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Paddles
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Paddles
Paddle Index
Our Paddle Making Philosophy
Native Paddle Dynamics
Paddle Care and Maintenance

Greenland Paddles
General Info
Unshouldered
Shouldered
Breakdown
Bent Shaft

Aleut Paddles
General Info
Center Ridge
Center Groove

Paddles

We offer traditional wooden paddles of the Greenland and Aleut variety. Each of these paddles has particular strengths to recommend it. All paddles are custom made to suit your specific needs.

Show me the Paddles
If you want to skip the testimonials and explanations and see the paddles right now, Click Here.
Testimonials

We could go on about the virtues of our paddles, but we think the opinons of our customers might be more convincing.

Alison Sigethy writes about her 86" bent shaft Greenland paddle:
The paddle came Friday. It's quite beautiful. Sunday I used it for rolling practice and today I took it on a distance paddle. I'm very happy with how it performs. I was stunned at how much easier the sculling rolls are with the this paddle -- a very nice surprise. I'm forwarding your email and web address to 2 friends who didn't want to give it back after I let them try it. I suspect you'll see a couple more Virginia orders soon. I know I'll be enjoying this paddle for quite some time. Thank you!

Alison competed in the 2006 Greenland National Championships. A story on her quest is profiled here.

Marshall Woodruff commenting on his 86" bent shaft Greenland paddle. He ordered his after trying Alison's paddle (see previous testimonial):
Paddled last night on the Potomac river, with 20-25 mph winds, a little choppy about 25 degrees. Your paddle shined, just slipped[catch] into the water and slid [compression] back........sweet. Much different than my previous greenland paddle, which though light is a bit clumsy, from the 'catch' thru the 'compression'. Your paddle has the right cant as it goes in, while other paddles you have to always think about it.

Reiner Wuestefeld of Finland ordered a bent shaft and a grooved Aleut paddle.
I am back home and I must say that I have received two paddles which even are more beautiful and better made than expected. Thanks a lot for making them.

How to Order

Contact me directly by phone or email so we can discuss your paddling needs and answer your questions.
Wolfgang Brinck, 1615 Seaborn Ct. Alameda, CA 94501
Telephone: (510) 846-5488
email:boats@wolfgangbrinck.com

Standard Finish

Paddles are finished with several coats of tung oil. Paddle tips are treated with epoxy for extra scratch resistance. All finishes have advantages and disadvantages. We have chosen the tung oil - epoxy combo for its nonslip finish and ease of user maintenance. For more info on the standard finish and its maintenance, see Paddle Care and Maintenance

Shipping and Handling Costs

Shipping and Handling is $50 in the United States and roughly $150 outside the United States. Shipping costs are high because of the length of the package. Once a package gets over a certain length, carriers charge by length rather than by weight.

Our Paddle Philosophy
You can get our detailed philosophy of paddle making here, but the short version is this: We strive for paddles that are light in weight and have a good amount of flex to give them a lively feel. Paddle blades are thin with sharp edges for maximum bite on the water. If you would like a robust paddle that can take a lot of abuse, please let us know and we can supply that as well. But in genreal, we aim for a paddle that will be easy on your joints and efficient to use for cruising.
Paddle Size conversion

If your previous experience has been primarily with Euro-paddles, then you probably relate to paddle lengths in centimeters instead of inches. Below is a length conversion chart for paddle lengths from 84 to 102 inches.

84" = 213cm
86" = 218cm
88" = 224cm
90" = 229cm
92" = 234cm
94" = 239cm
96" = 244cm
98" = 249cm
100" = 254cm
102" = 259cm

Paddle Sizing

Proper paddle sizing means finding both the right overall length for your paddle and the length of the loom. While there are various formulas for this, such as the rule that the paddle should be as long as the distance from the ground to the tips of your fingers of your hand outstretched over the top of your head, that rule is an approximation only and should not be followed unless some other factors are also taken into consideration. The loom of the paddle should be at least long enough so that when your hands are at the roots of the blades in paddling position, they are at the same separation as when your arms hang down at your side. If your boat is wider, such as a double or sit-on-top or folding expedition boat, you may want the loom to be as long as the boat is wide so you don't bang your knuckles on the coaming and so you don't have to shuttle your hands back and forth to reach the water. A high deck also requires a longer paddle so you can readily reach the water with the blades.

However, your paddle should not be so long that pulling it through the water is a big chore that leaves your arms and shoulders aching. A properly sized paddle should allow you to maintain a nice cadence of one to two strokes per second.

The easiest way to size a paddle is to try one and see how it feels. If you have a friend with a Greenland or Aleut paddle, try out their paddle and see how it feels. If you live in the San Francisco Bay area, stop by my shop and try out any one of our paddles. We have them is all different lengths.

Paddle Speed

Many people have the suspicion that a narrow native style paddle will not allow them to exert as much power as a Euro-paddle with its wider blade and will therefore limit them to slower paddling speeds. For a detailed discussion of this topic see Native Paddle Dynamics. The short version of the explantaion is that blade area in a Greenland or Aleut paddle increases with the length of the paddle and that you can get equivalent blade area of a particular Euro-blade by adjusting the length of your paddle.

