Currently carving my first set of Greenland paddles (his and hers)
Measuring my wife's hand with a caliper, it seems her ideal blade width is around 2.35". Looking around on a few paddle building pages, they seem to concur that the minimum width for Greenland paddle should be around 3" for optimal strokes. Looking for a second opinion on this :-)
I know I could just make the paddle and see how it goes, but finding riftsawn western red cedar in my area is difficult (even more so with minimal knots). Also would probably have to reinforce the loom before first use with fiberglass/carbon-kevlar since it will be fairly narrow - as Murphy's law will dictate she may have to position the paddle in an outrigger position to get in/out of the kayak....really don't want to hear a *snap* on the first outing :-)
Thanks in advance!,
ODEO Laser Flare
YakCatcher Rod Holder
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Hi Bob, I think you would have to be|
Posted by: onnopaddle on Dec-03-12 5:17 AM (EST)
running and then trip and fall full speed and weight on a paddle that was propped up against the boat and ground such as this in order to break it.
You may want to measure again|
Posted by: bnystrom on Dec-03-12 7:22 AM (EST)
My girlfriend has very small hands and her favorite paddle is just under 3" wide. She handles that width just fine for rolling, bracing, etc. The loom size is the more critical for comfort and I make hers 1 1/8" x 1 1/4".
Posted by: sternman on Dec-03-12 7:32 AM (EST)
There's no general rule. It really comes down to what works for the paddler. The three inch blade width is pretty standard I think. If you want more power and bite the extra width will help but skinny is okay too. I have average sized hands for a guy but prefer 3.5" for a more aggressive stroke. Your narrow paddle can possibly be more fragile but only with aggessive paddling or abuse.
Posted by: Jaybabina on Dec-03-12 8:31 AM (EST)
The old method of measuring was to bend the outmost digit of the 1st finger and open the thumb-down and the blade should fit in there. This way you can grip the blade for extended paddle use. But you can cheat a bit since it's easy to carve down the width later.
Posted by: Fluidmotion on Dec-03-12 8:46 AM (EST)
Posted by: gstamer on Dec-03-12 8:58 AM (EST)
I do have one that is about 2.5"|
Posted by: Kocho on Dec-03-12 9:27 AM (EST)
And I must say it is great for relaxed paddling -light and easy to use. I made mine with thin blades, so it is also quite flexible too. Mine is actually an Aleut style with a ridge on one side and flat-ish surface on the other, not an oval on both sides GP.
Posted by: Kudzu on Dec-03-12 4:57 PM (EST)
I have to agree with above advice. The loom and shoulder are what matters when it comes to hand size; not the paddle width. I also have found that narrow blades want to flutter more on those first couple of strokes compared to the wider blade.
Posted by: qajaqer2 on Dec-05-12 12:17 PM (EST)
My two paddles are 3" and 3 1/4" wide and work fine. I am usually in the front part of the pack, speed is not a problem. Fluttering is not a problem eitherr. My hands are small, loom area is pretty narrow. For strength, we cut a cedar 2 x down the middle and epoxy a piece of pine lattis down the middle. Works fine.
Tiny hands here|
Posted by: gingernc on Dec-05-12 2:21 PM (EST)
When I was trying to determine blade width for my first Greenland paddle (ordered from Don Beale), I kept coming back to my inability to comfortably grip a 3.5 inch wide blade at the end. Since I wanted to use the paddle for rolling, comfort holding the blade was a key thing. My Beale paddle is barely 3 inches wide -- and very comfortable to grip out at the end. My other 3 Greenland paddles are about that width too. And 86 inches long feels just right for me -- although at my height, 5' 3", I'm supposed to want something shorter.
Consider contacting Bill Bremer|
Posted by: rpg51 on Dec-05-12 6:01 PM (EST)
at Lumpy Paddles. I purchased my first GP from Bill and he was absolutely wonderful to deal with. He was a huge help with exactly the kind of issue you are considering now. My paddle is terrific and fits like a glove. I love it.
Posted by: eel on Dec-08-12 6:26 AM (EST)
Posted by: rick_s on Dec-06-12 9:35 AM (EST)
easiest to burn? that'd be about the most useful.
Gordo and the Rock|
Posted by: CEWilson on Dec-08-12 9:42 AM (EST)
Imagine Long Pond during the days of LL Bean's NA Canoe Symposium on a misty morning before breakfast. There sits the fabled Gordon Black, head of instruction at NOC, then the ACA in an Advantage with a Zaveral bent, feeling pretty froggie, when up comes Harry Rock, standing tall in a MRC Kevlar Explorer, with a big stick as is his wont.