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  What is the GP style paddle called
  Posted by: string on Sep-18-12 3:11 PM (EST)
   Category: Paddles 

with the center ridge on one side of the blade?

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Messages in this Topic

 

  It's not a GP at all
  Posted by: mintjulep on Sep-18-12 3:15 PM (EST)
Sounds like an Aleutian Island style paddle.

http://www.tuktupaddles.com/Aleutpaddles.html

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/yNX1XoeUpZfRzemjslZQVdMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink
 
 
  Aleut
  Posted by: Peter-CA on Sep-18-12 3:16 PM (EST)
The one with the ridge is an Aleutian style, based on the region where the paddles were often used. GP means Greenland Paddle, and is based on the paddles used traditionally in Greenland.
 
 
  Thanks. I knew I was wrong but also
  Posted by: string on Sep-18-12 3:35 PM (EST)
knew I would get the correct answer.
 
 
  Aleut, GP, symmetry, dihedral
  Posted by: gstamer on Sep-18-12 6:12 PM (EST)
You are probably talking about an Aleut paddle as has been pointed out. That said, some Greenland paddles also feature a pronounced diamond shape on both paddle faces that results in a sharp peak down the center (on both sides of the blade).

Just as an aside, Greenland blades are not always completely symmetrical. There are East Greenland paddles (among others) that have "bent blades" (dihedral). In other words if you place the loom on the ground with the bent blades rising upwards, the tips of the blades will be an inch or so above the ground. Early researchers thought the paddles had warped, but now it seems pretty clear they were deliberately carved that way.

These are pretty cool to use. I started my Newfoundland circumnavigation with one, (but that paddle was destroyed by a huge Newfoundland dog -- a bizarre story in itself). BTW, I orient the blades with the bent side facing forward (as per a bent-shaft canoe paddle).

Greg Stamer
 
 
  Aleut and a joy!
  Posted by: bartc on Sep-18-12 7:39 PM (EST)
I researched this well before building my own Aleut paddle out of Western Red Cedar. This paddle is a joy to use, easy on my body, very efficient (particularly in any wind), great for distance, and can do anything you need it to do well. It's also a conversation starter everywhere!
 
 
  I love my GP
  Posted by: rpg51 on Sep-18-12 7:51 PM (EST)
I purchased a Greenland Paddle last winter and it has been a true joy. Mine is a Lumpy. Very nice workmanship. Fits me like a glove.
 
 
  the Aleutian Solution
  Posted by: RavenWing on Sep-18-12 8:01 PM (EST)
is working for me!

have two, both made by Tom Froese of tandjpaddles.

Like them a lot. For me they translate to quicker acceleration, longer cruising, and more bite in the waves. I use greenland paddles too, and Euro blades. They all bring something different to the game.

Agree w. greg stamer than the ribbed side makes a fine powerface, bifurcating the water and making the stroke smooth and efficient. Almost impossible to create flutter w. an Aleutian. And the flat side works just like a traditional greenland paddle.

And yeah, they are conversation starters.
 
 
  If it's made out of wood
  Posted by: magooch on Sep-20-12 3:56 PM (EST)
I call it a stick. I build my own, but I haven't built one yet that gets used as much as my Euros.
 
 
  call it whatever you want.
  Posted by: RavenWing on Sep-22-12 5:25 PM (EST)
I don't care. There is a difference betw. greenland and Aleutian paddles, and a wide variation within both types.
 
 
  Wow, very interesting. Questions.
  Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Sep-20-12 4:09 PM (EST)
Live and learn on pnet. I had never heard of or seen such a paddle before.

What is the purpose of that sharp ridge, and why and when would you use the ridged side vs. the smooth side?
 
 
  I Asked That Very Question
  Posted by: Kudzu on Sep-20-12 4:30 PM (EST)
in a thread a while back. The answer I got was that the ridge prevented flutter. Since my GPs don't flutter it's not the paddle for me.
 
 
  I was making wood chips before
  Posted by: string on Sep-20-12 4:50 PM (EST)
I started paddling and I think they look cool, so .....
 
 
  What is the power face?
  Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Sep-20-12 4:51 PM (EST)
If the ridged side is supposed to be the power face, that sharp ridge seems to be a rather primitive and overly aggressive means of preventing flutter via what we (somewhat confusingly) today call camber or dihedral. My first assumption was that the ridged side was the back face.

