Greenland Paddle Technique^

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tg
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Greenland Paddle Technique^

Post by tg » Wed Oct 06, 2010 12:33 am

Hi MikeB,

Just had a quick browse on Techniques under the Almanac and didn't find anything on the above, (of course I may have missed it!).

I'm guessing from the Tilley that that might be you on the opening page of the A. and noted that the paddler was using a G.stick for both main and back up paddle.

Here is my dilema; I have a Greenland paddle and use it fairly often with my skinny boat (dare I say 'Greenland style' just one more time!). I find the action intuitive and very comfortable, however I do not use the paddle in bad weather or waves because years of instinct has to be beaten down when I go for intuitive or instinctive strokes; braces, slaps etc. I know you could say 'practise', but I'm usually on my way somewhere when I paddle and 'practise' usually happens at the end of the day, if at all.

So, any room for a piece on transitioning from regular (European) padds. to G.stick? If that is your Tilley I spotted.

Tim
"I sink therfore I am".

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gnarlydog
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Re: Greenland Paddle Technique

Post by gnarlydog » Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:09 am

Tim, I had the same reservations for the humble stick (GP) and thought that it just will not cut it for rough waters.
Initially I was silly enough to not use it in the surf but eventually I tried and immediately felt OK.
Never looked back.
To me a GP has the same ability for secure/power strokes as a Euro, just a small adjaustment in technique.
These days my carbon Euro paddles gather dust in the garage.
I use GP exclusively.
They are actually better paddles for rough water than Euro ones, at least for me.
A short video of some rough water with a traditional paddle:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTpFsU88Jq8

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Ceegee
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Re: Greenland Paddle Technique

Post by Ceegee » Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:02 pm

I did an excellent course with Hakola & Andreas Dippel at the annual german sea kayak meet in 2009.

Basically, paddle low across deck, both blades angled back at ~ 30 degrees. Thumbs and forefingers lightly on blades' shoulders, ring & little fingers resting on blade, then:

dip blades left and right so they plunge nearly full length at shallow angle, and:

rotate trunk 30 deg left then right.

Maintain the back angle on the blade to give stability, propulsion and minimize turbulence and splashing on blade exit. There should be little if any vortex and no noise/splashing. Develop a regular but not too fast cadence.

It is a bit like rubbing stomach and patting head at first, but it works! As I was told, after the first million strokes you have it off to a "T".

I love them for rolling ever since I made my first one and tried, but never felt "secure" paddling in rough water. Now i use them more and more. My daughter has grown up on them and uses all the time.

Steve
Cheers,
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watt
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Re: Greenland Paddle Technique

Post by watt » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:01 am

I don't use my euro anymore from the first day I got my GP. The rougher the water, the more I'm glad to have it. No feather to think about, 100% symmetric, no left and right, just grab it in any situation (especially upside down), feel the blade and go. I also use different types of strokes, form the shallow one described above to a higher angle, pure torso rotation stroke with both arms nearly straight, no elbow use.

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MikeB
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Re: Greenland Paddle Technique

Post by MikeB » Fri Oct 08, 2010 11:56 am

Hi Tim - sincere apologies, but I missed this thread initially! I'm afriad it's not me wearing the Tilley (interesting way to id people tho! ) - - - and in truth I've no practical experience to offer as regards G/land paddle techniques although from the comments so far here I really should try harder!

It's clearly a glaring omission from the Almanac as well so no doubt this thread will deal with that!

You've maybe found the rather excellent website of Qajaqusa? If not, it's dedicated to G/land kayaking and a rake around in it and the newsletters might produce some ideas? They've got this rather excellent articel on technique on the site.

Hope this helps - Mike.

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Re: Greenland Paddle Technique^

Post by richard b » Sat Oct 09, 2010 11:27 pm


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MikeD
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Re: Greenland Paddle Technique^

Post by MikeD » Sun Oct 10, 2010 8:27 am

Here is a good technique resource:

http://greenlandpaddle.com/index.php?op ... &Itemid=76

Martin is an aspirant L5 BCU coach, and uses GP, Wings & normal euro blades..


