Friday, May 4, 2012

My Greenland paddle and I

The "stick"

 Several years ago, jumping on the bandwagon, I carved a Greenland paddle.  I tried it and didn't like it so went back to the Euro blade.

My recent bout with rotator cuff issues prompted me to give it another try because its supposed to be easy on the joints.  I took it to St. Philips last evening.  I paddled around in the inner harbour a bit and then out into the cove.  After only about half a kilometer my rear deltoids were screaming.  Again I dismissed making the change and ...
Back on deck

put the thing back on the foredeck.

Some of the guys have transitioned seamlessly to the Greenland paddle.  I have no idea why I find it so unappealing.  I'm not one to get into something just because its in fad but I would use the GP if it helped with stress on the body.

I'm afraid my Greenland paddle and I will never be friends.


  1. I'm right with you Tony, I'm sticking with my Euro 'til the end!

  2. I used the Euro but it put too much strain on my shoulders. Swtiched to GP and found it much better. Go figure!! Of course I didn't use the Euro long enough to ingrain it in my head that it's the best thing since silced seal meat - hahahahaha!!

    I'm not sure I'd call using a GP a fad - it's been around for many centuries. I'd be inclined to refer to the Euro as a new-fangled fad - in relatve terms. All in good fun,of course.

    Not sure why your muscles would be screaming. In paddling motions, there's not a whole lot of difference in using a Euro and a GP - other than the GP requires less pull.

    Paddle choice (just like skeg vs skegless) is likened to a religious debate or dsicussion of which is better - Star Wars or Star Trek, Canon or Nikon. People have their beliefs and they'll stick with them 'til the end.

    That's what makes the world so interesting!!!

    Peace out,

    Sean (The Stick Man) Dawe

  3. Hi Tony, I have arthritis in my wrists and elbows as well as injuries in my left shoulder. I gave both a wooden and a carbon fibre greenland paddle a try of about 1000 km, I also spent two sessions on instruction at one of the Skye symposia. Pains in my joints gradually got worse until one day I was trying to beat the tide down on the Solway. The pain was so bad that I got my zero feather euro splits out. The pain went away and I have never looked back.

    I think Greenland paddles are very fashionable at the moment and there is also a rumour that they cause less joint injuries. My experience is very different. Interestingly I lent my sticks to a number of friends but they are lying at the bottom of the garage. No one wanted them!

    As Sean says we are lucky we have a choice and after all we are all physically very different so its not surprising that we all like different things.

    Speedy recovery!!

  4. Brian, I'm going to stick with the Euro blade for now but I may give the GP another try.

    Sean, you are right, luckily there's a choice for everyone. One thing that puzzles me is how seamlessly some of you guys moved over to the GP. I lengthened the loom from the original carving because I thought the narrow loom made my rear delts work too much. I'm still finding it the same. When I use the Euro blade I seem to get more torso rotation than the GP so it doesn't target the rear delts the same.

    Douglas, I am ashamed to admit my rotator cuff is an issue for me in comparison to you. Wrist, elbows and shoulder and knee too. You do quite well in spite of all that.

    The main thing guys is to enjoy time on the water by whatever means work for you.

    Tony :-)

  5. I use both, but Euros with no feather. I tried paddling with a couple of homemade paddles but they were very heavy for me. Trying out a few of Cheri Perry's and Turner Wilson's paddles was a revelation, they can be very different. Maybe it is the paddle design/weight? Also I need an education in paddling with sticks,its not the same motion, and my Euro paddling technique is very engrained... Maybe one day I'll be able to move from one to the other without having to consciously focus on what I'm doing for the first few strokes (Euro) and the whole time (GP).

  6. Everyone who uses a GP can't be wrong so it must be something personal to me. I may need to try some of the other guys' paddles to see what loom length etc works for me.

    One thing is that I have small hands and it means having a narrow blade on the ends.

    I won't give up on it Leslie, it may take some time to figure out.

    Tony :-)