The ridge must degrade slicing and feathering the blade, and also must have some effect on rolling.
 
 
  Stagnation line
  Posted by: carldelo on Sep-20-12 5:15 PM (EST)
The function of the ridge is to anchor the stagnation line on the paddle face, or at least keep it from wandering too far. Flutter can be interpreted as oscillation of the stagnation line, causing flow to preferentially spill over one side of the blade, then the other, in rapid succession. The resulting pressure fluctuations on the blade cause the paddle to wobble side to side.

A GP held in a canted manner will generally present enough asymmetry to the flow to anchor the stagnation line in the right place, so a canted GP shouldn't flutter, unless pulled way too hard. An Aleut paddle can be used with the smooth face as the power face in the same way.
 
 
  It's the flutter thing.
  Posted by: bartc on Sep-20-12 5:16 PM (EST)
That's the purpose of the ridge and it works well to stop any flutter, which can be a problem if you don't cant a GP.

You should trust the Aleuts and the Inuit on anything with a kayak. They were sophisticated in their technologies for their intended uses, and this wasn't entertainment to them, it was literally life-saving!
 
 
  Trust doesn't work
  Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Sep-20-12 5:31 PM (EST)
I do trust the ability of ancient paddlers, but I don't necessarily trust us to understand what it is they intended. I'm still not convinced the ridge isn't a cambered back face.

Second, how can you "trust" inconsistent propositions. X and not-X cannot both be true propositions. If a minority of ancient paddle makers made paddles with ridges and a majority made paddles without ridges -- both groups depending for their lives on their paddles -- which design am I supposed to "trust". It doesn't work logically for me.

I'll await some empirical reports on slicing and rolling with the ridged paddles because there's more to the sport than a forward stroke.

 
 
  There's plenty of info
  Posted by: carldelo on Sep-20-12 6:28 PM (EST)
If you want reports on the behavior of Aleut and GP in various scenarios, you can start reading over at qajaqusa.org, there's a wealth of info there, most of it very well reasoned and perceptive.

Per your logic argument, there are generally multiple solutions to engineering problems. Neither the GP or the Aleut is a single design --- GP and Aleut paddles, with their wide spectrum of sizes, shapes, etc represent a family of solutions to the paddling problem. To pose them as competing designs doesn't seem particularly useful.

As far as the intentions of the builders in crafting a ridge on a paddle, of course that lies shrouded in mystery. From the standpoint of low-speed fluid mechanics, however, the behavior of the ridge in determining the flow pattern over a paddle is not really an issue of trust, but of analysis and observation.

As far as the effect of the ridge when slicing the blade or rolling, I don't remember reading anything about a difference between the two. The difference may exist, but I wager it's subtle, otherwise it would be talked about more often. If it was a real drawback, I bet the Aleut would have discarded the idea --- after all, being able to roll successfully is probably more important (as in life-saving) than avoiding flutter.
 
 
  Research
  Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Sep-20-12 8:10 PM (EST)
Carl, I'm initially inclined to disagree with some of the general assertions in your post -- re designs not competing, multiple engineering solutions (at least concerning paddles), and stagnation lines -- but I agree that I should do more research on Aleut paddles.

I must begin, however, with my more than 60 years of observing paddles. The only ones I have ever seen with an aggressive ridge down the center, other than some of these Aleut paddles, are what I would call Walmart paddles. Cheap things, where the builder merely glued flat blades onto a central pole to produce a $25 paddle.

Preliminary reading of forums indicates much confusion as to the power face of an Aleut, but the consensus seems to be that the ridged face is the primary power face, mainly on the authority of someone named Wolfgang Brinck. Some users report greater stability with the ridged face as the power face; others report less power. At least one poster reports flutter when slicing the Aleut.

Do you think the stagnation line concept -- assuming it is relevant to paddles at all -- relates more to paddle flutter or paddle power? I think the concept of a stagnation point, or small stagnation area, may be a more relevant concept for the power face of a paddle than a stagnation line. For example, a concave and curved power face would increase and hold the stagnation area more so than a convex power face. This increases power.

