- John Lockwood with Brita and Randy Isselin of Northpoint Paddles, posing with some freshly made paddles in the Pygmy Showroom.
- Freya static bracing with a Northpoint Paddle.
- Warren surfing Skookumchuck with a Greenland Paddle.
- John Lockwood paddling with a Northpoint Paddle.
We at Pygmy have been experimenting with Greenland paddles for a couple of years and John Lockwood (owner & designer of Pygmy boats) now won’t use anything else. Finding a design that we liked took some research but we are happy to share our discovery. NorthPoint Paddles, made just across the water from us in Bellingham, WA, fit the bill. A family run business, their laminated Greenland paddles are beautiful, well made and a product we are happy to carry. We stock popular sizes and can place custom orders (see paddle sizing below). They are available in two models, Rosario and Latona (the Latona has hardwood edges, the Rosario does not). Please allow 4-6 weeks for custom orders.
Standard Sizes We Stock:
- 84″ overall length, 18″ loom, 1 1/2″ x 1 1/8″ loom thickness, 3 1/8″ blade width
- 86″ overall length, 18″ loom, 1 1/2″ x 1 1/4″ loom thickness, 3 1/4″ blade width
- 88″ overall length, 19″ loom, 1 1/2″ x 1 1/4″ loom thickness, 3 1/4″ blade width
- 90″ overall length, 20″ loom, 1 1/2″ x 1 1/4″ loom thickness, 3 3/8″ blade width
Sizing Info / Guidelines on How to Measure Yourself for a Greenland Paddle:
Measure your reach as you stand flat-footed and extend one arm above your head, measuring from the floor to the underside of the first knuckle of your middle finger – where your fingers would just curl over the top of the paddle. This is a base starting point for length. Many people do choose to go a few inches longer for touring (i.e. a 5’7″ person with a 80″ reach may choose to paddle an 86″ paddle out of personal preference for a longer paddle), but this is dependent on personal preference and use. Wider kayaks also take longer paddles.
Length of the Loom (shaft):
Stand with arms relaxed & elbows at your side, then bend arms at the elbows to a 90 degree angle so they are perpendicular to the body. Now, position your hands as if they were gripping a paddle, forming an ‘O’ with your thumb and index finger. Measure the distance from index finger to index finger on each hand. This is the approximate length of your loom.
Thickness of the Loom (shaft):
Form an ‘O’ (more like an oval) with your thumb and index finger, touching the tips of your index finger and thumb together. Measure both the width and height of the oval. The loom width is the longer measurement, and the loom height is the shorter measurement.
Blade width: A standard blade width for touring is 3 1/4″. Larger, stronger paddlers might want a wider blade (3 1/2″ or more are also common). Lighter, smaller paddlers may choose a 3″ blade width.
Why Go Greenland?
A Greenland paddle was used by the Inuit paddlers of Greenland. It predates the European blade shape by thousands of years and is characterized by a long slim blade (typically around 3 1/4 – 3 1/2 inches wide) and a shorter loom (or shaft). The Greenland paddle, or “stick” as it is sometimes referred to, is regaining popularity among modern paddlers because it is easy to brace and roll with and is less susceptible to strong winds than a wider “Euro” blade. With its narrower blade it is also less stressful on muscles and joints, and therefore less fatiguing on longer trips.
When learning to roll, the buoyancy of a Greenland paddle helps in static braces, one of the steps used to teach a lay back roll. With its symmetrical design and buoyant nature it can also be easier to setup and keep at the water’s surface during a roll.