Making your own Greenland Paddle
Help is online! No matter where you live you can always consult advice for your paddle-making questions on the Greenland forum, or search the archives for answers to past questions.
One of the beauties of the Greenland-style paddle is that not only is it an excellent performer, but making one is also an inexpensive, fun and rewarding project. Imagine making a paddle for $20 that works better than many commercial paddles costing $400 or more.
Getting started in Greenland-style is not always easy, because few kayak shops stock good Greenland-style paddles (GPs). There are a few reasons for this, the first being that Greenland-style, while growing, is still not as well known as other recreational kayaking disciplines. The other reason is that a GP is such a personal item, that an "off-the-rack" paddle probably won't fit you very well. Sooner or later many, if not most, G-style kayakers either make or buy a custom paddle. This is not surprising when you consider that a GP must be tailored to your grip size for holding the blades, the loom length for determining your hand spread and the overall length.
Fun Fact: "Boning" a Paddle
A common practice among some Inuit was using a smooth bone, rubbed hard on the paddle, to compress the surface fibers, close the pores and polish it. "Boning" or "burnishing" a paddle in this way is easy to do and helps harden the surface of a soft, newly sanded WRC paddle. Although a bone is ideal, anything harder than the paddle, as long as it is smooth and rounded, can be used. The shaft of a large screwdriver or a burnishing rod works well.
As a bit of trivia, "boning a bat," using a soup bone or large cow bone, used to be a common practice in the old days of baseball for preparing a wooden bat prior to hitting with it for the first time.