Wednesday, June 1, 2011

People who make your day . . . in a good way . . . and the Greenland paddle connection!

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."
  • "My Greenland paddle let me keep paddling when my injured right shoulder was healing and I haven't reinjured it as long as I stick with my Greenland paddle." (See: Let's talk yoga, a Greenland paddle and healing a wrecked shoulder.)
  • "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?

Learn more about Greenland paddles at :  Adanac Paddles, Ontario, Canada or see: Greenland Paddle Makers

The Greenland paddle movement is growing! They are making a big comeback and there are more and more converts to the "stick"!

The GP connects you to so many things
  • Yourself
  • The Water and what it connects to
  • Other people
  • Great things you keep discovering
You can add to this list I'm sure!

Have you joined the GP community . . . yet!?
Happy paddling!
The BaffinPaddler


  1. Interesting post! During my recent paddle on Beaver Dam Lake (NC), I spotted two kayakers paddling with Greenland paddles. I also wondered about how these "sticks" handle versus more traditional paddle shapes like my Werner and Aqua-Bound paddles. Would like to "borrow" a Greenland paddle and give it a try before I am "sold" on them. BTW, how are you able to get "yourself" in so many of your blog photos? Most bloggers stay pretty much "off camera" since they are the ones taking the photos! ;-)

  2. Hi Mike,

    Greenland paddles come in so many different sizes and shapes. Best is to have one custom make for you and like you suggest, test paddle a few. I prefer shoulderless. I tried out 8 different models before I bought one made by another paddler who had made 15. Some people like to make their own. It's a lot of work and dust!

    Happy GP shopping. We are lucky to have great Greenland paddle resources in Canada!

    Regarding pics. I paddle with people who can snap and shoot!


  3. P.S. The first time I tried a Greenland paddle, I hated it!

  4. "When I paddle with my Greenland paddle, it makes me feel connected to the water and my boat."

    That's one of the best insights I've seen.

    I gave up Euro-style (read plastic) paddles a few years ago. The Greenland paddles are so much quieter in the water and efficient. And like you say, they provide me with a connection to water and the area I'm paddling. What can I say, "They're mystical."

    Great blog. I'll have to check in more often.

  5. Thanks Dave! The Weathered Paddle is a great GP site. I'll have to add you to my Greenland Paddle Makers page too. Are you also building a blog page?


  6. Yes, and thanks. I have added a blog to my site. I'm just getting it up and functioning. So much to do, so little time :-)

    I enjoy your blog. Keep it up.