Mike

tg
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Re: Greenland Paddle Technique^

Post by tg » Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:19 pm

Many thanks guys,

I will be practising more.

MikeB,

You referred to needing a new Tilley in the Swiss Army knife thread! I thought the one in the photo might be a bit new lookin'.

richard b,

That's exactly what I'm talking about (I liked the boat Dana paddled very much by the way).

Tim
"I sink therfore I am".

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Re: Greenland Paddle Technique^

Post by sleepybubble » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:01 pm

tg wrote:Many thanks guys,

I will be practising more.

MikeB,

You referred to needing a new Tilley in the Swiss Army knife thread! I thought the one in the photo might be a bit new lookin'.

richard b,

That's exactly what I'm talking about (I liked the boat Dana paddled very much by the way).

Tim

Sorry to bump and old thread but.... having converted to a GP over the past few months for economic reasons, I was out over the weekend and found myself consistantly falling behind paddling into the wind, when normally I would be at the head of the pack on Euro blades. I have concluded my technique must have been poor for the style of paddle. I'm used to the concept of acheiving power and speed through high angle high cadence full body rotation, however it just was not keeping me up with the others yesterday. Did you do use any of the techniques lifted from any of the posted links Tim and which seemed to work best. I have bookmarked the article from Qajaqusa and intend to reread it a few times and play with the 'canted' angle thing and upstroke power.
I have to admit that I almost resolved after yesterday to only paddle Euro when faced with strong headwinds, I did infact resort to my splits at one point, but as they are only 200's I was not really gaining much out of them so went back to the GP.
I love the GP for downwind paddling, surfing, rough water and everything else, but I'm finding it falls short on sprint power for catching some waves and into the wind stuff. I presume its down to me and what I'm doing and not the paddle.

As I am constantly having to defend my use of a lollipop stick and fend off requests for 'the bit of firewood' I'd hate for any form of weekness in its use to shine through ;)

Mark

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watt
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Re: Greenland Paddle Technique^

Post by watt » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:50 pm

I thought having the same problem, there are conditions (particularly into the wind) were I fall behind paddlers having usually the same speed. I tried my euro again, but the result was the same plus I was more tired. The reason is my boat, in certain combinations of wind and high waves the wavelength is outside of the "comfort" area of my boat, it's simply to short to catch the next wave. Instead it falls into the trough with a big splash taking out all speed. In other upwind conditions (lower waves) I don't have these problems.

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Re: Greenland Paddle Technique^

Post by Bards » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:35 pm

I pretty well concur with all the above... the only time I've used a GP was when the OP inflicted his on me whilst on the water the other month...! I was in a tippy boat, and it was blowing F7 from memory, though despite my enormous reservations I was instantly at home with it in the lumpy stuff (frankly I was a bit miffed to have to move yet another thing out of my 'avoid at all costs - a tool of Satan' file...!). Maybe this is because I have a fairly disciplined forward stroke style and always paddle with zero-feather on my Euroblade, so perhaps no huge adjustment is necessary for me personally; it may be more of a leap for those mis-guided enough to still cling on to their off-sets ;-). Perhaps those who experience the most noticable problem into the wind are those used to paddling with a high-angle offset which would reduce the wind resistance on the push-stoke the most? Personally, I don't find an issue with punching flats through a headwind, but there do seem to be those that do, so maybe would feel the same with an overgrown lolly stick?
Reference the pace I would also agree; my bunch generally paddles at a reasonable canter using Euros , and we know from experience that the grim spectre of a GP will bring down group speed noticably and trigger much sotto voce chuntering on my part. A classic case of "built for comfort, not built for speed" to quote Willie Dixon (possibly a UKRGB first there...) like many a boat, as mentioned by watt...
Like Gnarly, I also found it ideal in rough water, despite fearing the worst...

I'm interested to know; is there a significant tie-in with Euro angle of feather and credible torsion rotation/straight arm style and easy of transition to GP, or is that self-delusion? It does seem to have some logic behind it...

