|An extra-low tide, at Descanso Regional Park, on Gabriola Island.|
|Joan, innocently posing, with my new paddle.|
|The next thing, she's launched and heading out to sea...with MY new paddle!|
|Catching up - the paddle is back in sight...|
|...and now back in MY, warm little hands - finally!|
In a word, this paddle, created by Randy Millar at VIPaddles in Nanaimo, is sweet. Life has been busy so I (we) didn't have a chance to give it its first test for almost two weeks. It sat, in our home, a veritable work of art, begging to be dipped into the salt water. Lightweight and made of dark, Western Red Cedar from Malcolm Island, it looks gorgeous. I opted for the two-piece, take-apart paddle as space is always at a premium and I also wanted the option of being able to "feather" it. That's the way I've always paddled - and without any wrist discomfort thus far. The perfectly fitted carbon-fibre ferrule permits feathering either way (Joan and I paddle "opposites"), or unfeathered. Choice is good.
We both found that, after many years of using the broader bladed, Euro-style paddle, the very first, (overly-enthusiastic) stroke was a little like pulling a hot knife through soft butter! ("Nice recovery brace, Joan." Haha.) It wasn't many strokes later, however, that the paddle felt right at home in our hands and in the water.
We remembered when we had Greenland paddles years ago, with our Nautiraid Expedition kayak, you felt like you could paddle all day. Indeed, this style of paddle, once you're moving, requires less physical effort than the Euro blade - a definite plus for long days on the water or multi-day trips. In a very short sprint from a "floating" stop, you'll certainly win with the Euro but once you're up to cruising speed, that's when you feel the difference in terms of effort required. The paddling style is also slightly different and, somehow, the Greenland paddle seems to actually encourage proper twisting of the torso, which ensures that the propulsive power is coming (as it should) from the "core" as opposed to simply the shoulders and the arms.
|Paddle in hands and heading across the Salish Sea -|
to the mainland of Canada!
(Well, OK, that's a bit far for a day paddle.)
|Back on shore and keeping the VIPaddle at close quarters.|