Submitted: 04-16-2009 by kocho
Ive had the Lumpy for about 6 months now. Being my first entry into the Greenland paddle world, I did not know what to expect. But I was at a point I wanted to try a GP and so it happened that I came across one of these offered new at an irresistible sale price locally. It was a close fit for my size on paper so I bought it.
It took me several months and a lesson or two to get the basic stroke mastered to a level where I can paddle for hours near the top speed of my kayak without much fatigue. The reason I say this is that at first I did not like the paddle very much in terms of fit. But as I learned more, I found it is actually a pretty good fit and a rather comfortable paddle.
It is not feather light but is relatively light weight and comparable to most mid-grade composite paddles in weight. I have since carved my own paddle that is a little less powerful (in terms of catch on the water) and is considerably lighter, but the Lumpy is much more solid feeling - now I have two paddles to choose from, depending on conditions and needs.
Craftsmanship is superb flawless on mine. Made from a good piece of wood and finished very smoothly with rubbed Tung oil it appears easy to touch-up with a little cotton swab of Tung oil every few weeks where I scratch or nick it.
The paddle is very quiet on entry and exit from the water and has enough grip on the water for quick acceleration. Yet it is not too wide-bladed (3-1/4" for mine at 88" long) to be a problem over long distances or in winds.
I was not very keen on the somewhat defined transition b/w loom and blade initially, but lately began to appreciate the positive feedback this provides about where my hands are on the paddle. That's important since with a paddle like this one tends to move their hands a lot depending on the task at hand. The transitions are smooth enough to not interfere with sliding stroke or to cause rubbing in any particular spot.
The paddle is of good volume and thus quite buoyant. I went beyond my initial basic rolling ability with this paddle thanks to this and the general GP design. I'd love to have a carbon version of it that would be even lighter, even though this wooden one is of very manageable weight.
The paddle works very well for a high angle stroke as well as for low angle relaxed paddling. My other paddle (besides the one I made) is a wing paddle and having a GP and a Wing seems to be a very good combination both are sufficiently different and offer the chance to work on a different technique while paddling. I can generally maintain similar speeds with both paddles, but they feel distinctly different the wing is more powerful and offers faster acceleration and top speed but the GP seems to tire me less at the end of 10-15 mile paddling at a brisk pace. The reason is simple with the GP I can switch hand positions and technique more so than with the wing, the latter being more demanding of a proper stroke and trajectory in the water. The GP is also more versatile in terms of corrective strokes and rolling.
I had a chance to speak with Bill about the paddle great guy with good advice. I would highly recommend his paddle and his experience to you if you are considering a venture into GP territory for a first time or looking for your next paddle.