Ever have someone really make your day with something so simple? Like one little innocent comment that really makes you laugh and think? I just did. It made me wonder why we work so hard to have fun sometimes.
I was out tooling around some water with my "skinny stick" (Greenland paddle) in a sweet sleek sea kayak when a guy in a parked houseboat sipping a beer with some friends called out, "Hey. What's that thing you're paddling with? The stick I use to stir my cake mix with is bigger than that!"
"Ha! It's a Greenland paddle", I replied.
"Can you get anywhere with that!?"
"Why do you paddle with it!?"
"Well, lots of reasons":
"The long narrow blade of the Greenland paddle doesn't catch the wind like a big spoon, and spreads the pull on the water over a longer area. A big bladed paddle has a bigger pull on the water over a shorter wider area and puts more strain on your body."
"These paddles were invented by the Inuit people of Greenland propelling their kayaks through big seas and wind, sometimes with a harpooned walrus in tow! They knew what they were doing!"
After I gave him a few reasons why I paddle with a Greenland paddle, the real reason hit me and it was the most important one:
"When I paddle with my Greenland paddle, it makes me feel connected to the water and my kayak."
Now here's the funny, ironic part of this whole Greenland paddle thing, a skinny stick that always stirs curiosity to newcomers to the "stick", and the thing that made the guy and his crew laugh out loud:
"Plus, you can make one of these things for about 9 bucks! Now my expensive $500 Werner fiberglass paddle is my spare paddle!"
I've probably got one of the longest skinniest Greenland paddles around at 8 foot 8 inches long, and 2 3/4 inches at the widest part of the blade. And I love it!
More and more, I see people making their Greenland paddles with wider and wider blades for more power. Hey, is that cheating? Is it still a Greenland paddle?