Storm Paddle Spare Saves the Day!!!

Okay again I am making some posts to try to share some things I have learned in order to make up a bit for all the questions I have asked here recently.


If you don’t carry a spare paddle, especially in rough water then you need to…I think we can all agree on this.

However, one thing that I think is important is to have a paddle that is readily available that you can retrieve and employ immediately to paddle out of danger if you lose your paddle in hairy conditions, or to retrieve to use to roll up with in the event that you lose your paddle in the surf when capsized, etc.

A Greenland Storm paddle is a great tool that I think everyone should own and carry on the front deck of their kayak.

I have always believed in carrying one so that in the event that I was every capsized in the surf and my paddle torn from my hands that I would have a spare I could pull out under water and roll up with.

I had even practiced doing this a lot in flat water…throwing my paddle away from my boat, capsizing and then pulling the storm paddle off the front deck underwate and rolling up. I got quite comfortable with it.

Well it ended up paying off one day…just when I thought that maybe all this was a far fetched possibility.

I was in the surf in some heavy clapotis and in shallow water. I got hit by waves from 2 different directions and capsized. I went to roll up and kind of cheated by prying my paddle against the bottom (bad habit and not recommended as it is not super effective and a good way to mess up your shoulder) but I did not come up. I sent up for another roll and found my paddle blade offered no support at all. Strange. I thought maybe my paddle had come apart.

I let the paddle go under water, retrieved my Storm paddle off the front deck as I had practiced so many times and rolled up. I got hit by another wave as soon as I got up and went over again, and was able to roll up again…only to be hit yet again by another wave. On the 3rd try I was up for good.

I was able to paddle over to my Euro paddle and stash it on my deck.

What had ACTUALLY happened was that I snapped the paddle blade off when trying to roll up! No wonder there was no support when I went to sweep.

I was able to paddle with the storm paddle back to shore where I could retrieve my spare Euro paddle from my back deck.

So…the spare storm paddle proved its value in spades that day. Had I not had it I would have had to do a wet exit in some very hairy conditions that were quite a distance off shore.

I think this reinforces the importance of carrying a readily accessible spare that you can employ quickly and underwater if needed.

The storm paddle is the perfect tool, whether you are a Greenland or Euro blade paddler


Totally agree…
Storm paddle on the Inuk, two piece stick on Nordkapp, and full length extra beefy surf specific WRC on both SOFs. In surfy conditions, I also make sure my deck cords are really really tight. A large 20" Norsaq also rides up there.Not much foredeck left, but lots o’ righting implements.

I tried a strom paddle

– Last Updated: Jul-09-10 10:48 PM EST –

for a while and never felt comfortable using it in rough conditions, where I would need it if something happened to my main paddle. I always carry an extra full length paddle on my front deck. If I'm paddling in rough conditions I'll use my Spruce paddles and leave the WRC paddles on shore. That's great you practiced and were prepared for the unexpected. Thanks for sharing.

Greenland Paddles
First off, I’ll admit I’m not a big fan of Greenland paddles. They are fun to play around with rolling, but when it comes to paddling I don’t like the feel.

I do question the storm paddle as a backup. How many people have practiced their sliding stroke for 10-20 miles and maybe over multiple days or weeks? If you have, great, but my backup paddle is quite close in design to my primary paddle. Both bent-shaft Werners. An Ikelos and a Cyprus. I also find switching from euro to Greenland (or vice-versa) a little strange if I’ve been on the water for a while.

If the concern is simply having a one piece paddle to roll up with, you can always learn to roll with half a paddle. I find that easier than rolling with a Norsaq.

Also, I feel the need to point out that Matt wouldn’t have needed his backup paddle to roll up if he hadn’t broken his euro on the ocean bottom. And after that a roll still could have been performed on the other side.

I don’t mean to come off as strong, but Matt said “A Greenland Storm paddle is a great tool that I think everyone should own and carry on the front deck of their kayak.”

Bottom line is his inexperience led him to breaking his primary paddle and needing to switch to his backup underwater because he couldn’t/didn’t perform an offside roll. Every paddler is an individual and one tool (storm paddle) may not be the best for everyone. I do commend him for safely getting out of a possibly sticky situation.

I missed exclamation marks


– Last Updated: Jul-09-10 10:13 PM EST –

despite my inexperience that led me to the situation I was in I still contend that a storm paddle is a great tool. Should everyone carry one on their front deck....okay maybe not, but they should consider it.