Bards

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ArnoG
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Re: Greenland Paddle Technique^

Post by ArnoG » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:39 pm

Good thread that I missed last year.

I bought a GP a couple of months ago. I think in terms of speed, I've not seen that much of a difference. I've been using the canted stroke which appart from a misshap tripping myself over when overcanting the blade, it works pretty well and it feels like some wing-like effect going on.
My main gripe with it is for rough water, support strokes, acceleration for surf etc like the OP. I suppose I'll just have to work on my technique. I just keep looking at gnarly dog's vids to see how far I can push its use.
Last week end I was at the UK Storm Gathering on Anglesey and met a Dane they who paddled Greenland and only that. The amusing thing was that he just bought a pair of euros and he was really struggling getting to grips with it. He did some rough water handling and fell in a couple of times finding it difficult to find support or roll back up with the feathered blades.
I do like my GP, it's simple, lo-tech, nice to handle, the zippo lighter of paddles, but I still have some learning to do.
A.-

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Re: Greenland Paddle Technique^

Post by sleepybubble » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:40 pm

ArnoG wrote:Good thread that I missed last year.

My main gripe with it is for rough water, support strokes, acceleration for surf etc like the OP.
My main plus for it is exactly these situations, I think the added bouyancy of the GP is great in static braces when in bouncy water. When on downwind surfy type runs it give a suberb trailing support with much less stalling resistance. Plus I have never yet accidentally sliced a GP paddle and followed it into the water like I have done on occasion with a Euro blade.

Where it lets me down is the speed thing, on longer crossings (shiants from Lewis for e.g.) I have always dumped it in favour of a euro. Which is a pity as the GP seems to be softer on my arms and shoulders, and so would be of much benifit on these sorts of trips, plus as I found on the past two sundays paddling into strong winds is just slow.

I guess I'll consciously think about the canting thing next time I'm out and see how much of what I'm doing matchs up to reccomended techniques, and if I can improve on the speed.

Mark

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Greenland Paddle Technique^

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:28 pm

I recently gave two Greenland paddles a trial for a total of just over 1000km but have since returned to Euro paddles. I tried the Greenlands after attending a couple of symposium sessions. As I paddle Euros without a feather, I took to Greenlands pretty quickly and liked them in all paddling conditions and for my failsafe back deck roll. Paddling on my own or with others using Greenlands I was pretty happy that I was paddling at my usual pace but I began to get a niggle of pain in my wrists. At that point I switched from a wooden Greenland to an amazingly light carbon fibre one. Its loom was slightly narrower and at first I didn't notice any wrist pain and whenever I was out with my usual paddling buddies I kept up fine when we were just cruising along. However, whenever some real push was required like going into a fresh wind or paddling against the tide, my wrist pain returned and I fell behind. The final straw came one 50km day down on the Solway. We had missed the tide and faced a long walk over the sands as the ebb was well established and we were paddling hard. My wrists were in agony and I was lagging way behind so I changed back to my carbon fibre Euro splits. What a transformation, my wrist pain went away and I rocketed to the head of the fleet. I haven't touched the Greenland since.

I was very attracted to the Greenland paddle for lots of reasons (though I had no intention of ever dressing all in black or taking up Greenland rolling) but for me the romance and hype "they are traditional, so they must be better" did not work out. I have had just as bad experiences with other Euro blades, so I am not anti Greenland and "for" Euro paddles. I think finding a paddle that suits our own anatomy and paddling style is really important and fortunately there is a lot of choice out there. You might say I didn't give Greenlands enough time and maybe I didn't get enough coaching (two three hours sessions) but I think 1000km and two different sticks was a fair trial for me.

My current paddle is a Werner Cyprus on a cranked shaft and although I like it very much indeed, I know at least two people who did not get along with them at all and have sold theirs. One is now using a Greenland!

