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This is my first Greenland paddle and I usually don't like taking un-tested gear on such a long trip. But after one 10-mile trial run with the paddle, I decided to take it on the EC, along with my old trusty euro blade. I ended up using the Lumpy Paddle for 85-90% of the challenge, switching paddles occasionally for variety. It worked beautifully in a wide variety of conditions. It was the best piece of equipment I carried. Despite covering 300 miles in less than six days, I had only one small blister and minimal fatigue.
I think Bill gets his wood from some magic forest and for sure elves help him out on the crafting of these marvelous sticks. Be prepared to wait for your turn because they are made one at a time by a Master Craftsman. Can you tell I love mine?
Give "Lumpy" Bill a call. He is a wealth of information and you'll enjoy the conversation.
The paddle itself is a work of art - beautiful cedar with a finish that was like velvet and almost too gorgeous to use, but I got past that as soon as I took it out on the water. I've tried other Greenland paddles, both hand- and commercially made, and always struggled with flutter and noise. Not so with this paddle. From the first time I used it, the paddle entered the water without a splash or waver, and as my technique has improved with practice, it has proven to be silent, intuitive, comfortable, and powerful.
I regularly paddle long distances (15-20+ miles) on and around the Chesapeake Bay in various conditions, and my Lumpy Paddle is now my go-to paddle.
When I first took the Lumpy Paddle in my hand all felt right with the world. Owner Bill Bremer gave me a brief lesson on how to use the paddle and I started practicing. After a few weeks my strokes and my rolling had both improved. The blade handles intuitively in rough waters as well as calm. It just makes paddling more fun.
I paddled 18 miles the other day in a heat advisory. I took my wing and my Lumpy Paddle. I stared with my wing, no wind, 95 degree temps, and high humidity, After about 7 miles I had to slow down to keep my heart rate from soaring. Paddling a wing paddle slow is a truly odd feeling that I don't recommend. At 11 miles I switched to the Lumpy paddle. I could maintain a good cadence with the Lumpy paddle compared to the slow, ungainly, cadence of the wing when I was tired - and I felt MUCH better physically. In fact, I felt good enough to add 7 miles on the trip and finish at 25 miles.
I would recommend a Lumpy paddle to anyone interested in enhancing their paddling experience. A Lumpy Paddle is a true piece of kayak art and worth the wait.
It took me several months and a lesson or two to get the basic stroke mastered to a level where I can paddle for hours near the top speed of my kayak without much fatigue. The reason I say this is that at first I did not like the paddle very much in terms of fit. But as I learned more, I found it is actually a pretty good fit and a rather comfortable paddle.
It is not feather light but is relatively light weight and comparable to most mid-grade composite paddles in weight. I have since carved my own paddle that is a little less powerful (in terms of catch on the water) and is considerably lighter, but the Lumpy is much more solid feeling - now I have two paddles to choose from, depending on conditions and needs.
Craftsmanship is superb – flawless on mine. Made from a good piece of wood and finished very smoothly with rubbed Tung oil it appears – easy to touch-up with a little cotton swab of Tung oil every few weeks where I scratch or nick it.
The paddle is very quiet on entry and exit from the water and has enough grip on the water for quick acceleration. Yet it is not too wide-bladed (3-1/4" for mine at 88" long) to be a problem over long distances or in winds.
I was not very keen on the somewhat defined transition b/w loom and blade initially, but lately began to appreciate the positive feedback this provides about where my hands are on the paddle. That's important since with a paddle like this one tends to move their hands a lot depending on the task at hand. The transitions are smooth enough to not interfere with sliding stroke or to cause rubbing in any particular spot.
The paddle is of good volume and thus quite buoyant. I went beyond my initial basic rolling ability with this paddle thanks to this and the general GP design. I'd love to have a carbon version of it that would be even lighter, even though this wooden one is of very manageable weight.
The paddle works very well for a high angle stroke as well as for low angle relaxed paddling. My other paddle (besides the one I made) is a wing paddle and having a GP and a Wing seems to be a very good combination – both are sufficiently different and offer the chance to work on a different technique while paddling. I can generally maintain similar speeds with both paddles, but they feel distinctly different – the wing is more powerful and offers faster acceleration and top speed but the GP seems to tire me less at the end of 10-15 mile paddling at a brisk pace. The reason is simple – with the GP I can switch hand positions and technique more so than with the wing, the latter being more demanding of a proper stroke and trajectory in the water. The GP is also more versatile in terms of corrective strokes and rolling.
I had a chance to speak with Bill about the paddle – great guy with good advice. I would highly recommend his paddle and his experience to you if you are considering a venture into GP territory for a first time or looking for your next paddle.
The paddle is gentler on my joints, makes going into the wind less of a struggle, and yet still allows me to keep up a 4 mph pace even when my boat is loaded down. I have used the paddle over 70 times in the past year including on a 9 day, 150 mile trip in the Inside Passage and could not be happier with it.
Bill’s customer service is also the best I have ever received from anyone. He really takes the time to find out what type of paddling you do and adjusts the measurements to make a blade that will fit your needs. You can tell that he is someone who loves kayaking and takes pride in his craftsmanship.
Since the paddles are made from wood, they do require some maintenance when they get dings and scratches, but a little bit of sanding and a quick coat of oil is all it takes in most cases.
For pure power and speed, a large faced European blade may be better, but if you want a nice paddle that won’t leave you sore and where you’ll be eager to go the next morning I would highly recommend a Lumpy.
The paddle was everything I wanted - slightly wider blade, wider loom and stiff. I am very proud to own it. Handles exactly as I hoped. Even if you are not a dedicated Greenland paddler, I highly recommend having a GP and Bill's are top notch.
But I kept hearing about greenland paddles and wanted to give one a try. Unfortunately, I did not have any friends with one to try. So I started reading what I could on Pnet and then found the Lumpy Paddles website. That was a great start. It is filled with lots of good information without getting preachy or technical.
Next came the ordering process. I called Bill and ordered my Lumpy paddle. Since these are handmade to your specifications, there is a wait. The wait was well worth it. In March I got my new paddle and have had lots of fun.
Bill treats his customers as good friends and makes sure you are satisfied and can really use the paddle. We have shared many wonderful conversations and I have learned from his knowledge.
The paddle is a work of art, but shows it quality when used. It is versatile, light and easy on the body. I was amazed at how easy it was to transition from a feathered Euro style paddle to using a Greenland paddle. Of course, there are lots of suggestions out there, but the paddle teaches you how to use it. It gives you many paddling options that cannot be easily done with a Euroblade. No more worrying about left/right, front/back, up or down. The paddle is a custom fitted tool that does the job.
I just wish that I could have this kind of buying experience when getting a new home or my next car. Yes, I really like my Lumpy paddle.
It is easy to bury the blade in the water quickly with ANY angle stroke or cant angle. It appears more power is generated with a greater cant angle. It is very quiet in the water during all phases of the stroke.
Although it takes longer than my Euro to get up to speed, once at cruising speed it maintains a very respectable pace. People in my area have commented that they were surprised at the speed that the paddle generates.
It is far superior to the two other GPs that I have sampled. I recommend that Lumpy be on the short list for anyone considering a GP.
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