Paddle Blanks
A paddle blank is basically the starting point of a paddle. It has all the wood glued up, ready for shaping into final form. A paddle blank is a good place to start if you want to make your own paddle but don't have access to good lumber or powertools to cut raw lumber into the appropriate sizes. We have paddle blanks for all of the Greenland and Aleut paddles listed below. Paddle blanks are $100 and include a manual that outlines the paddle carving process in great detail. The manual also specifies how to customize the paddle blank to fit your size, strength and boat. Click here for more details on paddle blanks.
Custom Decoration

The standard finish of our paddles consists of several coats of tung oil. The tung oil finish is clear and brings out the natural grain of the paddle to best advantage. If you want custom paddle decoration, let us know.

Greenland Paddles

A Greenland style paddle is a must if you want to master Greenland style rolls and braces. Or even if you just want to hone your one and only survival roll, there is no finer paddle than a Greenland paddle to do it with.

Greenland paddles are made to the length you desire. I reccomend an 86" paddle for smaller people and an 88" paddle for larger people. Click here for more details on the design, origins, use and sizing of Greenland paddles.

Unshouldered Greenland Paddle
This is a good all round Greenland paddle and the one we reccomend for first time Greenland paddle users. Transition from loom to blade is gradual, giving you some latitude on where to place your hands. This paddle is also a good one to loan to friends who might have different hand spacing than you. Click here for more details.


Total length - 88" standard or your specification. Maximum blade width 3-1/2". Loom - 1-1/8" X 1-1/4".
Price - $220

Unshouldered Greenland Bent Shaft Paddle
This paddle has the same shape as the unshouldered Greenland paddle when viewed face on. But in profile, this paddle has the tips of the blades offset by 3/8 of an inch. Though this is a subtle offset, it is enough to give this paddle a decidedly different feel from its symmetrical cousin. The offset stabilizes the paddle when you pull it through the water and minimizes flutter when pulled hard. This paddle is a great choice for sprints or hard paddling where you don't want to have to pay attention to blade orientation. Click here for more details.


Total length - 88" standard or your specification
Maximum blade width 3-1/2"
Loom height - 1-1/4. Width - 1-1/8" Length - 20"
Price - $220

Shouldered Greenland Paddle
This paddle is identical to the unshouldered Greenland paddle except that it has an abrupt transition from loom to blade. This paddle gives you a positive index for your hands and fixes your hands into the same position whenever you use it. Click here for more details.


Total length - 88" standard or your specification. Maximum blade width 3-1/2"
Loom height - 1-1/4. Width - 1-1/8" Length - 20"
Price - $220

Breakdown Greenland Paddle
This paddle is designed for travelers who wants a Greenland style paddle that will go with them on airlines and other cramped forms of transportation. Click here for more details.


Total length - 86" standard or your specification. Maximum blade width 3-1/2"
Loom size - 1-1/4" round. Length - 20"
Price - $280

Aleut Paddles

Aleut (Unangan) style paddles are particularly well suited to long distance cruising. While not specifically designed for doing rolls like the Greenland paddles, they are nevertheless suitable for rolling. The Aleut paddle has a central ridge on one side of the blade and is flat on the other side. The central ridge automatically orients the blade for optimum performance and also minimizes flutter. As a consequence, you don't have to waste any energy on a tight grip to keep the blade properly aligned.

Aleut Single Ridge Paddle
On the powerface of the blade, this paddle has a single ridge which creates balanced flow around the blade and minimizes flutter. Absence of flutter lets you put full energy into your stroke without destabilizing your boat. Absence of flutter also lets you keep a lighter grip on the paddle, reducing strain and fatigue on longer outings. Click here for more details.


Total length - 90"
Maximum blade width 3-3/4"
Loom height - 1-1/4. Width - 1-1/8" Length - 24"
Price - $250

Aleut Double Ridge/Grooved Paddle
This paddle is similar to the single ridge paddle except that it has a double ridge running down the power face of the blade. A small valley or groove separates the two ridges. This paddle is based on a specimen in the Etholen collection in Helsinki, Finland. Click here for more details.


Total length - 90"
Maximum blade width 3-3/4"
Loom height - 1-1/4. Width - 1-1/8" Length - 24"
Price - $275

Breakdown Aleut Paddle
This paddle is designed for travelers who wants an Aleut style paddle that will go with them on airlines and other cramped forms of transportation. Click here for more details.


Total length - 92" standard or your specification. Maximum blade width 3-3/4"
Loom size - 1-1/4" round. Length - 26"
Price - $300

Contact
To order or to talk about a custom paddle, contact:
Wolfgang Brinck, 1615 Seaborn Ct. Alameda, CA 94501
Telephone: (510) 846-5488
email: boats@wolfgangbrinck.com

All content copyright © 2004 Wolfgang Brinck. Personal non-commercial use permitted.