It seems conceivable that a sharp and abrupt power face ridge might result in a less laminar and "bumpier" water spillage off the face than a smoother and more flowing dihedral convexity. After all, a paddle is rarely pulled perfectly flush to the water, and hence that edge seems as likely to cause drag and disturbance as it does smoothly parted waters.

Finally, I can't help but observe that I have paddled with hundreds of canoe and kayak paddles that have no excessive flutter and that none of these has an Aleut ridge. Moreover, no racer in any paddling discipline that I'm aware of uses a paddle with an Aleut ridge. If such a ridge solved any efficiency issue -- flutter, power, slippage -- why haven't racers rediscovered that solution?

These are questions I'm asking mainly to myself as I conduct some further research. I'm not confident, however, of finding anything truly objective and empirical. Hardly anyone spends any real money doing real research on canoe or kayak physics. I think you told me that.

 
 
  Concept vs actuality
  Posted by: carldelo on Sep-20-12 10:54 PM (EST)
The stagnation line is not a concept, it is a fact of 3-D fluid flow over an object. It marks the boundary between the flow that goes over one side of the object, vs flow that goes over the other side.

A stagnation line exists on a paddle as it must, because some fluid flows around one side, and some flows around the other. A stagnation point only exists in 2-D flow; flow over a paddle is decidedly 3-D. There is no such thing as a stagnation area. Any intro fluids text should suffice to explain the concept in more detail.

Re: the flutter argument, it's clear to me that the ridge will reduce flutter, based on my experience in experimental fluid mechanics. No one is saying that a ridge is the only, or even the best way of avoiding flutter - that's your supposition, I think.

The fact that you've only seen a ridge on a cheap Euro paddle, and that racers don't use paddles with a ridge means nothing, of course. It's an argument, of course, but not proof of anything, as I think you must admit.
 
 
  Concepts are reality
  Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Sep-21-12 5:55 PM (EST)
Of course there are stagnation points in 3D flows. Otherwise there couldn't be a Kutta condition on an airplane wing.

I agree that if you freeze frame a paddle in the water, there will be a spill line, which you can call the stagnation line. But that line will constantly shift along the face of the blade, and may be crooked, as the paddle moves through the water, unless the paddle is pulled perfectly flush to the water at all points along stagnation/spillage line, which seems literally impossible.

Maybe "stagnation point" or "stagnation area" is the wrong term to describe how a cupped paddle "holds" water better than a flat paddle, but there are experiments that show that. The longer the water is "held" before spilling, the more power the blade has.

My experience is mainly with canoe paddles, but I have paddled with dozens of kayak paddles including GP's. Many paddles do have a mildly raised dihedral line down the center of the blade; others have a more rounded camber. Many argue this helps helps avoid flutter; others say it does so at the penalty of reducing power (the "held" water). Completely contrary, however, is that there are many flat-faced bent shaft canoe racing blades that don't have any undue flutter.

However, I have never seen any paddle in all my life that has the very high and sharply defined ridge of the Tuktu Aleutian paddle. That's not meant to be some sort of statement about my paddle knowledge. Rather, it's supposed to reflect the complete absence of this supposed performance feature in the minds and designs of competitive paddle makers over the last 60 years.
 
 
  Re dimensions
  Posted by: carldelo on Sep-22-12 12:16 AM (EST)
Sorry but there is not a stagnation 'point' in 3D flow. A cross-section of 3D flow will show a point, but overall on the paddle itself, it is a line. The shifting of the stagnation line you describe is exactly the behavior that causes flutter. I think we're talking about the same phenomenon, and having a misunderstanding re: terminology, which is understandable for internet discourse. We should really be standing at the blackboard (with a beer?), and all this would be a lot more productive.
 
 
  One last 11 dimensional point
  Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Sep-22-12 3:12 AM (EST)
Because I don't think we'll ever be together at a blackboard and I haven't drunk a beer since the Reagan administration. Sad as it is, the internet is my only current university.

Forget paddles and paddling.

Is a line not composed of points? If so, then any stagnation line is composed of stagnation points.

Consider an egg. Consider it moving through a fluid. This is a 3D space according to Euclid, or 4D according to Einstein, or 11D according to Witten.

Not considering boundary layer effects, what is the stagnation "geometry" on the frontal end of the egg? I don't think it's a line. I suggest, asymptotically, it's a point.

