Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Works Well

With such a narrow width at the front of the kayak, it seems as if the Cetus was designed for use with a Greenland stick. Using only torso rotation, my hands literally slid across and down the contour of the deck as the blade made clean entry  into the water (forward canted stroke). As always, it took 1.5-2.0 strokes to keep up with the Euro-blade types, but the effort was minimum. Who knew?

Now that I finally want to try out a shorter (you heard right) paddle, I find that 205 high angle blades are generally not to be found in stock. What's a guy to do?

Paddle safe...


gnarlydog said...

one word: custom
Silbs, the beauty of GPs is that very few are made on a massive commercial scale and the best ones are crafted by hand.
If you aren't that keen on making your own one (myself despite loving any project that involves fiberglass, I am "scared" of wood...?) most carvers of GP will make you one to your exact specs.
Finding out what you (myself) exactly want is sometimes the trick part.
I have now several sticks (Aleut and GP) and use the one that suits best for the task on the day (GP for rolling, Aleut for cruise/surf)

Silbs said...

How does the Aleut paddle differ?

gnarlydog said...

Silbs, it's hard for me to quantify a "feeling" (of the Aleut paddle) but I will try my best.
I transitioned from Euro to traditional paddling with an Aleut.
I had at my disposal a Greenland and an Aleut paddle.
I found the Aleut easier to use since my stroke was far from perfect and the GP was fluttering in the water (back then I didn't know that it needed to be canted to prevent flutter).
The Aleut gave me as much speed as I wanted and I could reach hull speed easily, actually easier than with a Euro.
Then slowly I started to warm up to a GP.
It felt that it had less "bight" and needed a more precise stroke to keep it quite in the water.
Eventually I got the hang of it.
These days I reach for the Aleut if I intend to crank out miles and the GP if I want to have more "fun" and intend to roll.
GP offer more lift when sculling and rolling.
The Aleut has a power face and a back side, the GP is symmetrical and there is no need for orientation when rolling.
Possibly the Aleut paddle could be stronger for the same amount of wood (weight) since the blade has a strong ridge and is dihedral shaped more like a T giving it strength.
Both paddles are great but I feel distinctive characteristics between the two.
GP best for rolling
Aleut best for cruising.

Silbs said...

Many thanks, Gnarly, for the fine tutorial. First chance I get, I must try the Aleut paddle. I am not aware that anyone around here is using one. Don't think I've seen them at QAJAQ get togethers either (unless I didn't recognize it at the time).

gnarlydog said...

Silbs, I believe seeing (pictures only) several kayakers using Aleut at Qajaq. You will recognize the paddle by the pronounced ridge on the blade.
For a bit more info check this article of mine:

Silbs said...

Top drawer. Thanks. I hope others who are following this will take time to go to your page and check out the article and photos.

DaveO said...

That is indeed a fine article GnarlyDog. I have an Aleut paddle heading my way soon and will play with it and kick a post out. I'm still searching for the perfect Greenland/Aleut stick and will continue the hunt