Tried my first greenland paddle

So the New River was higher than I wanted to boat. The local creeks were low. So I decided to head north a couple of hours and meet up with the a group in fairmont wv at the source of the Monongahela. The organizer of the Fairmont Flotilla had a greenland paddle that i tried out. I liked it. It was shorter in length than I expected. No strain at all on shoulders. I did find my torso rotation suffered a bit because the entry angle of the paddle was different than I was used to doing. So I really had to focus on the catch angle. That focus impeded my initial rotation a bit. I thought I would feel naked without a wider paddle blade to brace with but surprisingly I felt pretty secure on flatwater. I found it very easy to paddle straight in my pakayak with the greenland paddle although the paddle strokes weren’t neccessarily parallel to the boat. I think a carbon fiber greenland paddle will be in my future. It was not as big a jump as I thought it would be to start using one.


You can carve one in your spare time. :wink:

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If you ever want to drive an hour or two farther north to meet up for a paddle here in SW PA, I’ve got 4 GPs I’d be happy to let you try for comparison, ranging from 180 cm (storm paddle) to 230 cm. Since you have a Pakayak, I’m guessing you might prefer a breakdown paddle for similar compact portability. I’ve got a Gearlab carbon 2-piece and a laminated wood Eastpole 2-piece as well as a one piece cedar.

I do need to expand my regional paddling routes so maybe we could meet in the middle sometime. I used to backpack, rock climb, day hike and XC ski a lot from the border down to Monongahela National Forest, but other than one canoe outing on Cheat Lake and a terrifying run down the Cheat Canyon back in my 20s, I have never paddled in WV. Crazy for me to neglect it, since it’s a beautiful state and not that far from me. I’m just not familiar with the flatwater options thereabouts.


thanks for the generous offer willowleaf. I was checking out online the gearlab two piece. Looks pretty sweet, price was quite a bit more than what I am willing to spend.

I love my Gram carbon GL paddle, so add them to your list. You can buy them domestically from Umingmaq Paddle Center.

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Umingmaq is a terrific vendor with some nice lines that you don’t see too often. I’ve ordered several things from them including a lovely cherry ottertail canoe paddle and a really well made PeakUK sprayskirt. They were exceptionally helpful in getting the right size for the skirt (PeakUK sizing is unusual.).

Yes, carbon paddles are costly: my Gearlab Akiak cost $100 more than the salvaged composite sea kayak I’ve been using most often in the past couple of years. But since my paddles are the crux of my “motor” in boat propulsion, I don’t fret about their expense.

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I got one for Christmas only because my husband and dog don’t like the long one in the car. I like the beautiful wood one the best so now I’m in a situation. I might just tell them how it’s going to be.

Isn’t that what wives do?

So far I haven’t but the new paddle has presented a dilemma. :blush:

I like the wooden one. Sometimes honesty is painful :kissing_closed_eyes:

MoFly: You need an Eastpole Nanook 2-piece. Tung oil finish Western red cedar laminate with synthetic ivory edges. I got one a year ago and have really been liking it. My 15 year old one piece WRC that was my first GP will always be my favorite but it doesn’t travel well on airlines or in my tiny car.

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I always simply lash my long GL and Aleut paddles to the same rack I carry my kayaks on. I do have 2 I made with splits, so I can break those two down, but even my 9 foot paddles are not a problem to tie onto the rack or even onto the kayak itself when I am driving.

“Mofly” . I like :+1:.

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got specs for ideal dimensions of greenland paddle? carving one sounds like a fun project

Oh boy here we go …

There is a thread here without about 500 entries. Also if you google for making a green land paddle there are three or four sets of plans you can easily find on the internet. Also we have two folks here that have written books on making greenland paddles. So the most difficult part is deciding whose design you want to try.

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The wood feels so much more zen in your hands, right? :two_hearts:

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Yes, and it’s also more buoyant. When I extend the paddle as a flotation outrigger for balance bracing or just when resting upright in choppy conditions I can feel that it offers more support. Also love the grip feel of tung oil finished wood. And wood paddles are just so danged pretty.

The Gearlab is close to the feel of my wood paddles — they all weigh pretty much the same. I had previously owned a 3 piece Northern Lights carbon paddle but it felt too stiff and noticably less buoyant. I also found with that one that I did not like a shouldered GP — I sold it to a guy who was planning a 3 month trip through Europe with a folding kayak and wanted a GP that would break down under 30” to fit in his bags.