Who cares whether you paddle with a standard Euro-paddle or a Greenland Stick? Who cares if you use a Greenland Stick with an expedition kayak or a skin boat? No one should of course. The real issue when you ask me is that most paddlers don’t even know that they have an option. For their first paddling experience, most paddlers are put in recreational kayaks with big, clunky aluminum and plastic paddles. If in the beginning they were all handed traditional paddles, they’d look at paddlers with Euros’ as if they were weirdos. “What’s that you’re paddling with?” They’d ask. ” They look awfully awkward with those big things on the ends. Do they work as well as “regular” paddles?” They’d say.
So that’s what’s really cool when Sue takes out her regular kayak tours at Devil’s Lake State Park. Although she takes the Romany with more volume to support flooded rec boats, should they happen to go over, she always has her traditional paddle. On every tour, someone will ask, “What kind of paddle is that?” and of course, “Is it as good as…” or “Is it better than a regular paddle?”. It opens a discussion. Not just about paddles, but boats and safety as well. All good stuff.
In the end, paddling Traditional or Euro is nothing more than a choice, however most people don’t even know they have an option. That’s no choice at all.