T H E G R E E N L A K E P A D D L E R
GREENLAND PADDLE, EXPERIMENTING WITH SHAPE
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OFFSET ASYMMETRIC GREENLAND PADDLE
A DUAL GEARED BLADE
The collection of ''normal '' Symmetric Greenland paddles I've used over
the years. All serve me well, but maybe there is room for improvement.
For rolling there is nothing better than an symmetric blade as it's
very predictable in its behavior underwater. For going forward
I think an asymmetric version has some notable benefits.
EXPERIMENT: ASYMMETRIC IN OUTLINE AND CROSS SECTION
Asymmetric in both outline and cross section, that's what you want if you like to
paddle super smooth using less energy. As this blade is offset in surface
area ( seen from the centre line ) it has a tendancy to cant over when
force is applied. The cross section now resembles a Naca profile.
The flat side is the power face, the curved side the lift side.
FIRST GEAR, AUTOMATIC FORWARD CANTED GREENLAND STROKE
Largest surface area up ... pull this toward you and the blade starts to cant over.
The lower half becomes the leading edge and a Forward Canted Greenland
stroke becomes an automated action, a hard deep bite is the result.
This is good for struggling upwind, but for going downwind you
better engage the second gear and go faster ... how?
Held loosely and pulled gently you can see it angling over, the bottom
half becomes the leading edge causing the blade to dive.
SWING IT OVER, LEFT TO RIGHT, TO ENGAGE THE SECOND GEAR
Largest surface area down ... paddle cant's backwards, the upper half becomes
leading the edge. The beauty of this is when a high vertical paddling style is
used the blade starts to behave like a wing paddle and wants to arc out
wards during te stroke, resulting in a powerful long drive.
Now the top half becomes the leading edge, causing the blade to surface
or when a more vertical paddling style is used, to drive outwards. With
some practice and adopting a wing-paddle style of paddling, you
can turn the extra lift created into forward motion. If done
right, you notice speed goes up and cadence goes
down, as if the paddle became a longer one.
EURO PADDLERS TRY THIS: PADDLING THE WRONG WAY ROUND
If you are a Euro blade paddler and in for an experiment, go and give this one a try.
First you will need a paddle schaped like the two you see below. Now go paddling
and hold your blade as loose as you practically can, try to sense what the blade
itself wants to do when being pulled through the water. Got it? Now remember
this feeling carefully and embed it into your memory. Next swing the blade
over left to right and observe what happens now. If you happen to use a
old style Schlegel Racing blade you will note a difference, especially
in the way it resurfaces at the end of the stroke. The whole paddling
experience becomes more fluid in motion and with greater output.
Of course the way you handle the paddle plays a big role in this.
I am talking about sitting straight, using a relative high angle
style and do engage some torso rotation. Active paddling.
Paddles that have a light curve in their width opposed to
being completely flat are to be preferred for this trick.
Euro paddles seen in the position as they where meant to be used. Curious as
I am I've tried using 'm differently and found out that some of these blades
have a secretly build in second gear. As a Euro blade is not my favorite
type of paddle my thinking was, would it be worth the hassle to build
this second gear into a Greenland type of paddle. And yes it was.
Paddles in the photograph, an antique and battered symmetrical Kober blade,
an orange brandless good for nothing but '' lost or broke my other paddle
scenario's " and the one at the bottom, normally colored white and
decorated with a blue S all over is an old '' Schlegel Racing "
and feels brilliant when used the wrong way round.
... if only it had a little less wheight to it ...
And why a Greenland Paddle has my favor? Most of all because it is not
noticeably affected by wind ( gusts ), I like to hold my paddle lightly.
I've used a Wing for a few years as well and although nothing
else has better forward power I found it to be too noisy as it
scoops and throws up a lot of water. Not my style, I like
my strokes to be strong and yet as silent as possible.
SOMETHING ELSE, EVER HEARD ABOUT THIS?
Flying into the big nothing. Fog, no wind, no waves, no horizon.
Ever heard about Kayak Angst?
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