Advice and kayak wanted: for use with greenland paddle

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layneoftheloch
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Advice and kayak wanted: for use with greenland paddle

Post by layneoftheloch »

Hi everyone, I've just joined the group.

I live on the shore of a loch in the Western Highlands and have been paddling about for a couple of years on some different kayaks; a short hopeless at tracking sit-on-top, a two man open canoe and a perceotion carolina 12. I'm now feeling drawn to learn inuit style with a greenland paddle so I'd appreciate some advice about kayak selection and I'm wondering if anyone has a used boat for sale?

I'm 5 feet 11 inches and weigh 140 lbs. I'll be paddling about often on the loch where I live and I also want to start exploring coastal waters, and catch a few mackerel when it's that time of year. I'm not after a sit-on-top fishing kayak, more my focus will be on the greenland paddle technique with the odd bit of fishing, for which I'm imagining I can throw in a telescopic rod and use a sit-in kayak.

I've been looking around at my options and it seems like I'd be best off with a 14-15 foot plastic kayak (since my boat will live on the shore of the loch tied to a tree when I'm not out in it, and I'm always dragging it up rocky beaches). Kayaks like the Wavesport Hydra and the Dagger Alchemy or Stratos seem like they would fit the bill; I'd love some thoughts from you all with your experience please.

As far as the paddle goes, I've found a guy locally who makes greenland paddles - peter at windslicer.co.uk. Has anyone used one of his standard paddles? I like the idea of making my own as well, especially since I am a steward of some forest here. I found a thread here where the online course from cape falcon kayak was recommended, so I'm about to watch that while I eat the venison stew I've made for dinner; thanks for the information :)

Many thanks for any responses,

Layne

Mac50L
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Re: Advice and kayak wanted: for use with greenland paddle

Post by Mac50L »

Looking at the pictures of the Windslicer paddles they look as if they have blunt edges. Personally I've found this to be bad. Water is dense. The Concorde's wing is sharp as it has to go through the sound barrier - which is dense.

A Greenland paddle works like a wing. Therefore in a dense medium the edges need to be sharp-ish. Use the Greenland paddle as you would a Wing paddle - body rotation, high angle. Some talk about low angle paddling - yes, while waiting for everyone else to catch up because when used properly, you will be quick.

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Re: Advice and kayak wanted: for use with greenland paddle

Post by Mac50L »

Reading Sea Blade's PDFs gives a little bit more information about the paddles and a confused description of using one. The paddles made are Aleutian paddles, not Inuit paddles. The difference, asymmetrical versus symmetrical cross section.

There is mention of feather in one of the PDFs. Personally I've never made a feathered paddle in 4 decades.

As for how to make a paddle work - put the paddle in vertically, one edge by the hull the other edge away. Now move the paddle vertically out from your hull. If a Greenland paddle it will go straight out. Now twist it a little so the outer edge is forward of the inner edge. Move it straight out from your hull and it will want to move forward, towards the bow. But if you stop it doing this the only thing that can happen is you (your kayak) moves forward. This is lift, the same as an aeroplane's wing giving lift.

When you paddle with body rotation, arms near straight, the paddle moves away from the hull. Not much but enough during the stroke to make the blade give "lift". You are also moving the paddle back, relative to the hull - meaning the hull is moving forward and the paddle is near a stationary point in the water. Note "near".

Inuit vs Aleutian - one, Inuit, is like the symmetrical wing of a stunt aircraft, doesn't matter which way up, it works the same. The asymmetrical wing, Aleutian, more like a wing on a Piper Cub or any domestic aircraft. It only needs lift with the aircraft one way up. Yes it will work inverted but not as well.

One last thing, it looks (could be wrong as the picture isn't very clear) like the Sea Blades are made with two hollows on the "lift" side instead of symmetrically curved. Yes it will work but not as well as it could.

