2 years of trying to contact Paul I wonder if Northern Lights has gone out of business

My last. Communication with Paul on this subject was a year ago and both on phone and via email he said he had my 14 " loom center section almost ready but he has not responded to my multiple emails and phone calls since

I called the Florida dealer he lists on his website and they had not been able to reach him either

Has his business folded?

If not does anyone have alternate ways of contacting Paul?