Kayaking has become one of the more popular water sports in recent years, and for good reason ... great exercise, access to many different environments, it can be extreme or a peaceful as you want it to be, and after your initial investments, you can enjoy countless hours of enjoyment.Kayaking has been in practice for centuries by various peoples around the world, and from them have come knowledge of kayaking products and techniques ... such is the case with the "Greenland Kayak Paddles".
These paddles differ from most traditional kayak paddles in that they are thinner and often lighter. Because of their design they are often preferred by touring kayakers because they are strong and light and tend to be less rigorous on the paddling muscles. All of this tends to make touring less of a chore and far more of and enjoyment. Randy Millar has re-discovered the advantages and benefits of these paddles for kayaking and manufactures them in his own shop. Although he does use a variety of woods, such as pine, fir, cedar and some purple heart for detail, cedar is by far the preferred wood.
Selecting the raw cedar planks is quite a challenge. Randy says the "old growth red cedar" is by far the best wood. Normally each paddle is one piece of wood, which means that the wood selected must be straight grained with no imperfections along it's length. Randy also prefers cedar because is light and very strong and has a certain amount of "flex", all of which helps to make paddling easier on the paddler, which also means they can go longer distances. Randy also experiments with laminations of various woods to produce some visually attarctive paddles. Using contrasting woods, and lamination also produces a strong flexible paddle.
The techniques of making the paddles are simple ... lots of manual labor with a few select hand tools like various hand planes, spoke shaves of different sizes, scrapers and sand paper. Because the paddles are 6 to 7 feet long it is important that the blades be aligned properly so hand and eye co-ordination is important as the paddles are "formed" with the hand tools.
If yoiu want to learn more about Greenland Kayaking Paddles, please visit VI Paddles at their website
http://www.vipaddles.com to see for yourself the benefits of hand made paddles.