To save wood when making your own I always suggest buying a plank about 20 mm thick and building up the required thickness from the cut-off bits. Saves money, timber and work. It can make it stronger and stiffer as the glued on bits can be laid in the opposite direction from which they were cut. See -

https://canterburyseakayak.wordpress.co ... -your-own/

layneoftheloch
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Re: Advice and kayak wanted: for use with greenland paddle

Post by layneoftheloch »

Thanks Mac50L for all the information and advice., really appreciated. I like the look of your instructions for making my own, I reckon I'll have a go at that. Could I start by using simply a piece of 4 by 2 for a first attempt?
I've been in touch with the maker of the Windslicer paddles and he tells me they are made from Douglas Fir with Oak tips, for durability. This means they weigh 1300-1400g. Most of the paddles I've looked at or seen videos of how to make, seem to have a weight of 800-900g. I imagine that a lighter paddle is going to be much more enjoyable to use, is that right?I

Beryl
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Re: Advice and kayak wanted: for use with greenland paddle

Post by Beryl »

I have a paddle I made from builders timber that weighs 1300g. It is only good for experimenting with in my opinion due to its weight. My regular red cedar paddle is just under 800g and I never think about it. I would double-check with Windslicer on the weight of his offerings.

I made and used the lighter paddle first so that may colour my opinion.
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andypop
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Re: Advice and kayak wanted: for use with greenland paddle

Post by andypop »

Most commercial paddle makers use western red cedar which results in a paddle in the 800-900gm range. My first attempt, using a piece of 4x2 from a diy shed (£6.50) came out at around 1500gm. It was created to try out before committing to a more expensive piece of wrc. In that respect it was successful, but I wouldn't want to paddle very far with. My second attempt, in wrc, weighs around 900gms and has been used on several long paddles with no issues. Get your piece of 4x2 and enjoy the process of creating a paddle and try it. if you like it then buy a piece of wrc. Have a look at Cape Falcon Kayaks website, there some very good videos on making and using greenland paddles.

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Re: Advice and kayak wanted: for use with greenland paddle

Post by simon64 »

I am a fan of the 14-15 ft short plastic sea kayak, I have tried or owned most of the main ones, I found the Hydra rather barge like, the Stratos is good but is more of a play the sea type kayak, the Dagger Alchemy is more of a general tourer, I was paddling a Stratos until I tried the P&H Virgo, which I now own and think its streets ahead of the competition in its class, handles like a proper sea kayak in rougher waters, and is agile and stable.
One kayak that may be of interest as you mention fishing is the Venture Islay 14, which I believe can be ordered with rod holders, have never paddled one but the Venture kit is good and part of the Pyranha/P&H group, also take a look at the Valley Gemini SP rm.
P&H Virgo

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Re: Advice and kayak wanted: for use with greenland paddle

Post by ChrisJK »

Hi Layne
Sounds great to live right by a loch. No trouble with essential travel restrictions if it's attached to your workplace.
I'm also not a longtime paddler and have only been using greenland paddles this troubled summer.
You seem to have had lots of info re paddles and I'd go for making your own. I can send you a couple of pdf;s if you wish. Yes make the edges nearly as sharp as a paper knife (experienced makers correct me if I'm wrong)
Re kayaks I guess it depends on what your budget is and buying new or second hand. Possibly the latter if you are going to leave it out 24/7.
Inuit kayaks as far as I can see have relatively v shaped hulls others will comment on primary and secondary stability manouverability etc .
I have an old plastic P&H Capella which has a flatter hull which possibly makes it more stable on flat water but is probably less manouverable but if you want to spend time sitting with a rod you may wish to consider this aspect.

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Re: Advice and kayak wanted: for use with greenland paddle

Post by simon64 »

If you can find and fit into a small Dagger Alchemy, its a very sporty and nimble low volume kayak with chines and would suit the greenland paddle more than the other kayaks I mentioned, I had one and liked it but was too small really for long term comfort, Problem with the Alchemy was that the large was very large and barge like (hydra) and they never made a medium, the small Stratos is more of a medium volume and fitted me better (5’11 75kg skinny, size 11 feet)
Image

Image
P&H Virgo

layneoftheloch
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Re: Advice and kayak wanted: for use with greenland paddle

Post by layneoftheloch »

ChrisJK wrote:
Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:59 pm
Hi Layne

You seem to have had lots of info re paddles and I'd go for making your own. I can send you a couple of pdf;s if you wish. Yes make the edges nearly as sharp as a paper knife (experienced makers correct me if I'm wrong)
Ye please, thanks ChrisJK

layneoftheloch
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Re: Advice and kayak wanted: for use with greenland paddle

Post by layneoftheloch »

I've had a look at the P&H Virgo and it looks like a good fit. I notice that the cockpit size is 81 x 42cm. Since I'm pretty slim with a 32" waist that feels appealing - I get the sense I will want to feel as connected as possible to my kayak, like I'm wearing it. Lots of the other cockpits are more like 89 x 47cm, and some are bigger than that, like the Hydra.

