Kayak seat height and GreenLand Paddle question

cougarmeat

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I have a pretty short torso and sit deep in the Mariner kayak on a foam seat. Long ago, when my friend got an EddieLine Fathom LV, the rep said something about putting some "lift" in to sit higher after some experience. I assumed that applied to most boats given our short stature (5’ 5 - 5’6”) I can see how sitting higher would raise the center of gravity (more tippy) but would it also give more leverage - like in rolling/bracing - and maybe more deck clearance when paddling? Any idea why the suggestion to sit higher was mentioned, Maybe I misunderstood.

In a related issue, I’m considering selling my Warner CF, bent, Cyprus and trying a Greenland paddle. What I’ve read/seen so far in posts and YouTube is the low hand is usually at or slightly in the water during the stroke. In that case, it seem lower in the seat would be better. Unfortunately, Bend is more a whitewater town, if that. So my GreenLand Paddle lern’n will have to come from posts and videos.

I’m considering the switch from the Cyprus because most my paddling is touring with others. But I am also “the responsible person” and I figure the Cyprus gives me more acceleration and bracing if I have to get to a situation (someone’s in the water) quickly. With a group, going faster isn’t the goal; it’s staying together. If I go slower, others aren’t trying to keep up (I only find out after the trip that they were working hard). It’s all more casual. But I do need to be secure in lumpy water - lumpy like crossing Spieden Channel and missing Slack time a little. Not lumpy like surfing at Pacific City. Thoughts?

I do carry two paddles.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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Raising the seat will make most boats feel quite different - less stable as your Center of Gravity is higher. I built a Romany copy and the first time I paddled it, it didn't 'feel the same' as the 'real thing'. I checked the seat height and I'd put the seat in the copy almost 3/4" higher than the outside of the hull in the original (higher seat + thicker hull in wood core composite construction). Dropping the seat height made a big difference. And I was far from an expert paddler, so if I could detect a difference, it was real.

Moving the seat forward a bit in your Mariner will make layback rolls a bit easier - one of my paddling buddies slides the seat forward on his Express for rolling practice. (He also cut down the seat back height a bit, too.) On trips, packing distibution can keep the weight aft; on day paddles you can just put a water bag in the aft compartment to compensate for your changed seat position. This all assumes that you can still swing your legs into the boat with the seat forward- which is a problem for me.

Don't sell your Cyprus paddle until you have completely 'drunk the KoolAid' of the Greenland fanbase/cult. :)

Why can't you just paddle slower using your Cyprus when you are in a group?

IMO you are absolutely correct in feeling that the Cyprus is the better tool for quick maneuvering in rough conditions to do a rescue.
 
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nootka

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I do carry two paddles.
I have paddled through Seymour Narrows a lot. Usually when the current is running at 8 knots. My favorite paddle is a Novorca Aleutian, so that is my primary paddle to get to the Narrows. On these trips my spare paddle is a 2 piece euro. I switch to the euro if it is windy at the Narrows, or if I can see or hear a lot of turbulence. Otherwise I carry on with the Aleutian.
 

nootka

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I definitely go with the current: north with the ebb, have lunch, then south with the flood.
I refer to it as "downhill both ways".
 

JohnAbercrombie

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I definitely go with the current: north with the ebb, have lunch, then south with the flood.
I refer to it as "downhill both ways".
Me, too. It's my favourite tactic for doing 'long' paddles with less energy outlay, though we don't get 8 knot currents around Victoria. But even 2 knots is a pleasant help. :thumbsup:
 

cougarmeat

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The Cyprus, Epic, and Lightening are Euro blades. And I have a warner little dipper - long and skinny. I can’t get my friend to use the little dipper - or watch my DVD’s on forward stroke for that matter.

It’s difficult when your friend complains of joints or muscles and you can see “adjustments” to form that would help. But there seems to be something about “self-taught” people resisting the advice of others. It’s not even “my” advice. There are DVD’s and YouTubes on proper technique.

I figured if I was using a “skinny paddle”, she’d be more included to try the little dipper. I think she’s afraid she won’t be able to keep up with the skinny blade. “splaining” that the surface area is about the same, just different profile doesn’t work. So I was thinking if I used a GreenLand Paddle, she might try the little dipper - easier on her joints.

I’m not paddling fast, but when I paddle, I endeavor to use the forward stroke techniques I learned from the DVD's. Apparently, it makes my headway look effortless (not to me - I feel it).

I was using the Cyprus when, due to a change in plan, I hit the Spieden Channel at less than optimum time. Though I would have been okay with a less aggressive blade, I’m not sure I would have had the control/manuverablity I wanted to shepherd someone else along. But the Epic (tour model, not wing) or Lightening would have worked as well. In other words, when I carry two paddles, I try to have one designed for an easier long day paddle and the other for lumpier conditions.

