Questions for GL paddlers out there -

-- Last Updated: Apr-15-12 10:37 AM EST --

I was out yesterday for my first paddle with a greenland paddle. I love it. I knew after 10 minutes that this is the paddle for me,(my Onno touring paddle is going up for sale - watch the classified).

My question is this. I notice that when I plant the tip the paddle buries very quickly and quietly and then moves rather sharply to the hull which at first was a bit disconcerting. Is the idea to exert some pressure away from the hull with your bottom hand as you move toward the end of the stroke? I am operating on the assumption that the loom is designed to cant the blade slightly when held in a natural fashion and that this is a good thing. Also, are then any good instructional videos or web sites on line that deal with the details of the canted blade forward stroke - not so much rolling which I have covered pretty well.

Also what the smoothest and best technique for sliding to an extended blade and back again to normal paddling?

I can't wait till my Tuilik arrives so I can start some rolling. The water here is still VERY cold and I just could not bring myself to work on rolling which is going to involve a fair chance of a wet exit for me - at least I have to acknowledge the possibility!

For technique, I would start here:

You sound like you’re in love with the GP, you might consider joining Qajaq USA, it’s a really good group.

Re: the paddle diving, I’m guessing you are applying a large force on the paddle as soon as it enters the water. This is SOP with a Euro, but with a GP, the blade area in the water increases gradually as it enters the water, so the applied force to the blade needs to ramp up as well. This happened to me as well, and still does a little when I switch from a Euro to the GP. Just think about increasing paddle force more gradually during the stroke. This is one of the reasons GPs cause less fatigue, I believe.

PS I wouldn’t be so quick to ditch the ONNO paddle. I kept my feather weight AT crank shaft paddle, and really enjoy having that and a GP to alternate while touring. Plus you will have an awesome loaner paddle (my wife loves the AT).

Re the Onno
The Onno is an EXCELLENT paddle and in almost perfect condition. I honestly can’t afford to own it when I know the only use it will get is as a spare. I’ll use the $ it brings to get a second GL paddle or perhaps a rugged white water paddle for the times I find myself in the local rivers - or tripping in an area with mixed water - which I expect will be fairly frequent.

Thanks for the explanation re the forward stroke - you are correct I am driving pretty hard immediately after the plant. I’ve never paddled with a wing but based on the reading I have done this GL paddle feels almost like what I would expect a wing feels like. Anything to that?

Please call it GP, rather than GL.
All other references to a greenland paddle by other people on this board is as GP.

Your subject line is a bit confusing.


– Last Updated: Apr-15-12 12:18 PM EST –

There is an article in the Winter 2010 issue of California Kayaker Magazine with some thoughts on using GPs for paddling (not rolling). Can be read online for free at

I can't say I find my blade automatically cants. My natural reflex was to put it in straight, with the corresponding flutter and bubbles. So I had to add a little cant to prevent this. Maybe you are canting too much?

I am not in any rush to get rid of my euro paddles. I like having both.

I didn’t use my EP for a year or so after getting a good GP, but I did reintegrate it into the paddling routine later on. I think you are right that a canted GP can behave as a wing paddle. You can accentuate the effect by driving the blade away from the hull during the stroke - I use my upper hand to do this, and it creates a very strong driving force which I believe is the lift force kicking in. Fun to get a good burst of speed with, it’s somewhat tiring and can cause of good bit of ventilation too.

GP - sorry.
Can’t seem to edit the subject line.

That’s all perfectly normal
You want the blade to bury as quickly as possible and you can resist the dive toward the hull once most of the blade is submerged. What you will feel when you do that is the blade really biting solidly, at which point you can apply considerable pressure to it and increase it through the stroke. Play around a bit and work on developing a feel for the blade and the most efficient method will become evident.

Canted wing stroke

Reading this might help, in particular the last paragraph about the canted wing stroke.


Leave the “wing” stroke to the wing?
I have not spent nearly as much time with the GP as I have with the wing paddle, but from what I’ve done my feeling is that the outward sliding wing stroke is best done with … a “real wing” paddle.

The reason is that this kind of style requires to keep the hands and arms tall and the paddle quite vertical to the water to be effective. But if I do that, I might as well have paddle that offers more purchase on the water and has a greater lever (wider spacing of the hands on the shaft) without the need for sliding a hand out at each stroke. This kind of stroke IMO is reserved for active and fast paddling and for that purpose I feel a wing is better. For slow paddling, this kind of style does not seem to make much sense to me…

For longer distances at less than top speed with the GP I seem to prefer the stroke that dives towards the hull, then slices out at the exit. Both phases generate forward lift component, so in a way that is still a “wing” stroke and is efficient. But as Greg Stammer’s article mentions, this style has 2 distinct phases, unlike the slide-out syle where there is a single outward swing.

Lastly, some do more of a “S” path through the water - slice towards the hull, then slice outward in a “wing” stroke. That requires good rotation and seems to be similar in effort to the simple outward slicing “wing” stroke…

RPG - try a wing if you have not: you might like it, better if you plan to use the GP in that style -:wink:

hang onto your Onno
I mostly use a GP, but find from time to time, I enjoy returning to one of my Euros. My Epic Active Tour Full Carbon paddle spends most of its time on the foredeck, but once in a while (especially for surf, rock gardening, and tide races), I appreciate its power.