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Re: Advice and kayak wanted: for use with greenland paddle

Post by pathbrae »

The size of the cockpit opening and the fit of the seat and outfitting are only loosley related.
Contact points should be the seat and the footrests for most forward paddling with the thigh grips there for more extreme edging, rolling etc. Any pressure on a back-band in normal paddling is counter-productive (think about the forces going into the boat - you want them all to be pushing forward)
There's no real need to have a tight fit in a sea kayak unless you are intent on surfing / rock hopping on the majority of your trips. A good comfortable fit with the footrests in the right position will be a lot better in the long run. Also, if you need to, you can pad out a wider seat for a bit of better conectivity. Too tight fitting a seat inhibits a proper paddling stroke as it makes proper rotation much more difficult.
So much sea - so little time to see it.

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Re: Advice and kayak wanted: for use with greenland paddle

Post by ChrisJK »

Hi Layne
re the pdf's hopefully you will have received an email to reply to

jamesl2play
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Re: Advice and kayak wanted: for use with greenland paddle

Post by jamesl2play »

A Greenland paddle is primarily for rolling.
You will notice that most paddlers with a GP spend a lot of time upside down.
Pairing one with a modern design sea kayak is a bit counter productive.

If you want to use a GP then I suggest you buy get a kayak more suitable for practising your roll.

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Re: Advice and kayak wanted: for use with greenland paddle

Post by PlymouthDamo »

jamesl2play wrote:
Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:17 am
A Greenland paddle is primarily for rolling.
Given all the gimp-suited beardos rolling with sticks on YouTube, that's a common perception, but it's just not true. I know better than to get into 'which is better' but sticks' strong points are:

- Even a basic wooden one can weigh in at under a kilo.
- The progressive nature they 'grab' as they go in deeper minimises the shock from each stroke, i.e you can do long trips with minimal aches or fatigue.
- Despite the toothpick appearance, you can apply hernia-inducing force with them if you so choose, i.e. you can sprint fast.
- You can vary the depth you plant them, i.e. change gear
- You can extend them in a flash, which makes for incredibly effective stern rudders, braces and other turning/support strokes
- The square section loom, the shoulders and the symmetrical design mean you always know what the blade face is doing no matter where your hands are
- I don't know about the carbon ones, but the wooden ones have a warm, grippy feel.
- You can paddle just as effectively with one which is 20" shorter than your main - i.e. you can keep a spare stowed ready to go on your front or rear deck
- This short paddle is great in high winds - the sliding stroke you use to bury it means there's nothing sticking up to catch the wind during the power-phase
- They're incredibly efficient if your stroke is correct, and they'll 'tell' you if it's not, because the turbulence will feel like it's dragging across sand.

I spent 15 years paddling white-water, surf and sea with euroblades, but now only use them in the one circumstance where sticks are definitely the wrong tool for the job, i.e. shallow water such as white-water river running.

If I was in the OP's position, I'd just select the boat which ticked all the boxes, and paddle that with a stick. If leaving it tied to a tree by a loch, I wouldn't want anything desirable or expensive - because of theft/vandalism and UV degradation - so I'd probably just get the cheapest reasonable boat that fitted me. It's the same as buying a second hand car: you'll make the best buy if you just look at what's available rather than tying yourself to a specific model.

As far as fishing is concerned... It's unusual to see it done in an enclosed cockpit boat. I do it occasionally, but I tow a line behind me using a reel without a rod. However, I've recently discovered a way you can use your Greenland stick to turn an unstable boat into a totally stable platform. (Take a look in the last few pages of the Shrike thread for a video of me being spat out of a tidal wave-train whilst lying on my back deck.) This method would make it less precarious when fishing with a rod and line, but if that's one of your main objectives, then a big stable sit-on-top would be the better option. You could still paddle that with a stick.

Beryl
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Re: Advice and kayak wanted: for use with greenland paddle

Post by Beryl »

I once met a fellow kayaker on Frenchmans’ Creek who informed me my Greenland paddle was fine for the estuary but not suitable on the sea. So there are all sorts of opinions about. My Greenland boat has a low deck so I can paddle using very little movement. However I also have a Tiderace Vortex that is much higher and steep-sided relatively. Here I have to use a more angled stroke but it works well enough.

