I bought a Cricket brand GP about 6 years ago out of curiosity. I used it for 2 hours without any instruction and have never used anything other than a Greenland stick since. Since then have received instructon and have made my own paddles. Some people can't get used to them (or more likely don't give them a enuogh time). If you get some basic instruction on how to hold them, stroke mechanics, etc it will make the experience and your evaluation more meaningful. I still have 2 fat bladed paddles but they are kept next to my snow shovel now. If my shovel breaks I still can clear the walkway.