Photo by Björn Nehrhoff
There is no side to choose between the Euro blade and Greenland paddle – they each have pros and cons so I won’t argue the supremacy of either, rather just highlight the ways in which the Greenlander has enriched my paddling experience and for sure will level up yours!
The Greenland paddle is a natural piece of time-hewn wisdom, it is equipment that has been improved and perfected over thousands of years and you feel all that flow when paddling traditionally. It’s a whole new sensation that, funnily enough, may throw you off the first couple of tries because it requires a bit of mastering to sincerely be enjoyable, but once you achieve that, with not too much effort, you know you are hooked to the natural vibe of a traditional paddle for life.
Going on the water, I always bring both. There is a time and place for each and for me, I like to start out to sea with my Euro blade and swap paddles half way through, especially on longer trips, because the Greenlander is so fluent and swift that it asks little to no effort from your joints, plus being so compact and light it is a nice back-up to have on your deck. It is interesting and very liberating to swap technique mid-trip, as going from the Euro blade to a Greenland paddle, where your paddling becomes more fast paced but lighter, allows you to rest and recuperate to last long trips so it’s kind of a must-have for lengthy sea kayak trips.
Rolling and sculling – there is no match for a Greenland paddle. The freedom and variety you can have rolling your kayak with a wooden paddle is amazing. The pure buoyancy of the Greenlander helps to make sense of rolling, not to mention it makes the whole thing easier, because the paddle’s shape always tells you for sure, how it’s positioned so learning to roll is a very natural process, using the Greenlander.
Greenland paddling technique differs from Euro blade and the easiest way to learn it is simply to go with the flow. It won’t allow you to make the wrong moves as you feel it right away, the dithering of the blade. Just sense the movement of the paddle …and maybe also watch some videos on YouTube – there are plenty. The paddling options a Greenlander gives you are vast, because the shape of the paddle allows you to effortlessly shift your hands on the paddle to allow power strokes and smooth turning.
Last but not least – the Greenland paddle just looks super sweet! There are so many options and variations out there, which means you have the freedom to find the one that is right for you. The Greenland paddle, besides being enjoyable and eerily quiet, is significant and has a history of it’s own, which is something you can truly appreciate.