One advantage PD didn’t mention is a Greenland paddle is much less obtrusive in the car. Mine lives between the dashboard and the back seat even though I haven’t been afloat for ten days now.
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Re: Advice and kayak wanted: for use with greenland paddle

Post by PlymouthDamo »

Beryl wrote:
Sat Nov 14, 2020 6:57 pm
One advantage PD didn’t mention is a Greenland paddle is much less obtrusive in the car. Mine lives between the dashboard and the back seat even though I haven’t been afloat for ten days now.
Yep, little practical details like that often make your life a lot easier. My collection of Greenland sticks also fits in the gaps between my garage roof and the rafter cross-braces, so you can't even see them, let alone trip over them or have them all scatter over the garage floor when you're moving stuff around.

And that guy that said they're only for flat water is a great example of the misconceptions people have when they judge something on appearance rather than actual experience. Take West Greenland boats and sticks for example: for centuries, they've been used for hunting in one of the roughest bits of sea you could have the misfortune to find yourself. I can understand him jumping to conclusions about what sticks can and can't do. My first encounter with a Greenland stick was some old beardy bloke I bumped into whilst paddling across Plymouth Sound in my playboat 20 years ago. I immediately assumed it was some kind of novelty item which wouldn't have any practical use. He was gracious enough not to pull me up on the misguided, patronising tone I probably adopted throughout our brief chat. So I didn't realise how wrong I was until 15 years later when we first started learning to appreciate them.

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Re: Advice and kayak wanted: for use with greenland paddle

Post by ChrisJK »

I guess the guy on Frenchmans creek hadn't given one a proper trial.
Where did the Inuit develop and use the greenland paddle but on the sea! . One assumes that would have included travelling or hunting in some fairly inclement conditions. For them rolling I also assume wasn't for showing off but for survival.
I've not long been using a gp but I am not turning back plus I am using it with a relatively wide .'modern design' kayak. I hasten to add I can't roll.The guy from Falcon kayaks suggests adjusting the general length of the paddle to take this into account. I guess one can shorten a blade if it is too long.
I won't be using it in WW however. I learnt the hard way by using a sea kayak euro paddle on an early WW jaunt as no one had made me any the wiser.

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Re: Advice and kayak wanted: for use with greenland paddle

Post by Beryl »

If I’m honest I use a GP because I can make it myself for peanuts. The fact that it works is neither ‘here nor there’ As my wife will say I’m my mothers son who would drive/walk miles to avoid paying to park a car. Just joking of course....?

The rub is you do need to spend most of a day to produce it and you also need to do some research before that so you can not mess up a nice piece of wood. It’s a lockdown special folks!
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Re: Advice and kayak wanted: for use with greenland paddle

Post by ChrisJK »

Somewhere in thE general go posts someone alluded to making them being slightly addictive.
It is a good idea to use a piece of relatively knot free plank or something first.
For those in the Northwest I have found that Northwest timber treatments will bring in a piece of WRC. Enough for a go and storm paddle is just under £55.
I don't fish but I like to anchor my inflatable in relatively shallow water and swim from it.
I may experiment with putting a paddle float on the end of my gp and hooking it under the safety lines of my Capella as one might for a self rescue and use it as an outrigger. I guess that in calmish conditions with no spray deck one could fish, swim, draw cook dinner ....etc

Mac50L
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Re: Advice and kayak wanted: for use with greenland paddle

Post by Mac50L »

jamesl2play wrote:
Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:17 am
A Greenland paddle is primarily for rolling.
That's got to be the dafted thing I've heard about a GP. I've never rolled and have used GPs for a couple of decades. A roll is a failed brace anyway.

"I once met a fellow kayaker on Frenchmans’ Creek who informed me my Greenland paddle was fine for the estuary but not suitable on the sea."

Daft too. Actually not the best in shallow water.

Making being addictive - possibly though with near a dozen, I still haven't used that last plank yet... yet.

Weight - I'd hope not over 800 gram.

jamesl2play
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Re: Advice and kayak wanted: for use with greenland paddle

Post by jamesl2play »

Mac50L wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 8:43 am
jamesl2play wrote:
Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:17 am
A Greenland paddle is primarily for rolling.
That's got to be the dafted thing I've heard about a GP. I've never rolled and have used GPs for a couple of decades. A roll is a failed brace anyway.
Ha ha I knew someone would bite, just wondered why it took so long.

