I happened upon an excellent post from kayaker extraordinaire Greg Stamer explaining the differences and also primary advantages a Greenland paddle has over other kayak paddle types, especially the wing paddle. More after the jump.
Here’s a quote:
To generalize, a racer is often trying to maximize speed over distance usually with an extremely light, unladen kayak. A sea kayaker is often trying the maximize the number of “miles per Snicker’s bar”, often with a heavy or gear-laden kayak, day after day. These are related, but are very different things and need to be viewed separately.
In a racing situation — very light kayak, 10 miles or less, using a very high stroke, I’m about 1.5 – 2 minutes per mile faster with my wing than with a GP. That’s not much for touring but is an eternity for racing. Unfortunately this is not a perfect test since my current “go-fast” kayaks have a fairly high foredeck that makes it difficult to fully bury the blades of my GP at the catch. I have won local races with a GP over wings, but if I want my best time I use a wing.
You don’t get something for nothing. The speed comes with a price.
What’s the price of that extra bit of speed? Find out more at Greg Stamer’s blog.