why are these paddles so skinny anyway?
Its a common question from folks who haven't used a Greenland-style Paddle before (GP). After all, in a literal sea of Euro-style paddles with wide blades, 3 inch blades can appear ineffective at first glance.
How can such a skinny stick propel you anywhere?
This is the most common question among paddlers who have never tried a Greenland paddle. I don't really have an easy answer other than: "Try it, it works!" Once our hypothetical GP newbie tries it, the question vanishes from his consciousness, and is often replaced by several other concerns:
it doesn't "grip" the water as much as my euro paddle.
But that's the whole point of a Greenland paddle. The point is it DOES slip through the water more than a Euro style paddle. That's most of what makes GPs easy on our joints. Now, keep paddling, and as you learn how to use it, you'll notice you're cruising just as fast as you were with your previous paddle, but your cadence might be a little higher. Its like riding in a lower gear on your bicycle. The fact is, the kayak limits cruising speed, not the paddle. A GP has more than enough power to propel any cruising kayak to its optimal cruising speed.
Its cavitates (makes loud turbulence) when I accelerate from a standstill.
Watch me, it doesn't happen when I do it. That's because I don't force it. Also, try canting the blade forward just a bit. Not too much! You'll pull yourself over. Its powerful, isn't it?
It doesn't accelerate my boat as smartly as my Euro Paddle.
You're right, it won't. But the practical difference is very small unless you like to drag race your paddling buddies.
Will it give me enough support in turbulent water?
It works for me in Pacific surf. But it won't give the same support as a creeking paddle in class 4 rapids.
My hands are all wet, where are the drip rings?
Its best to use a Euro paddle with drip rings if you want to have dry hands. Wear a sprayskirt to keep the drips from landing in your lap.