Back to paddles.

I accept the terminology and actuality of a stagnation line on a paddle face.

Much more reluctantly (without empirical proof), I will accept that a symmetrically spilling stagnation line will reduce paddle flutter vis-a-vis some other stagnation line.

What I have real difficulty accepting is that you can "force" this symmetrical spillage by gluing a ridge on a paddle face. Paddle face movements are too complex and changing in 3D and 4D for the spillage to maintain symmetry. (I don't believe Witten and his 11D supersymmetry.)

And if I had spilled more many decades ago, I might have finished majoring in physics instead of Budweiser.
 
 
  Yes
  Posted by: carldelo on Sep-22-12 11:56 AM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Sep-22-12 5:22 PM EST --

Re: the egg, you are correct, in the same way that on a baseball or the nose of a jet, there is a single stagnation point at the front of the body.

On the wing of the jet, however, there will be a stagnation line down the leading edge, and another pinned to the trailing edge (the Kutta condition, as you mentioned). The difference between the two situations is obviously the aspect ratio of the body as it is presented to the flow (AR = weight/height).

An egg, ball or jet nose have AR of 1, more or less, whereas a wing will have an AR that is greater, at least 3 for it to work as intended, 5 or 10 (or more) leads to increased aerodynamic efficiency.

Anyway, the high AR forces the fluid to pick a side as it flows around the wing - the shape drives the flow. Some flow will sneak around the end of a finite wing, creating the tip vortex, but for the majority of the length, the wing separates the flow into two distinct streams.

An egg presents a fairly uniform obstacle, so the flow is free to move around it on all sides. Flow behind the body depends on its shape - an egg or baseball will have a wide wake zone, generally turbulent (bluff-body wake), a streamlined jet will have a stagnation point at the end somewhere.

A GP is a high AR body, so I was thinking of that when I misspoke in my previous post. I said 'there is no stagnation point in 3D flow' and should have finished with 'around a high aspect ratio body' to make it a correct statement.

PS a ridge anchors the stagnation line, but does not necessary make the flow symmetrical - a canted blade will not have symmetrical flow. A wandering stag. line causes flutter via pressure fluctuations; the ridge stops the wandering.

 
 
  Someone Handed Me One
  Posted by: Kudzu on Sep-20-12 6:34 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Sep-23-12 5:18 AM EST --

out on the water and I played with it some. The ridged side felt power facey to me. It rolled just like a GP.

I went home thinking it was a GP with an annoying ridge in it... and unnecessarily heavy.

 
 
  And sometimes
  Posted by: redmond on Sep-20-12 6:56 PM (EST)
A man's wife would always cut off the end of a roast before cooking it. When he asked her why she did this, she said that her grandmother was a wonderful cook and that's what she always did.

The next time he saw his grandmother-in-law, he asked her why she always cut the end off the roast. She said that she always did it because her pan was always too small!

Sometimes things get started for practical reasons and then continue on as "tradition by the experts".
 
 
  The garbage theory of the Aleut ridge
  Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Sep-20-12 8:40 PM (EST)
Here's a theory similar to grandma's roast.

Once upon a time, many years ago, Aleut paddle makers had a lot of time on their hands. They experimented with lots of sizes, shapes and even goofy appendages. One day, a guy put a ridge down one side of a paddle and declared that it produced some beneficial paddling effect. His buddies tried it out, thought it was worthless, and tossed all his goofy ridge paddles onto the midden mound (garbage heap).

Now guess where archaeologists find most of their ancient stuff -- midden mounds.

So some 19th century archeologists discover a few relics of these ridged paddles. They draw pictures of them. They take pictures with their newly invented Kodaks. Because the ridged paddle relics were so mysterious and sexy, the pictures of them proliferated in books out of proportion to their incidence, along with unsubstantiated performance myths.

Finally, some modern paddle makers, seeking distinctive paddle shape niches, and trying ride the late 20th century wave of aboriginal paddling worship, begin to replicate, talk excitedly about and essentially market the ridged paddle.

As the curtain comes down, the goofy garbage of yore is being bling-blinged via the internet as a sacred relic of paddling performance passed down from ancient sages.

Just a theory. Just a theory.

