Submitted: 08-01-2011 by sitka
I first tried these paddles the the Northwest Paddling Festival in Seattle. All I can say is wow!
The finish is incredibly smooth on the blades and on the loom. There is a seam at the joint where the sections slide together, but it also is smooth and hands or gloves will not catch on them. The finish is not glossy, it is a nice matte finish which plays nicely to my sense of aesthetics.
When I tried it I wasn't sure about the hard shoulders of the blades. I thought it might cause some problems with sliding the paddle for extended strokes, but my hands glided right over them and lent themselves nicely as to where my hands were on the paddle. The blades are slightly hollowed out along the center ridge which I imagine lends itself to the stiff nature of the paddle. The loom inserts slide snugly into the blades and, in a pinch, probably wouldn't require the bolts to hold the sections together. The bolts are stainless steel and fit smoothly into the recess on the blades and don't catch on the hands or gloves. Also, the bolts are easily available and can be found at any hardware store or fastener supplier.
This paddle feels great. no vibration or cavitation, no efficiency lost due to flex, and great hand feel. As I was commenting above on the shoulders, I tried going from a scull in the normal position to an extended scull and the shoulder slid past my hand nice and easy. As I tried some rolls I noticed just how stiff the paddle was. It has a little flex to it but certainly not like I've felt in some wooden paddles.
I've had the opportunity to take it into some of my favorite play spots in Deception Pass to put it to the test and all the good feeling I had about it were confirmed. After all, it's one thing to try it out in flat water, but another thing entirely to try it out in Deception Pass's Room of Doom with boat swallowing whirlpools and boils.
One of my gripes about paddling with Greenland paddles is trying to store it during transport. The breakdown design alleviates this problem entirely. Paul says, carefully in his website, that the reason he designed this paddle was for travel. Well I say bollocks to that, this is one of my go to paddles whether I'm just out for some miles or playing in the rough stuff.
Hands down a great production paddle and accessible for those interested in trying Greenland techniques without going through the hassle of a custom paddle sized specifically for them or carving it themselves.