Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Kids Greenland Paddle - Part 1

Until it's warm enough for epoxy, I can't really get much done on Sara's kayak.  So, I decided to make her a greenland style paddle.  There are a variety of resources available on the internet describing how to estimate sizing them, I used the Qajak USA recommendations as a starting point.  Since Sara's boat will be relatively wide compared to her size, I made the overall length and loom length a couple of inches longer than the suggested anthropomorphic size.

I'm too lazy to carve a paddle out of a single piece of wood and I'm too cheap to buy a bandsaw, so I laminate.  I started with two 3/8" x 2 1/2" cedar boards which made the "blades" of the paddle.  I then cut 3/8" out of the middle of a 1" dowel to make the loom and paddle blade reinforcement.

Major pieces
Glued up
The next step will be to plane the blades to the correct shape and sand it smooth.  Finally, I'll apply an oil finish.


  1. A nice project. I am still trying to wrap my mind around comparison: a narrow paddle that gets little done with each stroke but you can stroke faster to a wider paddle that gets more done with each stroke though at a slower rate. The "many light strokes" of a Greenland paddle would seem to create more chance for repetitive motion injury. But I know I am missing something -- what? What's the science?

    1. LOL, I wish I knew!
      Honestly, I am not completely a GP convert myself... I have used them with varying success, I think I'm still trying to find one of the correct size. So far, I have only used a Euro (wide blade) paddle for Watertribe events. However, GPs have a very well proven track record in Watertribe and other events.
      Even outside of kayaks, canoe paddles for example, smaller paddle blades are preferred for marathon type events. I think the theory is that the smaller blades put less stress on your body during the stroke, therefore reducing likelihood of injury. In pretty much all of paddlesports, you will see marathon events using smaller paddles than sprint events.

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