Thank You, Dave!

Posted by Kurt Maurer on May 25, 2005

I shoulda added that link myself, it's the "Bible" on making your own GP.

NEVER BUY A GP!!! Are you NUTS? The whole idea is that you paddle a boat you built yourself with a paddle you likewise were so ambitious and intelligent as to make with your own two paws! Okay well, that ain't the whole idea, but you get my meanin' just the same.

My GPs cost $7 a pop. Yes, 'WRC' is western red cedar. I apply absolutely no finish, nor do I laminate blanks or fiberglass anything. Just good old raw cedar, and the simplest of "construction". I use rough cut wrc 2x4's, and end up with blades 3 3/4" wide. Get as fancy as you wish once you have settled on what you like, but in the meantime, keep it dirt simple and concentrate on playing around with the paddle's configuration.

Euro blades work on a brute force principle, and the GP is more of an applied hydrodynamics kind of thing... Or in other words, the GP blade produces "lift", but only when used correctly, and that's how they work. My first stabs with the stick felt like I was taking a bow an' arrow into a firefight, but a little acquired technique converted the same chunk of wood into a viable paddle.

Once again, please understand that I'm a GP-Guru wannabe at best. My mentor, John Caldeira, doesn't even bring a Euro in the CAR, much less along on the water. The GP is his paddle, and boy leme tell ya what, can he USE it!

Finally, you betcher boots a storm paddle makes an excellent spare. Mine rides happily in the foredeck bungees, and never gets in the way of anything else that may be up there (fishing rods, etc.).

I like to think of the kayak as the "fly rod" of the boating world - as pure as it gets. Well, the GP is surely the "fly rod" of paddles.

Great discussion! Hope I'm not pontificating too much. I'm rather hoping to learn stuff here.

Cheers, Kurt

BTW, here's a pic of my latest kayak, on day 9 of the project (5-24-05). It's an Outer Island, by Jay Babina, and my first full stripper build.

In Response to: A How To by Dave Houser on May 25, 2005