 
 
  Ask a simple question (that was simply
  Posted by: string on Sep-20-12 11:01 PM (EST)
answered) and you get a p.nut pissing contest! Maybe those Greenlanders weren't skilled enough to put ridges on their paddles.
 
 
  Hey, that feels pretty good
  Posted by: mintjulep on Sep-21-12 6:38 PM (EST)
I think that neither the ancient Aleutian islanders nor the Greenlanders had a strong theoretical knowledge of fluid mechanics or access to nice laminar flow test tanks.

They had sticks and carving tools.

And plenty of free time on winter nights.

So they made paddles and tried them.

Eventually they both got to “hey that feels pretty good", and the respective culture's standard paddle was set.
 
 
  Chill
  Posted by: rpg51 on Sep-21-12 6:45 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Sep-21-12 6:46 PM EST --

this is getting pretty silly.

 
 
  Getting way technical
  Posted by: MORiverPaddler on Sep-21-12 8:34 PM (EST)
Interesting history, but getting way out there!
 
 
  Maybe Greenlanders didn't have any
  Posted by: string on Sep-21-12 10:42 PM (EST)
material to waste.
 
 
  I've Got it!
  Posted by: Kudzu on Sep-22-12 6:54 AM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Sep-23-12 6:32 AM EST --

The clever Aleuts put the ridge there for extra weight. The paddle then served double duty as fish bat to finish off their prey.

Eh?

Eh?

Give it to me, paddle brothers. You know I'm right.

 
 
  Geez!
  Posted by: sternman on Sep-22-12 6:58 AM (EST)
It's 6:50 in the morning. I just read this whole thread and now I'm ready for a beer.

The ancients made stuff with the materials they had. It was usually conservative and practical by design. If we have examples to study them someone obviously went through the trouble. There was a reason and as explained, it just works. I have one and have used several others and they do work. Plain and simple. Why spend the energy over analyzing this?
 
 
  I know, I know...
  Posted by: carldelo on Sep-22-12 12:08 PM (EST)
I hear you and get your point. But my field is fluid mechanics, and there is no such thing as 'over-analyzing' an issue like this, it's what I do. I certainly understand those who want to ignore all the technical talk - many (most?) of my students feel the same way.
 
 
  then
  Posted by: Fadedred on Sep-22-12 12:45 PM (EST)
you must also factor in that the paddle doesn't just come straight back, it is also piercing or traveling out from the kayak. this would relieve the tip from a vortex that is caused from shedding the flow.....the actual water shedding will be away from the tip.

{just feeding the fire}

Best Wishes
Roy
 
 
  Engineers and over analyzing..
  Posted by: sternman on Sep-22-12 2:05 PM (EST)
I've got a few Engineers as friends and they drive me crazy. No worries since I'm used to it. ;-]
 
 
  Quaqte from an old manager:
  Posted by: string on Sep-22-12 2:39 PM (EST)
"There comes a time in the life of every project when you need to shoot the engineer and move on."
 
 
  Engineer's Motto:
  Posted by: Kudzu on Sep-22-12 3:25 PM (EST)
If it ain't broke
it doesn't have enough added features
 
 
  Aleutian paddles
  Posted by: ret603 on Sep-23-12 11:43 AM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Sep-23-12 12:06 PM EST --

I'm very late to this discussion as I was doing long overdue house cleaning instead of looking at paddling.net.

I made a Baidarka at the Skinboat School in 2003. I test paddled a number of different size Biadarkas in the bay to determine what size I should build. During those trials I used an Aleutian paddle. After those trials, I told Corey that it would take me a while to become comfortable in narrow Baidarks (the one I built is 19" at the water line with substantial flare above) but I absolutely wanted one of those paddles; I found it that impressive! I had only read about Aleutian paddles, and never seen or tried one before. The paddle I made at the Skinboat School in 03' has been the paddle I have used for 95% of my paddling in the nine years since. The rest of the time I use a GP.

Anyone can formulate a argument for anything and it frequently is done on internet forums: you argue "A" and I therefore argue "B". The question of which face is the power face on a Aleutian paddle is a case in point. My opinion is below.

