sore thumbs with GP?

-- Last Updated: Jul-03-12 11:15 AM EST --

I just took a GP skills workshop with Cheri Perry and Turner Wilson and am loving the GP. I have always paddled with a pretty loose grip, but am experiences sore thumbs with my GP. Never had this with a Euro blade. not sore from the wood, but rather in the joint area, where it connects to my palm area. Has anyone else ever experienced this? I am trying to push and not pull, am i pulling without realizing it? any ideas i would appreciate them...thanks.

I have soft skin in between thumb and
index finger…very easy to create a blister if not paddling, or using any wood-handled tool, everyday. Eithter bandaids or layer of gauze…then held with a few winds of tape…cloth tape is the best.


skin is not sore…in the joint
the one near the palms. Not sore skin. Never had a blister from paddling.

Did you have them check the hand fit?
I have small hands and it took 2 tries with the local guy who makes GP’s to get width and length really right for me. You may just have been working with blades or shafts that are a little bigger than you’d want to live with long term. We got the shoulder and loom right on the first try by going with a more modified blend to avoid a really noticeable shoulder.

For the second one we worked out the rest. It has a narrower blade than most so that my smaller hands can grip it comfortably all the way to the end, and is one inch longer each end than the classic measurement would have me at so I get back some surface. The edges are also more fined out on the second one.

There are many ways to approach the making of a GP, one of the reasons that so many are made by small shops or people in their garage.

never happens to me
this never happens to me … I know … might be anecdotal but when I paddle I hardly ever engage the thumbs

the lower hand has the three fingers doing the pulling so the thumb is not engaged and not stressed

the upper hand the palm does the pushing/falling again the thumb is not engaged in this motion

The thumb might have some contact between strokes but it is pretty minimal.

What Celia said -
I think you will find that the soreness is from gripping the blade during extended paddle strokes.

You will have done more of this in a workshop with Cheri and Turner than in normal paddling.

This is not something you would have been doing with a euro blade.

Aleut, but same difference
I use an Aleut paddle, but same idea as GP and similar structure to the loom, ovalized sort of. The dimensions of this need to be sized to your own hand; a generic will cause strain as you discovered, because it’s often wider than the typical round EP loom.

The other trick, besides making my own paddles to my dimensions, is to hold it loosely, rather than tightly. I can do that with both hands as a practice exercise for making sure that I’m not pulling. It works.

I made my paddle in workshop with
Turner Wilson from kayakways, He was really pretty picky on the hand dimensions. I think it’s me, not the paddle. I have a loose grip. I think when i am engaging the active blade the inactive blade in resting in the crook of my thumb, then i am lifting it with the crook of my thumb to engage with the palm of my hand. I can’t be sure because i am at the computer and not on the water…lol. But i am pretty sure that is what i might be doing. Is that to loose and my thumb just has all the weight on it?

just ask Turner
as he helped you make it. He knows the dimensions,and he knows you as a student. He’s seen you paddle.

I’d head there first. We’re all at a screen too lol

thanks, will get in touch w/Turner just
didn’t want to bother him while they are traveling.

also am checking out the GP sites and looking for info.

I had this problem on a paddle that had sharp shoulders. I rounded them nearly all the way off and the problem was mitigated. I attribute it to a bit of a death-grip on my part, a tendency to try to maintain the blade position when there’s something definite to index it. Without the shoulder, I tend not to do it for some reason.

No Thumb Pain Here
I wrap my thumb and pointer finger around the loom and the rest of my fingers are on the shoulder. Is that what you do? I’m just thinking that you might be gripping a bit far out onto the shoulder.

You’re just not used to it
You’re not doing anything wrong. Just back off a bit and get your hands used to doing something new.

When I rake my yard in the fall, I get blisters. Am I doing something wrong? If I raked all the time there would be no blisters.

The last time I saw Turner…
…he was using paddles that I would describe as rather “chunky”. Perhaps that’s changed, but his loom dimensions were much thicker than I use, despite the fact that I have larger hands.

If you can’t wrap your hand around the loom and easily touch the tip of your index finger to your thumb, the loom is likely too large for comfort.

I had exactly same problem
And the solution was to make a smaller (thinner) loom. Most looms that I’ve measured seem to be 4.5 inches in circumference. By making mine 4.25 I gave my small hands the relief they needed. The soreness came not from gripping the ends of the blade but from holding the paddle in the normal paddling position. The thinner loom took care of it. I know it was the loom because my blades are only 3 inches wide so that I can grip them comfortably for rolling. Anyway, if you have small hands try a thing loom.


The nice thing about Greenland paddles
Is that they can be made completely custom for each user. I make my own paddles and have had problems if the loom is too large or too small. The only way to know what works best for yourself is to try paddles of different dimensions. I would think that the loom and shoulder might not be your best fit. I find this area to the most important part of the paddle for myself.

second that
same here; when I changed from Euro to GP my hands were sore for a little while then with use (a few weeks) they got used to the new tool and had no trouble since. Of course if pain persists seek medical advice (as it says on the packet of my meds :slight_smile:

Too much texting.

Yes… that is correct
index finger and thumb on the loom and hardly any fingers on the root, as i barely hang on to it.

loom is good
when i wrap my index and thumb around, there is a little bit of space left over. so yes plenty of room there.