Thursday, 26 February 2009
I've recently had a few chances to play around with a Greenland style paddle, both the traditional flat blade & Greg Simson's superb triangular Aleut paddle, & I'm starting to think they might actually have a place in the paddling world (postscript - OK, stop sending me abusive emails everyone, my Greenland paddle was firmly planted in my cheek when I wrote this...). I've previously considered them to be a bit of an old codgers relic, but the things you can do with them with regards rolling & strokes are quite astounding. On a demo test paddle on Wednesday morning with Tom Nicholson, I even managed a pretty clean roll with a broken end of Tom's hand crafted stick (after he actually snapped it in half), which hit home to me the teaching capabilities of these ancient designs. Rolling is actually much less to do with the paddle & much more to do with the dynamic body movement under the deck, and using a paddle with a different 'lift' to that which wing & Euro Blades offer really does make you concentrate on the pure body mechanics. Paddlers who understand that it's more about the body mechanics than the paddle invariably learn faster & become much better rollers. Given the rising interest created by the likes of Dubside, Freya Hoffmeister, Greg Stamer & Cherry Perry, we are going to stick our toes in the water & import the Horizon paddle from Peter Mitchell, the famous timber paddle maker in the US. We will have a good play around with them ourselves, & also offer them for sale, for the first time in the Australian market. Mitchell Paddles have long been the benchmark for timber paddles in the huge US market, & the Horizon is the a beautifully finished product. Keep an eye on our online store for prices.