When viewed from the side (with flat side down), an Aleutian paddle has a taper. The taper starts on the ridge side at loom and runs down to near the bottom (side view) of the nearly flat bottom side. The taper is the thickness of the loom minus the thickness of the paddle tip. This taper means the paddle is partially ahead of the hands in use (ridge facing paddler), promoting stability from this orientation as well as from the ridge. If used with the ridge side forward, the same taper would place the paddle partially behind the hands, promoting flutter if used in this orientation.

I was told this is how to hold the Aleutian paddle and now believe it from my 9 year experience paddling with an Aleutian paddle. This "theory" further was tested in late May when a powerboat wake threw my full weight onto an Aleutian paddle just as I was bracing while getting out of my kayak. That paddle, constructed to Renzo Beltrane's plans, is less stout than the bombproof Skinboat School paddles (with a sitka spruce core). The paddle cracked lengthwise on the power face. The crack starting on the surface nearer to the tip, becoming deep under the ridge as it approached the loom. There was no spare paddle among the 20 or so on the trip-lesson was taught. To get back to to the launch site, I had to paddle with the flat face rearward (backwards) to have water pressure close the crack as I paddled. The crack would have opened and maybe the paddle broken if I had paddling with the ridge rearward, considering the bad crack. When I reached the launch site after paddling holding the paddle backwards, my forearms hurt. I attribute this to resisting the tendency of the paddle to flutter when used the wrong orientation. The crack has been repaired with two types of epoxy and is holding up to use. I'm going to carve another paddle to the same plans with a Sitka core for greater strength.

I am not a engineer or trained physicist and do not want to get into discussions about water flow around different shapes; I would be in over my head in such discussions. What I'm offering is my 9 year experience with the Skinboat School Aleutian and two years with the Beltraine Aleutian (he attributes his design to a paddle in the Smithsonian).

Dave

 
 
  Thanks Dave
  Posted by: kayamedic on Sep-23-12 6:25 PM (EST)
I did a fairly leisurely paddle of five miles in an hour with your Aleut paddle. Ridge pointing back.

I don't know why I like it better that way but I do..so you internet engineers can keep splaining..

I missed todays addenda. What a beautiful day to paddle.
 
 
  Don't pick on engineers. Other thoughts.
  Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Sep-23-12 4:17 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Sep-23-12 4:45 PM EST --

I'm not an engineer, yet I'm absolutely positive I can bore a forum with over analysis.

BTW, Carldelo, are you in NYC? Why did I think you were in CA?

I'm glad Ret-Dave entered the thread because I saw Aleut posts by him in old threads I researched, and I'm especially glad he mentioned the offset nature of the Aleut blade with respect to the shaft. I'm not sure anyone has mentioned that the Aleut seems to have a pointed tip rather than a flattish GP tip.

I think four things contribute to the perceived stability (non-flutter) when using the ridged side as the power face.

1. The ridge anchors the stagnation line, according to Carl. I only buy this when the paddle face is pulled flush to the water. If the paddle face is rotated around or translated along the X, Y or Z axes during a stroke -- sliced, pitched, angled, canted -- I think this ridge will cause unpredictable water flows that could even cause flutter. So, I assume an Aleut paddler learns to pull during a power stroke in such a manner as to maximize the stabilization potential of the ridge.

2. When a paddle face is offset from the shaft, the indented face will produce less flutter as power face than the flush face will. I know this because I have a straight shaft ZRE paddle with an offset blade with otherwise identical faces, which exhibits this exact phenomenon. Therefore, the blade offset on the Aleut may be contributing as much or more to the stability as the ridge.

3. This is speculation, but the pointy paddle end may cause less flutter upon entry than a flattish end. Many aboriginal and native canoe paddles today, for example, have pointed ends.

4. Subjective superstition and hooey. It seems obvious to me that non-fluttering canoe, Euro and GP paddles can be made without Aleut ridges, because they are all over the paddling world. The Aleut shape is the outlier. (Actually, I think all paddles flutter a little at some velocities, but the flutter can easily be controlled by grip.) Therefore, while Aleut paddlers can love their ridged paddles for all sorts of functional, aesthetic and historical reasons, I'm not convinced that these paddles offer any better stability or other efficiencies than many good non-ridged paddle designs do.

There -- I proved my opening sentence.

