Video for GP strokes.

-- Last Updated: Dec-30-06 11:03 PM EST --

Looking for a good video for GP strokes, especially the forward stroke.

I’m paddling a fiberglass boat, so knees are bent.

I think all the rudder and draw strokes are the same for euro and GP, right?

I know the forward stroke is somewhat different for GP vs euro. Paddle can come out of the water further back with the GP. The more the legs are flat, the more stomach crunch is used with a GP. There’s also the touring stroke with the GP with the arms more bent and lower paddle angle.

I watched part of Nigel Fosters course # 5, forward stroke, borrowed from the public library. It was damaged and quit after 30 minutes: freeze, skip, freeze, skip, … I got an email from the library saying the repair wasn’t successful and they aren’t going to replace it. Arrgghh!

A nice thing about that series is that the GP is somewhat covered. Greg Stamer comes on in # 5 to cover GP forward stroke. I didn’t get to see most of it.

I found a web site that sells the NF DVDs at $20 each including shipping. Alaska kayak school I think. I’m going to buy it unless you can recommend a better one.


Paul S.

Are you familiar with this page:

Matched up with the descriptions on the right, it’s really all you need.

Yes. Videos are very short duration.

– Last Updated: Dec-30-06 11:01 PM EST –

Great site overall.

The videos of strokes though, to me, are far away and very short duration. I would consider a good 30-60 minute DVD on the subject to be a good addition to my library.

The descriptions to the right are very good though. I hadn't read them carefully enough before. Thanks for the suggestion.

Paul S.

Yeah that’s true. Someone needs to fill
that need. Gregs segment is good in that video too bad you got a bad copy.

It’s funny though I rarely see paddlers with a bad GP stroke but see bad EP strokes all the time. The GP stroke seems to comes naturally after you get that canted entry and your elbos in the right position. I would imagine showing the subtle ab crunch in a video would be difficult. But even that comes sort of naturally with the canted stroke because it involves some lifting of the paddle through the stroke.

maybe Dubside II
will address this issue.

Doug Van Doren
briefly demonstrates various GP strokes on This Is The Sea II

Yeah Matt is right about the GP…
It teaches you how to paddle it. I took up the GP about a year after I started with my Euro paddle but my GP form got efficient a lot quicker than my Euro form. There isn’t much out there in terms of video footage aside from the Nigel Foster DVD, online clips, Greg Stamer’s footage in This is the Sea, and a short section in Rolling with Maligiaq. Of course that refers to the Maligiaq technique which is a shorter loom with the thumb and forefinger on the loom and the rest of the fingers on the blade. You’ve got a good idea of the stroke. It is less emphasis on the catch (spear the water around the calf area rather than the foot), more emphasis on the pull (using the ab crunch), and it exits the water past the hip with a canted blade.

Of course there is also the Great Lakes style particularly practiced by Doug Van Doren which involves a Greenland paddle with a longer loom, the hands fully on the loom, and a very Euro like stroke involving a flat blade and more torso rotation versus ab crunch.

When I’m paddling long distances with the GP, I alternate between the Maligiaq form, the wing stroke, and the sliding stroke to mix up my muscles. Just keep paddling and try out different paddling techniques primarily focusing on your core (ab crunch, torso rotation, etc). There’s no “right” way to paddle with a GP so it’s pretty much up to the paddler. Of course if you can make it to one of the QajaqUSA event you can learn a bit more about the stroke from the experts in person.

Hours on the water
with the stick are the best medicine. Learn a little from Qajaq.usa or video, but don’t obsess. As Matt says, let the stick teach you.


I’m trying to learn EP
I’m been with the GP for years now and will always embrace it in a loving fashion…but I decided that I need to be proficient at both so bought an EP and noticed when paddling with BrazilBrazil that the damned thing is NOISY…is it just me? i tried several ways to get the paddle out of the water quietly but could not…maybe its the paddle-carbon AquaBound take-apart? Honestly I was surprised how loud it is.

I hear what you and Matt are saying.
In the Foster series, either Foster or Stamer was explaining that the elbows should be low, arms bent, and once you get the cant right, you can feel it. The paddle just glides through the water. I tried that last Tursday on a few hours paddle with my daughter and definitely felt it.

I’m familiar too with the idea that you’re body will teach you what works and what doesn’t. In my experience thought, like with throwing steel tip darts, you want to be knowledgeable of and working withing the basic scopes of dos and don’ts. Like I needed to know about dropping the elbow (at least as one style) and the cant. I wasn’t sure if there were others.

I think I’ll order the Foster # 5 so I can listen to the rest of what Stamer has to say. Maybe Doren later. I didn’t know about that one. Money aside, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to consider his style/form.

I feel confirmed just keep working on it too, which I appreciate.

Thanks all.

Paul S.

Abandon "should"
Hands high/low, paddle vertical or low angle, cant* amount - forget all that (so you can find it naturally**).

Use all other’s tips/styles as things to try - not as examples of the “right” way.

All strokes work with GP. Over time you’ll find some variations that work better for certain things, and come to appreciate the variety if you do any speed/distance.

No substitute for mileage. A thousand or so, not lily dipping, should do the trick.

Slow paddling (under 4 mph - no wind/current) and short duration paddles (under 10 miles) don’t teach efficiency and core power as well as longer faster paddles - and don’t help you find the optimum strokes (anything works for slow short paddles - no way to sort it out).

    • I find cant comes naturally if you use the grip where part of your hands are on the blade roots and not all on loom - and the paddle is sized for that.

      ** - Assumes a decent paddle.

Distance is what got me started on
this topic.

For leg work, the sky seems like the limit. But for paddling, 10 miles had seemed like a long ways last summer. I’d like the paddling to feel more like walking, running, cycling.

I’d like to be able to do at least 15 miles per day for 5 days in a row. Better would be 20/day.

Thanks for the tips.

Paul S.

(many native Americans have turned to power boats)

If I ain’t powerin’ it,
and it ain’t half boat and half submarine, then it just ain’t the experience I’m looking for.

Paul S.