OK, I’m a pretty new kayaker, have had a couple of lessons, and am just learning basic skills with my Euro paddle. I’d been intrigued by the GP for a while, got to try another person’s out for a few minutes once, liked it, but decided I should get better at the Euro paddle first before mixing myself up by trying to learn a new paddling technique, and spending $$ for a GP without knowing what I needed. That was an easy decision when I was looking at spending $200.
But I found a used Gearlab GP paddle (I think it’s the Oyashio style) for a price too good to pass up. And now of course I wanna use it! Will I learn bad habits if I just watch a few videos and give it a whirl? Is it intuitive or not? Or should I wait? Thanks.
Like a good boat, a GP will help you learn to use it.
Read this before doing the video thing: http://www.qajaqusa.org/Technique/Strokes.html
Written by Greg Stamer (a member here), founder of Qajaq USA, and an expert.
Love my GP for distances and headwinds. Still don’t scull or do bow rudders as well as with my Cyprus, but that’s on me because I don’t put in the practice time.
Thanks, that was an interesting article. And now I know that a “spoon” is a Euro paddle. I hope the GP will help me learn how to use it, because I’m pretty bad at visualizing how to perform written instructions. But, I gotta say, the paddle feels great when I hold it.
Use the GP very long and the Eruo will feel…………odd.
I had the same problem but once it’s in your hands being used you will know if it feels right. A little instruction is a good thing.
Yes, I intend to get instruction but that will likely be a while from now.
In the meantime I just put it on my kitchen scale and it only weighs 23 ounces!
Use the GP very long and the Eruo will feel…………odd.
When I switch from my GP to my Euro, it doesn’t feel odd - just more powerful.
@Doggy Paddler said:
I hope the GP will help me learn how to use it, because I’m pretty bad at visualizing how to perform written instructions.
The short version:
If it makes sound when you put it into the water or lift it out of the water
That is bad, but sort of okay for now.
Working on your paddle canting and timing will slowly make it go away, so you can do this silently.
If it makes sound _during _the stroke
That is really bad. It will easily cost you a knot of boat speed while also making the paddling harder.
It will usually be a scratching or fizzling sound. Or perhaps just a vibration without sound.
When it happens, you are probably putting power in the stroke too soon. Wait for the paddle to “bite” in the water before you pull hard. Also make sure that you push downward towards your opposite knee with your upper hand (or rather: with your upper shoulder, so the motion is driven by your full upper body).
If the paddle wobbles through the water
That is mainly annoying and makes paddling harder. May also cost you some speed.
You make it go away by working on the canting of the paddle. Your paddle blade is too vertical. It should be slightly canted backward or forward to allow the water to slip under or over the blade. Backward is easier. Forward is more effective, but has a steep learning curve. Again also remember pushing towards the opposite knee.
It took about 45 minutes of paddling for the GP to feel natural to me. It was such a superior rolling tool for me that I sold my euro paddles. For making the boat go forward the euro does just fine. For getting and staying upright I found the GP to be much, much better. If you can learn to scull and get the blade to ‘bite’ the water as you lean on the paddle you’ll get the real benefit of the GP. It was Jaybabina who wrote something like, ‘push the blade forward and backward in the water - repeat a thousand times.’
I carved my own this spring and I have maybe 30 miles on it. The first few trips were very weird. That article is great, I also found
to be very helpful.
The good news is that I quickly grew to love it. I think the Euro blades make me want to accelerate lots with each stroke. To me, the Greenland stroke is all about maintaining speed. I can cruise effortlessly, it seems, with the Greenland. For me, this is probably just a function of not saying MORE POWER. It is more of a mental thing than a physical thing.
The other neat benefit is that a Greenland forces you to have good form. If you don’t, you’re barely moving. You can use any bad stroke with a Euro blade and move forward, not efficiently, but you won’t know that since, hey, I’m moving!
BTW, carving it was fun. I barely had any woodworking experience before and I just watched a ton of videos and had my father in law loan me tools and show me how to use them. My first one was made from a $3.10 piece of junk wood from Home Depot. I have some cedar in the basement now getting ready for more paddles.
Would a GP be good to use with a SOT? Anyone here tried it?
I have and it’s fine as long as you don’t mind a lapful of water.
Thanks for the Cape Falcon video. He gives good explanations. It does make me think some instruction would be very valuable.
So I just kayaked with my new Greenland paddle. I really liked it! It did make noise and flutter, but I ended up using it for the whole trip (wasn’t sure if I’d want to switch back to my Euro blade and didn’t) and by the time we got back it was a good bit better.
I think I’m into it.
Sorry if I am hijacking this thread? I am a new paddler and a decently experienced wood worker. Making my own Greenland paddle interests me. I know there must be scattered resources devoted to this: but is there a solid source for DIY design, shaping, etc for these paddles with a specific body size in mind?