Decided to try GP this year due to a rotator cuff sprain which bit me in early spring (non-paddling in origin, too, bummer).
I wanted a very light, multi-wood panel take-apart paddle w. a carbon ferrule. Beyond my skill to make so I relied on the excellent craftsmanship of Ed Drieger of Talon Woodworks in North Bay, Ontario. At his shop they build custom paddles & boats. Ed was A+ to work w. with his own experienced design plus being receptive to my ideas.
He delivered a 78" paddle, soft shouldered, 17" loom, 3" blade, with a core of white ash (strength) wrapped w. western red cedar (save weight, add flex) tipped w. cherry. Cherry cuz I liked the wood. this met my criteria to go a little shorter to be friendly to my height, shoulder span, very small mitts, & mate well w. my low profile, 20" beam seakayaks.
Add Carbon ferrule & tung oil finish. Total weight 25 oz so very close to my 23 oz 210 cm Werner Cyprus. It was like Xmas in July when the paddle arrived & the next day it got wet.
I spent a few weeks letting the stick teach me intuitively. It's very friendly to use and stroke control is great. You do have to really bury it to get the max effect. It's definitely shoulder friendly and less fatiguing overall.
Then I took a class at GLSKA - Grand Marais in July so had to unlearn a couple newly minted bad habits... but I still prefer to paddle at a little higher angle than the instructors taught... but it's all good.
I like each paddle for what it will do and will keep using both. The Euro, for me, is superior on river routes, accelerating and getting thru what occasional surf I deal with. FWIW the take apart greenlenad is very convenient to store in my vehicle, fits in the paddle bag, and makes a very low profile on the foredeck when it's serving as my spare.
magooch, just to throw this out there - you may want to consider storing your spare paddle up front:
- easier to switch paddles since each piece is in front of you
- if it's behind you it can come off and float away without
- it will keep the back deck clear for
rescues - your own or helping someone else.
Really good discussion all.