Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Down the Yukon, with a paddle

But which one? The paddle debate will probably never be fully resolved. And it’s something that Dawn and I are certainly having to mull over regarding the 2009 Yukon 1000.

We’re both committed Greenland paddlers, and both use a Lumpy Paddle. But will using a GP – even potentially a carbon fiber GP – make us competitive enough? Should we, therefore, be retraining ourselves to use a wing paddle? The probability is that anyone else entered in the kayak class, either K1 or K2, will be using wings.

Does using a GP not make paddlers competitive enough? I’d be loathe to think so. I finished first in my class in this year’s Everglades Challenge using a GP - and knocked 22 hours off my time from last year - and was the only kayaker solely paddling with a GP.

We have both resolved that we will not be leaving our GPs at home. Whatever paddle we end up using will definitely be supplemented by the GP, to help ease any possible physical strain.

Thoughts would be appreciated!


Michael said...

Here's 2 cents worth: I'd be taking my Greenland paddle were I going. Maligiaq didn't have any problems racing against the wing blade crowd when he was here. I don't think you will either. The reduced wear and tear on that kind of distance would also be a factor in my choice as well.

Silbs said...

Michael's points are valid. The GS is less wind resistant and more gradually takes on a load so the shoulders don't get abused quite as much. Down side, you generally need a bit more strokes/minute to get the equivalent of a euro blade.

Kristen said...

I truly appreciate this feedback, boys - the GP will always be my first choice, and I suppose never having used a wing (well, once, for about four minutes, and what a weird experience) the GP encouragement is very much welcomed.

DaveO said...

I'd cast my vote for the Greenland stick on a distance run like that also. Lower stroke and slightly faster stroke rate has got to keep you fresher over that long distance. You know its going to be windy and the Greenland style blade has always worked better for me no matter which direction the wind is coming from.

Dawn (aka SandyBottom) said...

grI've been a pretty dedicated Greenland paddler for the past 10 years or so when double blading it, so it's certainly my preference. But I've been a distance cruiser and may need to do a little bit of work to get up to speed.