This paddle is the result of thousands of years of ocean paddling. It's a masterpiece, stemming from the development of kayaks designed for extreme conditions along Arctic coasts. Need I say more...
Many Europeans are curious about the shape of these paddles. Here's a little explanation.
Some think the Greenlanders didn't have the materials or knowhow to make the modern paddles we're familiar with. The Greenlanders were excellent woodcraftsmen, and wood was available as driftwood throughout Greenland. The Greenlanders risked their lives daily, going hunting in their kayaks in all sorts of weather. They paddled often and far. Almost none of us will ever paddle as far in our lives as the average Greenlander did in a year.
Norwegians who have grown up rowing are unlikely to ask this questions. Oars for traditional rowboats also have narrow blades. The advantage of narrow blades is that they offer less water resistance. This means that you can paddle at a higher frequency than with a larger, wider blade, while the propulsion remains the same. The lower pressure means that you can paddle longer without becoming exhausted.
Water resistance is one thing, wind resistance another. Thin blades lead to little wind resistance, which is especially useful when paddling in strong winds. The Greenland paddle is ideal for low strokes, which leads to even less wind resistance.
There's no simple answer to which angle is best, as this depends on multiple factors. What is certain is that an unfeathered Greenland paddle works excellently. A good stroke technique is not hard to develop, as the paddle will lie naturally in your hands. Those who have paddled a great deal with feathered paddles may need a few strokes to get used to the new paddles, but most people grasp it immediately.
One great advantage of unfeathered paddles is that they are more versatile. The paddle float, which is otherwise a must for ocean paddling, can be left at home with a little practice. If you capsize, the one blade of the paddle can be shoved under the kayak's rigging, and the other blade will support you when you climb into the kayak again.
Eskimorolling and support strokes?
Another great advantage of the Greenland paddle is that it can be used for many different purposes. The narrow blades give good support, and are good to hold if you change your grip on the paddle. You can easily "extend" the paddle to one side. That way the resulting effect can be increased, for example if you are bracing, turning the kayak, or performing Eskimo rolls.
The oval shape of the shaft also contributes to making rolling and bracing safer. When you hold the paddle, you can understand which way the blades are angled without having to look at them. It's virtually impossible to place the blade the wrong way in the water.
Paddles from Kajakkspesialisten
Our paddles are designed based on original Eskimo paddles. They are tried and tested by experienced paddlers in all possible conditions. The paddles are made from first-grade Norwegian timber, handpicked for this purpose. Both the choice of materials and production methods are based on solid technical competence. The paddles are planed, shaped and polished by hand.
The course calendar has been updated. Check out this year's kayak building classes:here
A video clip from summer of 2011's great baidarka adventure:here
A video from a kayak building class this winter:here
New, and well illustrated presentation of our beautiful new paddle types! More.