RICK/A Sea Kayaking Forum

Commerce => Gear Reviews => Topic started by: FredF on July 21, 2012, 04:33:43 PM

Title: Greenland Stick
Post by: FredF on July 21, 2012, 04:33:43 PM
Greetings all,

For several years, I contemplated trying, buying, or building my own Greenland stick, but I figured I should have at least learned to paddle a Euro paddle competently.  ::)  ???

To make a long story as short as possible, I went out and bought a nice piece of western red cedar and commissioned my next door neighbor to build a Greenland paddle. I provided the directions and videos I found online and he quickly produced a paddled, which I then finished by applying polyurethane to the tips and tung oil to the rest.

I tried the paddle for the first time today. Initially, I wasn't quite sure how to use the paddle, but after a while, the paddle sort of showed me what do to. In short, I'm a convert and already have ideas to give to my neighbor to create a second paddle for me. :D

BTW, I have two Euro paddles for sale.... ;)
Title: Re: Greenland Stick
Post by: Mike Cleary on July 21, 2012, 11:22:39 PM
That is great Fred.  I too have recently converted to using a Greenland paddle and I had to go up to Methuen, MA to pick mine up from SCM Kayak.  The paddle I received is really nice but it would be even better if someone local was able to make them.  Let your woodworking buddy know there might be a market for them and maybe you can get a few more people to give them a try.

I have had a great experience using my Greenland paddle, I have developed several trustworthy rolls and probably saved my joints some stress on longer paddles.  And like Fred says - switching to a Greenland paddle is easy, it does sort of "show you what to do".

Title: Re: Greenland Stick
Post by: FredF on July 23, 2012, 08:25:17 PM
Mike and anyone else interested, I talked to my neighbor today. He's and experienced carpenter and woodworker and is willing to make Greenland paddles for other folks, but would like to receive some constructive feedback from an experienced Greenland paddler on the one he made for me first. He also prefers that he'd like a customer paddle with the stick before finishing with polyurethane or tung oil so he could still tweak it if needed.  8)
Title: Re: Greenland Stick
Post by: Mike Cleary on July 24, 2012, 10:57:57 PM
Fred, that is great.  I actually have a 2 piece that I just ordered coming to me now; but I would be interested in getting a solid non laminated paddle at some point, maybe even a Storm paddle.  I will keep an eye out for your name in any upcoming paddles so I can check out the paddle he made for you.  If I don't catch up to you I might send you an E-mail to see if there is a time we could meet up this Summer.  I will also spread the word about the new local paddle maker.

Do you have any idea what he would charge for a paddle made from 1 piece of western Red Cedar?
Title: Re: Greenland Stick
Post by: FredF on July 25, 2012, 03:07:24 PM
Hi Mike,

Weather permitting, I plan to paddle with a friend on Friday, but I also plan to paddle with the RICKA sea kayak folks this Sunday from Ft. Wetherill. Take your pick. If neither day works for you, let me know which day would be best. Since I'm retired, most days work for me. LOL.  8)
Title: Re: Greenland Stick
Post by: mkrabach on August 05, 2012, 08:38:17 PM
When I built my SOF in Oregon last year, I also built (as part of the class) a greenland paddle.  I have since duplicated the paddle for a spare.  I like the simplicity of the one piece construction. I coated both my paddles with Watco oil.  Easier to get than tung oil and produces a very nice finish which does not get slippery as does a urethane coating, when wet.  For a source of the paddles see the following link.  He also gives prices.

One thing that no one has picked up on, even in the literature, is that a greenland paddle is a true wing paddle.   A long aspect high profile symetrical wing.  And it is to be paddled as a wing.
Title: Re: Greenland Stick
Post by: mkrabach on August 06, 2012, 08:30:02 AM
Forgot to add one more source of paddles on west coast, also sold at Cape Falcon Kayaks.
Title: Re: Greenland Stick
Post by: FredF on August 06, 2012, 09:14:05 AM
Mike, thanks for the info. I'm still getting the hang of paddling with the Greenland stick. Perhaps you could show me some pointers?  8)
Title: Re: Greenland Stick
Post by: mkrabach on August 07, 2012, 11:08:14 AM
Not sure I am the expert on using the greenland paddle.  Eric J., Mike R., Bill H., and others have been using them longer than me.  But Google for technique on the Web.  You will find out the secret (?) is canting the paddle forward slightly.  This results in the paddle actually flying upside down underwater.  Too much cant and it will dive down and under the boat.  Whereas a spoon paddle (Eurospoon...haha) is pulled with the blade canted backward slightly giving a little lift and alot of drag.  That why the asymetrical shape works only one way.

The new "Wing" paddles, spoon style, are true wings of short aspect ratio, high profile asymetrical profiles.  They are paddled yet differently than either the "Eurospoon" or the "greenland".

To see the true power of the wing, push the blade down in the water (while moving) and watch what happens when you twist the paddle forward like flying a wing.  As soon as the bubbles disappear (bubbles are a stalled wing) and you get clean flow over the paddle it will suddenly jump up to the surface.  It is now acting like a true wing.  This experiment works best if you keep the paddle more or less horizontal so you can see it and get bubbles over the paddle when you push it suddenly down from the surface. 

From this understanding of the wing, you can understand the subtle differences in the greenland profile.  Some have a very low profile (wing profile) and some (like my Cape Falcon style) have a high profile.  The paddle with the "thinner wing" will be more critical in paddling angle than the "fatter" wing profile.  The thinner wing is more prone to flutter. 

The original paddle I made in Oregon is pretty much what you see on the Cape Falcon pages.  I made a spare, eyeballing the dimensions, but did not make it as fine in profile.  The leading and trailing edges are not as clean and sharp.  It looks similar to casual examination, but is not the same.  I can feel the difference in the two paddles, which suprised me.  Slightly more pull with the orginal paddle, but have to keep the angle tighter.

I have two more 2x4's for making more paddles.  (Liberty Cedar lumberyard) It is going to be fun.  If you are really interested, a most complete source on the development (historical) is by Harvey Golden in his "Kayaks of Greenland".  He has a whole chapter on the paddles.  Pricey book: $70.

Want to have some fun with foil shapes? Try this site.