I could write a book on why the GP should be confined to the museum but I won't.

Going back to the original question:

With a GP pair them with a Greenland kayak such as a Rebel or Tahe Greenlander which would be good for rolling practise. Also buy a Tulik because the water around Scotland never warms much.

If you go with a stumpy sea kayak like a Perception then a any Euro blade would be fine.

If you fancy a a bit of acceleration and downwind fun buy a FSK and pair it with Wings.

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Re: Advice and kayak wanted: for use with greenland paddle

Post by ChrisJK »

James have you actually used a Greenland paddle?

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Re: Advice and kayak wanted: for use with greenland paddle

Post by jamesl2play »

James have you actually used a Greenland paddle?

Yes Chris, with tuition from an expert. I have also seen many real ones and they look nothing like the works of art produced and sold today.
They are very inefficient which is why GP paddlers spend so much time upside down and are expert rollers.

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Re: Advice and kayak wanted: for use with greenland paddle

Post by ChrisJK »

An amusing answer.
Probably some distance from the op's request.
Do you have some plans and examples for all those of us who have got it so wrong?

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Re: Advice and kayak wanted: for use with greenland paddle

Post by PlymouthDamo »

ChrisJK wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 1:06 pm
An amusing answer.
Probably some distance from the op's request.
Do you have some plans and examples for all those of us who have got it so wrong?
That grainy black-and-white footage of Inuits constantly screaming and capsizing like they were on banana skins is one I've yet to see, but it would make a good Monty Python sketch.

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Re: Advice and kayak wanted: for use with greenland paddle

Post by Mac50L »

jamesl2play wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 8:44 am
They are very inefficient which is why GP paddlers spend so much time upside down and are expert rollers.
Having used a GP for a couple of decades and never had to roll, I wonder at the competence of those you are talking about. If needed, an extended brace works so well and very quickly.

Upside down - unless they are actually showing off and it has nothing to do with the type of paddle.

As for inefficacy, they are far more efficient than a standard Euro paddle and are very near that of a Wing paddle as they are a type of Wing paddle - if you know how to use them properly, something that is very quick and easy to learn.

OK, there are some slow learners out there and who probably don't listen to what they are told.

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Re: Advice and kayak wanted: for use with greenland paddle

Post by Ceegee »

ChrisJK wrote:
Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:59 pm
. Yes make the edges nearly as sharp as a paper knife (experienced makers correct me if I'm wrong)
That sounds a bit extreme. Whilst the example shown in the link is certain chunky, the edge needs to sit comfortably in the crook of your thumb, with the 1st finger joint curled around the opposite edge, i.e. about 3.5" in my case, when used extended.

GPs are anthropomorphic, i.e. you need to carve them to your hand size (blade), height (length) and shoulder width (loom).

Also, as thin as you describe is too weak in anything except carbon.

I'd aim for around 4-5mm ø on the edge or about as round as a drinking straw or chop stick.
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Re: Advice and kayak wanted: for use with greenland paddle

Post by Mark Graham »

I've become a convert after using one on holiday with Sea Kayak Milos and Rod Feldman. Rod had some sticks available and I took one as a spare to play with during the lunch break. After trying it I put the Euros on the back deck and never used them again for the rest of the week. I liked it so much that I bought my own and made another. My only concern was that I'd been using it in calm condition and I wondered how one would perform in rougher colder conditions in the UK. I needn't have worried, it seems to really come in to its own in windier rough conditions and I've been delighted with it. Most of my paddling friends have asked to try it and using their paddles while they try mine now feels very unnatural. The one drawback I've found is colder wetter hands when using it at higher angles.

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Re: Advice and kayak wanted: for use with greenland paddle

Post by Mac50L »

Ceegee wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 8:31 am
ChrisJK wrote:
Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:59 pm
Yes make the edges nearly as sharp as a paper knife (experienced makers correct me if I'm wrong)
I'd aim for around 4-5mm ø on the edge or about as round as a drinking straw or chop stick.
A few years back I tried someone's GP. It felt odd and didn't seem to work right. Then I realised it had blunt edges. About the same as Ceegee's edges

Paper knife sharp is a bit too much, sharper than but closer to an equilateral triangle sharpness shape.

No, it is obvious I don't use mine to shave with (for those who haven't seen my beard).

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