Playing in the cold Canadian Maritimes
Yesterday was a nice sunny day, temps in the low 60's, water temps in the mid 40's and a stiff wind from the South. Playing in the chilly waters of the Flood I was able to work on my rolling and bracing with my skinny stick. While I spend a good deal of my time paddling with a traditional Euro blade, there is just something so organic and so natural about using a Greenland paddle. I don't know why, but I feel much more connected to the water when I use this blade than anything else.
I don't mean connected in the technical sense, but more of a spiritual connection to the water. The smooth surface of the carbon fiber paddle just feels so good in the hands and it works its way through the water in an effortless fashion. Hi angle, low angle, ... it doesn't matter, it just works. Using the blade for rolling means I can really focus on my body technique, working the roll with my legs and my hips and not the paddle. The extra extension allows me a few more seconds to use technique over power. The same is true with bracing; the long paddle allows you to use the floatation of your PFD to take the impact, then using hips and legs to drive the boat back up saving much wear and tear on your shoulders.
I paddle with both types of blades and I love both types of blades, but there is definitely something very special about the Greenland style of kayaking.