Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Free Paddle Carving Video....Feedback On My Paddle...

As I posted a while back, I made a few Greenland paddles using the free informational video from Matt Johnson. The video is downloadable and runs about thirty minutes (there is a link on the sidebar of this blog).

There is always apprehension when taking my "home-made" equipment in front of fellow paddlers. Whether it is a boat or paddle, I can't help but wonder what other people are thinking. When I made my first Greenland paddle, I had never even seen or held one made by an experienced paddler. I always think everyone must be looking at the flaws. Of course, most of the time, this is not true. People tend to look at the whole package and not the details. My anxiety again proved unnecessary regarding my paddles made from this video. At my first pool session, where I learned to roll, I was given feedback for my paddles from two experienced paddlers. One asked me what my source was for my paddles (which is a great compliment) and another said that my paddles looked like something that would be found right on the deck of a qajaq in Greenland. That made me feel good.

Not everyone has the time to build a boat, but almost everyone has the time to make one of these paddles. I found the experience of taking a raw cedar 2x4 and shaping it to a paddle was rewarding in many ways. I do feel a connection with the water I did not feel paddling with my Werner. Plus, nothing is quite as nice as that Cedar smell driving home from the lake!

Thanks for making my day Matthew!

I am going to be in a similar situation this coming weekend. I am taking my homemade GP to the WMCKA symposium and I plan to take at least one class on how to paddle with it. I'm a little worried about it being under a microscope, but hey it was my first try, so what if it ain't perfect.
Not to worry, my friend. I saw the pics of you paddle on your blog and they look better than worries! :)
Yeah, Matt's video is definitely a must-see for future GP carvers. I had bought Cunningham's book which details the process among many other things Greenlandic, I found Holst's plans via qajaqusa, and I browsed countless webshots and websites of the endeavors of others. However, it was Matt's work that filled in some major gaps for me and fianlly gave me the courage to give it a go. My daughter got one for her birthday, and now I'm carving one for my wife...I'll get around to making a couple for me shortly. ;)

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