Could I have rolled up with my other side of my paddle? Maybe....but I was mighty confused while underwater in clapotis and actually had no idea what had happend.

Can I roll on my offside? Yes.

However the though never ocurred to me in that situation.

And then there is the issue of having to paddle your but out of there. Not so great with a half of a Euro paddle and not really possible to grab one off your deck and put together necessarily in such conditons.

So I still contend that a Storm Paddle is a great tool.

My intent was to share some information about my experience that may be helpful to others. I am sorry if my comment that every one should have one is too strong. Perhaps not.

But my point was more that every one should have an accessible paddle that they can access under water, roll up with, and then be able to paddle to safety with.

My old friend used a half a paddle on this front deck to which he had afixed a T grip like a canoe paddle. That works too.

And as far as having to paddle miles with a sliding stroke....I actually carry a spare Euro on my back deck and only intend the Storm paddle as a means to roll up and paddle to a safe spot to access my other paddle.

I too use both a Cyprus and an Ikelos as my primary paddles. I paddle with a GP too but not on the ocean. But despite whether you are a GP or a Euro blade paddle the storm paddle is a good tool that can be used to get your but out of trouble.

I will continue to paddle with a storm paddle on my front deck until I can gain enough experience not to.

The rolling up on on the bottom is a bad habit from when capsizing in very shallow water.

However, despite my inexperience I have never experienced having to wet exit in the ocean despite having paddled thousands of miles and in big water and tide races in San Francisco Bay, rock gardening in Mendecino, Monetery Bay on days with 20 foot swell and on days with 20 knot winds, Big Sur, Fishers Race in Connecticut, Sullivan Falls Maine, tide race at Indian River Inlet DE, shoals at Corsons Inlet NJ, Hereford Inlet NJ, Bogue Inlet NC, the Triangle at Tybee Island GA, Ocean City shoal MD, shoals near Cape Lookout North Carolina, or in whitewater rivers since I learned to roll on rivers to include the Merced River, the McColome River, the Kings River, the American River, and a few others. Or on the Chesapeake Bay on days with 35 knot winds in the winter time while paddling solo.

No...I had it wrong I actually did wet exit in the tidal race at Sullivan Falls last year but that was my first ever and only wet exit out of a sea kayak when I got sucked under a little in one of the whirlpools after capsizing.

So I would disagree that my need to go to the storm paddle to roll up was a matter of inexperience.


Greenland paddle
Fair enough Matt. I was not there to see the conditions and should not have guessed at your experience level.

Perhaps I let my angst of Greenland preachers cloud my earlier post. I really do tire of always being told how great Greenland paddles are every time I meet someone with one. Half the time the person exclaiming how great their stick is can’t even roll. I liked it better when Greenland paddles were more of a secret.

I figure if Freya can make it around Australia with a wing paddle, us mere mortals can handle a euro. :slight_smile:

Bad analogy
Us mere mortals can handle a euro because Freya can handle a wing? And this means what?

me: level three instructor, rolling, trip leading, and traditional skills endorsements.

Werner Cyprus, Greenland paddle and storm paddle all on deck.

long crossings gimme that GP any day. switch between storm and GP to use slightly different muscle groups.

practice rolling with half a werner, a gp and the storm.

no question the GP is easier on the joints

Euro allows crisp strokes and maneuvers modeling and is a great all round paddle as well.

Storm paddle really does what it is supposed to do and provide less windage, takes up less real estate on deck, IS easily accessible to roll back up if you need to.

I love them all. Personal feeling is that the GP is probably a better all rounder for a myriad of reasons but am equally comfortable with the Werner.

and it is really fun to switch to a storm paddle when trying for speed in the wind!


Greenland paddles…
Okay, thanks for the apology and sorry for getting a bit testy.

I was not trying to make this a post to proclaim that the Greenland Paddle is superior to a Euro.

I use both and like both. For rough water though I use the Euro.

What I was trying to do though was point out that regardless of whether you are a GP or Euro blade user, the Storm paddle can be a useful to to any of us…not just to Greenland die hards.

It is a great easily accessible tool that is ready to deploy immediately for rolling or for short paddles to safety in the event your paddle breaks or is lost.

I guess part of my “everyone should have one” statement was aimed at saying that storm paddles aint just for guys wearing Tuliaks or whatever they are called.


The word you’re looking for is "tuiliq"
And no, I don’t own one.

Naw Man
No storm. A full sized GP on the front deck.