Selecting Greenland paddle per boat

I want my first Greenland paddle and have read up on selecting size per my size. I have not found much on matching a Greenland paddle to a boat though.

-Should my boat dictate not necessarily size but design? (I’m paddling a 16 foot 22 inch wide Impex Montauk.)

  • Given my boat’s short length for storing a paddle on deck if also using a Euro, a break-apart GP might be required. Bad move?

My GP’s
are between 82-84 inches. I am 5’3". I have a Montauk. I guess if I were to stick to one GP, it’d be the longer one for the Montauk for that extra bit of reach. But, truthfully, not much difference felt. Maybe I hold a higher angle and rotate a little more with a shorter paddle (sing). I’ve store a storm and a regular GP off the back. It just extends a bit past the stern. Just make sure it’s strapped down well. It can float off without you being aware of it, in choppy conditions.


greenland paddle sizing
You preferably would want a GP sized to your own body. has some general sizing guidelines although these vary based on personal preferences. In terms of the kayak’s impact on the paddle, you would want the loom of the paddle to be close to the overall width of the paddle. Therefore a loom to fit the 22" Montauk would ideally be sized anywhere from 20-24" depending on the distance between your arms. As to storage, a two piece GP is one option (there are several companies that make excellent two piece GPs) or you can use a storm paddle as a spare. I’m not sure but a full sized GP might actually fit on the Montauk although it may hang off the end a little.

back deck

I guess I was pondering storing a paddle on the front. I hate to have anything stored on my back deck . . .learned that during rescue classes.

Personal Preferences
my looms are actually between 17-18". Of course, there is some fudge factor with muted shoulders. When I use a wider grip, I feel like I more pulling with my arms than using torso rotation.

On the front deck I find it distracting and somewhat obscures my compass.

Honestly, I don’t use paddle float or assisted rescues. I am either going to roll, or do a reentry and roll. However, if I were to use a paddle float rescue, it would not be a big deal to move the paddle to the front before doing that.

The “right way” is whatever works for you with your techniques and practice.



I carved a 17", a 21", and just orderd a 19". I’m assuming you are using your GPs mostly in your SOF which would be narrower than the 22" of the Montauk. If the loom is too short in comparison to the width of your kayak, you could potentially have to do a sort of modified sliding stroke motion.

Somewhat wrong assumptions maybe?
Size to YOUR dimensions first. Loom spacing is more about your shoulder and natural grip width than the boat.

There is a bit of size range from that basic starting point in relation to personal preferences/stroke variation (Greenland champ favors a wider loom - about 24" on a 17" qajaq! He tends to have narrower blades witch change the power/stroke ratio too though) - and a bit about what kayak you paddle.

Anything 22-23" beam or under I would not size up a loom based on the kayak. It’s not attached to the deck - it’s attached to you!

Kim’s Pintail is 22" wide. Her looms are 17" and 15" to fit her (5’3"). Almost opposite on Mailgiaq’s - but both are “just right”.

My Q700 is 21". My loom is 21" - but that’s a happy coincidence. My loom is wider than hers because my shoulders are wider.

I could probably use anything from 19-24 pretty happily. 20-21 seems to be the sweet spot for me - but the more I try the less I know (as someone else said somewhere else recently).

If an inch or so of loom length either way makes the difference between clearing the deck or banging your hands - I might suggest your a bit stiff! Loosen up! I can paddle with my 9" loom storm with hands close and on shoulders (no slide - a bit awkward) - an not bang the deck. Same if I slide hands way out to a wide grip on the regular GP.

Clearing the deck is not really locked to loom length. Neither is the amount of blade you bury as it is with a euro/wing - where shaft length affects proper catch and burying of blades.