Douglas

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PeterG
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Re: Greenland Paddle Technique^

Post by PeterG » Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:31 pm

I find it no slower, but it does take longer to reach cruising speed. However, as Douglas says, one size does not fit all. The stroke looks simple but for at least a year, maybe 2 you are finding a faster and faster and easier and easier grip on the water all the time. A friend who prides himself on high speed tried one on and off and after two years suddenly found the spot for quick and easy distance work. However, I will admit there comes a time when only the meat cleaver will do, fighting to stay on the wave in a tide race for instance. The euro blade is good at chopping through the bones, but give me a sharp knife for carving the joint at the table.

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Re: Greenland Paddle Technique^

Post by tg » Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:18 pm

Ok, one year on... doesn't it just fly?

These are my two loverlies.

Image

Perhaps if your not completely happy, yet, with rolling, support and control strokes you might be carrying a little tension. I think my musculature has developed differently since using a gp. Especially the torso, and boy did it need it.

As Gnarls said, I think, it really is about technique. I find I need to develop a good rhythm and find the right cadence (higher than a euro; I equate it to a low gear, low input ,higher revs.). When it comes together it's great. A lot of my paddles are quite leisurely affairs and I don't get the run I need to develop the rhythm. I've found 20 plus milers quite undemanding especially with the thinner paddle. Warmer, softer, cruisey.

Canting the inboard edge is my preferred technique. I recently spent hours discussing gp.s and aleut paddles with those that know about these things; exploring the vortices created by various blade edges; lift in the stern created by canting; the leverage gained in sliding strokes...

I have definitely improved over the past 12month. It seems to require grace and technique, not monkey shoulders. As a graceful, debonair and, might I say, stylish and humble modern man I find this approach suits my temperament. :-)

Tim
"I sink therfore I am".

tg
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Re: Greenland Paddle Technique^

Post by tg » Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:57 pm

sleepybubble wrote:
tg wrote:Many thanks guys,

I will be practising more.

MikeB,

You referred to needing a new Tilley in the Swiss Army knife thread! I thought the one in the photo might be a bit new lookin'.

richard b,

That's exactly what I'm talking about (I liked the boat Dana paddled very much by the way).

Tim
Sorry to bump and old thread but.... having converted to a GP over the past few months for economic reasons, I was out over the weekend and found myself consistantly falling behind paddling into the wind, when normally I would be at the head of the pack on Euro blades. I have concluded my technique must have been poor for the style of paddle. I'm used to the concept of acheiving power and speed through high angle high cadence full body rotation, however it just was not keeping me up with the others yesterday. Did you do use any of the techniques lifted from any of the posted links Tim and which seemed to work best. I have bookmarked the article from Qajaqusa and intend to reread it a few times and play with the 'canted' angle thing and upstroke power.
I have to admit that I almost resolved after yesterday to only paddle Euro when faced with strong headwinds, I did infact resort to my splits at one point, but as they are only 200's I was not really gaining much out of them so went back to the GP.
I love the GP for downwind paddling, surfing, rough water and everything else, but I'm finding it falls short on sprint power for catching some waves and into the wind stuff. I presume its down to me and what I'm doing and not the paddle.

As I am constantly having to defend my use of a lollipop stick and fend off requests for 'the bit of firewood' I'd hate for any form of weekness in its use to shine through ;)

Mark
Sorry Mark(sleeps) I went off on a bit of a ramble there... I should give you a better response.

I use a low angle, the whole blade almost to wet my knuckles, gripping the blade shoulder (square loom), progressive trunk rotation, a higher but more rhythmic cadence (than I would with a euro), canting the inboard edge and even a flick on the blade as it leaves the water (I do this with a wing too). I definitely feel that I'm getting wing type affect, and... a low deck. I can definitel paddle more efficiently in my greenland (style!) boat as opposed to my bigger boat with higher fore deck peak. The more I get into this greenland thing the more I think it's all about the wind, and energy conservation.

I occasionally try to hack with the paddle (as per PeterG), especially when paddling with euro. types, but I reckon I'm losing efficiency that way.

Tim
"I sink therfore I am".

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