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#1 27 Jan 2013 8:00 pm

beaker
Member
Registered: 9 Oct 2011
Posts: 81

Making a Greenland paddle

I fancied a paddle in keeping with the boat. The Chuck Holst plans for a West Greenland paddle, using a 2x4 plank, seem to be a popular choice. The timber merchants in Carrington let me sort through the Western Red Cedar stack till I found a 15 foot piece which was clear of any knots in the lenght that would be the paddle.

Marking out was based on my measurements, so I have a slightly shorter loom than normal. Sawing the faces of the blades was tricky, without a bandsaw. They came out a bit twisted, but as I cut oversize, I could recover it in the planing later on. I'd probably plane them down from the start next time.

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Then using a jigsaw, the profile is cut.

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After that, it is all about carefully whittling down to the construction lines. I found the best tool was a flat spokeshave. The edges of the blades are probably a little thick, but I'll try it out before I do anything else. It's finished with Danish Oil. The finish could do with some more rubbing down and a thin topcoat, but it will be fine for a tryout for now.

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#2 27 Jan 2013 10:08 pm

fairplay
Member
Registered: 16 Jun 2011
Posts: 109

Re: Making a Greenland paddle

...very nice!...


'...so, how many kayaks do you really need?...' - '...one more!...'

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#3 28 Jan 2013 11:52 pm

beaker
Member
Registered: 9 Oct 2011
Posts: 81

Re: Making a Greenland paddle

Tried it out in the pool today.
It works well for rolling, and is good to reach out really wide. I was in a plastic river boat, so not an ideal match for the paddle. You can't dig in at a steep angle, otherwise it flutters all over the place. However, once up to speed, I could keep a high cadence and low angle, and it seemed to work -till I ran out of pool.

I'll try it next week in my own boat.

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#4 29 Jan 2013 4:29 pm

Richard
Member
From: East Sussex
Registered: 7 Jun 2011
Posts: 74

Re: Making a Greenland paddle

This type of paddle has become popular recently but I couln't work out why.  Thanks for the user test. Fyne sell a book coveriing the build of this paddle.  Has anyone built one.


Addition
I have just seen the man in the cold weather gear in the 1st and 15th picutre of the Chesapeake kayaks.  Is he a member who tell us about the paddles?

Last edited by Richard (29 Jan 2013 4:38 pm)


Canoe & Kayak Owner

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#5 29 Jan 2013 8:14 pm

beaker
Member
Registered: 9 Oct 2011
Posts: 81

Re: Making a Greenland paddle

I found a study on the net which suggests tipping the top edge of the blade forwards a few degrees on entry, which reduces the flutter, and helps it work like a wing paddle. Apparently this technique holds the vortex onto the paddle, so no flutter, and better grip. Well known to Greenlanders apparently. I'll try it next week.

In its favour, the paddle is versatile, feels nice in the hands, and surprisingly light - two people asked if it was hollow. It also looks the part. I'll need to wait for a long trip to decide if I prefer it for all day paddling or not.

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#6 30 Jan 2013 12:46 pm

Paul
Employee
From: Gatebeck Cumbria
Registered: 4 Aug 2011
Posts: 119

Re: Making a Greenland paddle

Richard wrote:

Fyne sell a book coveriing the build of this paddle.

Thanks for the plug Richard!  We also sell Greenland Paddles ready made.  They feel really good to handle but I must admit that I have no proper experience of using them over a long distance.  You have got me intrigued to know more.

I am not sure if the person you mention in the photographs is on this forum but I can remember him and will get in touch with him to see if he can offer any advice.

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#7 1 Feb 2013 5:10 pm

Richard
Member
From: East Sussex
Registered: 7 Jun 2011
Posts: 74

Re: Making a Greenland paddle

Any luck?


Canoe & Kayak Owner

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#8 5 Feb 2013 9:28 pm

beaker
Member
Registered: 9 Oct 2011
Posts: 81

Re: Making a Greenland paddle

Well tilting the blade was surprisingly effective at getting the power in without flutter. I need to try it out on a rather longer trip than the Westhoughton pool now.

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#9 12 Feb 2013 5:35 pm

Paul
Employee
From: Gatebeck Cumbria
Registered: 4 Aug 2011
Posts: 119

Re: Making a Greenland paddle

I have been in touch with the person who is featured in the photograph on the Chesapeake page.  He prefers to paddle rather than sit hunched over a computer but he did give me some information over the telephone.  He made the paddle featured in the photograph  and experimented with different lengths until he felt comfortable. (By the way, just to complete the advertisement that this is turning into, we also sell the cedar for this job.)

He says that the paddles feel more comfortable than other types and they are definitely less strain on the wrists.  He also finds that since they have a large blade it is easier to roll the boat with this type of paddle.  His advice is to go out and try one – “they just sing in the water”.


I worry about not having feathered blades.

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#10 13 Feb 2013 12:19 am

beaker
Member
Registered: 9 Oct 2011
Posts: 81

Re: Making a Greenland paddle

I had a trip up the Bridgewater Canal today to try it out on a longer trip. It is certainly easier on the joints. It needs a higher cadence, but travels slightly slower.  I alternated with my standard paddle, which does pull harder. 5-6 km/h seemed comfortable with the Greenland, and 6-7 for the standard. However, I'd need to go for a few hours to see how fatigue makes a difference.

I also alternated between the two styles for rolling in the pool. It was definitely easier to haul the roll back up with a standard blade, though that is probably my rubbish technique. I'd be interested to try out a wider greenland blade shape - like photoguy, I will probably experiment some more.

In proper authentic Greenland style, I did have ice freezing to my paddle today!

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