What I just did there was talk myself out of the GP and then back into it. Too much time indoors. :(

The most important thing about the Cyprus/Lightening paddle pair is their color (as well as the Jeep) matches my off-white Express with black accents.

Below is a photo of a Spring trip, maybe April, to Seattle a few years back.
JeepInSeattleexs.jpg


No, I don’t have another car for the yellow decked Max.
 
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JohnAbercrombie

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It’s difficult when your friend complains of joints or muscles and you can see “adjustments” to form that would help. But there seems to be something about “self-taught” people resisting the advice of others. It’s not even “my” advice. There are DVD’s and YouTubes on proper technique.
I think (without a lot of evidence) that paddlers have fewer injuries/aches and pains if using good stroke technique and mechanics...i.e. not arm paddling and pulling back the elbow on every stroke. But after a few hundred thousand strokes done 'the wrong way', it's not an easy thing to change one's mechanics.

I really really cringe when I see the 'cure-all' - a GP paddle - recommended to beginners who complain of tired arms and shoulders because of bad technique.

Greenland paddles and the low paddle stroke folks mostly use with them work better IMO with Greenland-style boats with low cockpits and low front decks, even though the leg position in those boats makes a powerful stroke more difficult.
 
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cougarmeat

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That Cyprus is still sitting there - waiting to be photographed. But you are right John, my boats are not “Greenland - style”. And the color already matches the Express. I think I’ll keep the Cyprus.

I’m thinking the GP is like a log cabin. When I lived in Stanley ID for about a year, visitors/clients to the XC ski lodge would “Wow” and coo at the Log Cabin headquarters. But I was staying in a “real” log cabin next to the motel. At night, as the wind would blow ice crystals through what, during the day, looked like a solid log wall, I reflected that pioneers built log cabins not because they were a superior design, but because logs were the only material available at the time.

So maybe the Greenland paddle evolved as it did because some long skinny piece of wood might have been all that was available. I don’t know; maybe some enterprising person found some flat piece of bone and affixed it to a wood shaft to create something like a Euro-blade and was thrown out of the tribe for his efforts.
 

Mac50L

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So maybe the Greenland paddle evolved as it did because some long skinny piece of wood might have been all that was available.
A commonly quoted comment about the narrow blades. If a wide blade was any good they'd have made wide blades. Just a little bit of woodwork and lashing on the extra bit to make it wide.

But they didn't.

I find it hard to paddle well with a bat as a blade. The GP has shape that is used. An aerofoil (hydrofoil?) shape and the stroke uses it.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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A commonly quoted comment about the narrow blades. If a wide blade was any good they'd have made wide blades.
Just a little bit of woodwork and lashing on the extra bit to make it wide.
Not that easy to do with stone cutting tools and bone drills. And the result probably would be a noisy paddle.
And what the Greenland paddle was 'good for' was short trips to stalk and kill seals.

I find it hard to paddle well with a bat as a blade. The GP has shape that is used. An aerofoil (hydrofoil?) shape and the stroke uses it.
What is the closest paddle shape to a cricket bat? :)

I think it's laudable to use traditional paddles (and kayak construction) to link ourselves to the past, and the amazing accomplishments of the humans who learned how to survive in the Arctic. It's the sea-going equivalent of the 'bushcraft' hobby - making fire with friction devices, using stone tools, wearing animal skin clothing, etc.. And it is very appealing to use a paddle one has made with inexpensive materials.

When there's an example of superior efficiency of GPs vs. standard or wing paddles-proven by data and competition- I want to hear about it.
 

mick_allen

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When there's an example of superior efficiency of GPs vs. standard or wing paddles-proven by data and competition- I want to hear about it.
I don't know about superior efficiency, but some time ago I took my ww 'bucket' paddle and greenland paddle, stood in thigh deep water, and with both made multiple sweeps on and just below the water surface to compare lift. At slow sweep speed, the euro/ww paddle was superior, but at moderate sweep speed up they seemed equivalent. It was quite illuminating - and worth trying out.
 

Mac50L

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I really think most GP users need to work on their bracing skills. They mostly seem to spend a lot of time in the water, even upside-down!
Considering my kayak is very tippy and I've not capsized it except because the paddle jammed in the sand in a small bit of knee deep surf at a beach once in the last 20 years, who are these upside-down Greenland paddlers?

Even seals clambering on deck only mean a bit of a brace, easily done with a GP.

The kayak? Draw a semicircle and that's fairly close to the cross section of it. See "The Book of Canoeing" by Dennis Davis 1969 for the basics on how to build it. Sea Kayaker magazine had the same plans about 2-1/2 decades ago.

As for bats, table tennis bat or tennis bat shape was closer to what I was referring to. Cricket? I certainly didn't play that. Refused to play rugby too in case you ask.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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:) = humour
I was referring to the enthusiasm for all the skills like rolling and static/balance bracing that are enjoyed by many GP users in my area.
But those skills (and referring to them, apparently) require good flexibility, something that not all of us retain as we age. :)
 
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