Submitted: 11-17-2010 by pukaskwa
I began using a greenland paddle this summer, and started with an 85 inch Superior graphite paddle.
I love it. Outrageously light. Very strong. Shows no signs of significant wear despite heavy use so far. Feels great in the hand. Have not had problems with it being slippery-when-wet, as some others have mentioned.
To anyone who has not yet tried greenland paddling, but is thinking about it...I would strongly urge you to give it a try. I immediately found it to be a much more natural paddling motion (had been doing a high-angle style with a bent-shaft Werner Ikelos prior). I love its performance in high winds; it seems utterly unaffected by winds from any direction, even in mid-30-knot winds. The fact that the arms are kept relatively low and the body does not have to turn to the side as much (torso twist is "magnified" due to the hands being closer together) keeps one naturally more balanced. Using a canted-blade technique for forward paddling, and given the thin blades, one is able to convert to a low-brace instantaneously on the same side as a power stroke...while the dynamics of the canted stroke make needing to brace on the side opposite the power stroke unlikely. Rolling is a breeze. I have had no problems learning to surf kayak using one. In fact, the while somewhat lacking "power" in the surf, the GP has the advantage of being less likely to be disturbed by the wave you are trying to punch through, or being snatched out of your hands while capsized.
Simply a great method of paddling, and Superior's version is simply great as well. While many prefer the aesthetics of a wood paddle, I prefer the strength and lightness of their perfectly-symmetric carbon fiber. And though some claim less "feel" with carbonfiber vs. wood, I think that the stiffness of carbonfiber actually produces more true "feel". Furthermore, it is more efficient in transmitting your movements and power to the water.