I am just picking up a gp and getting used to it. Forgive my ignorance, but I’m wondering why a storm paddle is easier to use in a storm. It requires a sliding stroke, no? I understand the advantage of a shorter gp in gales but does a sliding stroke complicate things? Or will it feel like second nature eventually?
less sticking up in the wind
Sliding stroke takes a little practice but is not hard. I don’t carry one since the GP itself seems just fine in the wind.
The term “storm paddle” is a bit of a misnomer, although they were developed in areas of high wind and stormy conditions. In Greenland they are simply referred to as a “short paddle that requires a sliding stroke”. That said, the main benefit is that they are self-feathering in use (there is no blade extending out into the wind). A “storm” makes a great spare as it is compact and one-piece.
Regarding the stroke, it does become natural over time – once you learn to accomplish the “sliding” motion with the help of your torso rotation (rather than independent arm movement). That said, the stroke feels “busier” to me and I prefer a longer paddle that doesn’t require a sliding stroke for cruising.
Where it really shines is paddling straight into the wind. Especially when paddling casually into the wind beside (or more likely slightly ahead of) someone slaving behind a big spoon blade! ; ) It's also a lot of fun for rolling and fits nice on deck. In rough confused water though, I'd prefer a full length stick to be ready to brace either side right now.
Edit: short, not shot paddle
For myself the storm paddle
was interesting to play with and learn some new techniques but I never confident using it in conditions that I would need a quick brace. Because of this it just sits in the garage now. I always carry a full length paddle as my spare since that’s probably what I’ll want if I need a spare.
I’m intrigued as well
By the usefulness of a storm paddle (or lack of it). I have not used one but am interested in making one to try, mainly because I paddle a short kayak that, when eaquipped with a full-size GP on the bow tends to dive when surfing in waves a little bit more than I like due to the flat blade at the tip of the bow. So, my thinking is that if I make a paddle that is a foot and a half shorter than my GP it would fit nicely on the bow and not create much clutter in the front or interfere with my skirt/hands in the back. But could I use it effectively to sacrifice carrying a full-size spare? I'll have to try to figure it out for myself...
But from using a regular GP over the past couple of years, I am still not confident using a sliding stroke in conditions where I would require quick bracing often. I am also not convinced it offers that much more benefit in wind either - I was paddling against strong winds to play in the waves near shore and was using my GP. The waves were 3-5 feet and very steep with tons of white caps. The wind that generated them was so strong I could barely make progress against it. I was watching my training GPS for my speed against the wind and found out that I actually move a little faster against the wind if I used normal stroke (but low to the water, thus being shielded b/w waves from the wind) than if I used a full sliding stroke.
Also, while using the sliding stroke I felt somewhat uncomfortable that I could not quickly brace on the off-side. That was partly compensated for by the longer lever of 3/4 of the paddle being in the water so I did not need to brace that much in the first place, but somehow I preferred to do regular stroke with possibly partial sliding stroke to increase the distance b/w my hands on the loom for more power.
But it may as well be my inexperience with the sliding stroke that is influencing the results...
I never leave home without it. For me it
is a safety blanket. It fits on the foredeck and is there anytime I need it, which is practically never. I can paddle just as well with my storm and sliding stroke as I can with my full length GP. I think switching to the storm is a good idea for tose times whn you are getting muscle fatigue or soreness during a longer paddle. The sliding stroke works a few different muscles for me and it seems to give my mind a body a change of pace. I see little or no value in using it for “stormy” conditions as my full length is what I use most often and is better for bracing for sure. I want it most for the possibility of loosing my primary paddle for any number of reasons. Bill
Instead of the Storm
I always carry two GPs; one with significantly less surface area than the other. Upwind I use my ‘low gear’. Downwind I use my ‘high gear’. No sliding stroke necessary.
a little experiment
of sorts this Saturday.
My first greenland (got 2 now) is a 78" takeapart made of 3 woods with a carbon center ferrule.Quite a nice paddle by Ed Drieger of North Ontario Bay.
While not a true “storm” length to an average sized man it’s shorter than typical. Happens to be the “correct” metrics for me given my height & reach w. finger curling over the blade.
It’ll be on my deck as backup paddle on the deck while paddling 25 miles on the Grand River in Lansing, MI this Saturday. Will start w. the Werner Cyprus 210 & see how it goes.
There is supposed to be some paddling into the wind on the wide stretches,so I’m interested to try the greenland there.
This section of the Grand is a wide Class I and last I heard from a Lansing paddler was moving at 5 mph last week w. many switchbacks. I’ve not paddled it before. Goes thru a nature preserve for the latter half. Ends at Portland, MI w. a chili dinner for all inclined.
We are paddling downstream, so I won’t portray 25 miles like it’s the Bataan Death March. Other people will be doing paddles of 13 and 50 miles. We all have the same take out in Portland.
All part of the Hugh Heward 10th annual Challenge
LOL “Challenge” not a race. That’s at least the official line '-) Most of us are happy to be out there & finish.
D See you at the finish and don’t
count on a big push as the river is flowing at half the CFS it was just one week ago. Will be in Dimondale for the night Friday for a 6am start from there on Saturday. Last year we averaged 6.1 mph over the fifty, this year I am expecting closer to 5mph. 10 hours of moving time is gonna be a “challenge”. Enjoy your day. Bill
you’ll beat me threre I bet
and you’re doing the 50
Actually it’s OK if the CF is dropping, makes it more of a challenge.
I’m camping in Dimondale too. Look for a gray/purple Eureka Mountain Pass tent.
Carspotting to Portland and catching the 7:35 shuttle back to Grand Ledge. We don’t launch til 9 am so we stay out of the way of the 50 milers. We’ll let the pack of wild dogs go thru first LOL
this is my first Hugh, 25 is plenty. Just want to hit a pace & keep it. I’m ready to hydrate while paddling, and eat w/out leaving the cockpit. Taking the Suka, she is quicker than the Fuego & pretty much as low to the wind.
Bringing some wine in a Platy bladder which should stay wine cellar cool in the hatch. For a toast at the end!
Have a good time
But maybe you should bring a pole! Looks like LOW water.
not much draft needed
Small package in a long light boat.
The Suka has a kevlar hull; she is treated nicely but not babied. We have been on the rocky shorelines of Lakes Superior & Huron.
Just need to stay out of the way of the big hosses in the big cruisers '-)
Thanks tho for the good beta on the river. Seems to be changing daily.
Full length slide
I sometimes use a sliding stroke with my full length paddles. It’s a bit more effort but when you want speed in a head wind it works quite well.
sliding stroke video