 
 
  reflections on Glen's post
  Posted by: ret603 on Sep-23-12 7:45 PM (EST)
Re. the attributes in Glen's point 1 and point 2--- I see no reason to separate them and think they act together synergistically. That's my opinion, not based on any experiments.

Point 3 is interesting. The Skinboat School paddle comes to a slightly rounded point. The Beltraine paddle ends in a almost flat tip. I looked at George Dyson's 1986 book "Baidarka", to see what it shows. In the historical painting and drawings from the 1700's and 1800's there are paddles tips covering the whole range from rounded to very pointed. Almost half of the illustrations show single blades being used in the Baidarkas and larger skin boats. No Freestyle moves are shown.

Re. point 4, I will just state that Aleutian paddles work for me and I don't really need to know the official or generally accepted reason why they do.

Since we both live in Ct, a small state, we should meet at a lake such as Bantam Lake and trade paddles back and forth on a long paddle. When pondering the advantages of sharp edge GP vs. more rounded edges, I found the best method was to paddle a few hours with a friend and exchange paddles every 15-20 minutes. All 15 people I've done that with ended up favoring the sharp edge paddle. I started using a rounded edge GP and was surprised myself when I also favored the sharp edge GP. Live and learn.

Dave
 
 
  The ridge is on my paddle to be and
  Posted by: string on Sep-23-12 8:00 PM (EST)
it ain't coming off.
 
 
  Skinboat School. Bantam. Canoe.
  Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Sep-23-12 8:58 PM (EST)
Dave, where is the Skinboat School you keep mentioning? I visited a place up around Anacortes Island in 1999 or 2000, where a guy had a school to build baidarkas. I got all interested and bought Dyson's book. Almost bought a baidarka at the Wilton Outdoor Center.

Sure, I'd love to try the paddle if I can clean all the protected mammals out of my neglected kayaks.

Since I've only been canoeing for the last several years, I really need an Aleut-ified single blade paddle. But I don't have the interest or skill to build one.
 
 
  Skinboat School
  Posted by: ret603 on Sep-24-12 10:46 AM (EST)
Glen,

I've been mentioning the Skinboat School only to identify the pattern of the Aleut paddle I've most used. It's likely based on some historical paddle, I haven't asked which. Looking at the few patterns online, Zimmerly's looks most like the one I carved.

It is the same place you visited on Anacortes Island, WA., owned by Corey Freedman. I saw one of his early Baidarka frames (no skin) on the dock at the Center For Wooden Boats around 1993. I couldn't get it out of my mind, so I went to the Skinboat School and built one a decade later. I also also carved an Aleutian paddle while there, which has been my favorite since. I've made 4 others to the same pattern, and two to Beltrane's pattern.

No need to clear out spiders from your kayaks. I could bring two kayaks; the Baidarka and another, or a kayak and the Rapidfire. Contact me by email and we can set a date for a Bantam Lake paddle exploration. I'll bring the two different pattern Aleutian paddles (and a spare).

Dave
 
 
  So yesterday....
  Posted by: mintjulep on Sep-24-12 9:27 AM (EST)
I set out to make an effort to try the non-ridged face of my Aleut paddle as the power face.

First I tried just paddling. It flutters.

Next I tried various canted orientations. I found that I could make it not flutter with some cant and a slow, low-angle stroke. But if I tried to increase the power of the canted stroke the paddle started to climb to the surface. I really couldn't find a comfortable for me angle.

I tried chanting. Unfortunately I don't know any Greenlandish chants, so I did a Welsh one that my grandmother taught me. I found it ineffective.

My hands were wet at this point, so I couldn't get the incense lit to do any incantations.

So I went back to using the ridge face as the power face. low-angle, high-angle, slow cadence, faster cadence, high-power, low-power. It just works. It just feels right to me.

So for me, with the Aleut paddle that I made this spring, ridge face is power face.
 
 
  wrong language used
  Posted by: ret603 on Sep-24-12 10:25 AM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Sep-24-12 12:38 PM EST --

Mintjulep,

Aleutian paddles came from the Pacific North West, so Welch or Greenlandic chants would be unlikely to work even if the gods of Aleutian paddles were listening.

My 9 year experience with the Aleutian paddle and my understanding of the effects of the slant built into the paddle faces concur with your opinion that ridge face is power face.

Dave

 

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