Sizing the PaddleSince every paddle is custom-sized for each individual paddler, you'll want to spend a few minutes taking some easy measurements before having your name put onto the list. These measurements are the same as if you were to build your own paddle. Below is a simple diagram of the anatomy of a Greenland style paddle, just so we have a frame of reference.
Overall length: There are two methods to get this—one is to reach straight up and curl your fingertips slightly, measuring from your fingers to the floor. This is one of the same methods commonly used to measure for a Euro-blade. The other method is an "armspan and a cubit." Measure your armspan fingertip to fingertip with arms held out to the side and parallel to the floor, Then add to this, the distance from the outside tip of your elbow to your fingertips. Both methods often yield close measurements. If yours are different, record both and we'll discuss them both. Blade width: Here, form a "comfortably wide" letter "C" with your hand. You want the "C" to have a comfortable curve along your index finger and through the webbing of your thumb—a "C" that would allow you to securely grip a blade. Measure the distance between your thumb and the joint of your first finger. Blade width combined with the over-all length determines how much bite the paddle has and how much effort it takes to use. These measurements can be adjusted a bit, especially for those who are a good bit on the taller side of average. Loom length: The bit between the blades... Normally with a GP, one holds the paddle with thumb and index finger at the ends of the loom with the other fingers lightly held around the shoulder of the blade. Here, we'd stand with arms relaxed and hanging at your side, bring your forearms up parallel to the floor so the elbows are bent 90 degrees, hold thumb and forefinger together on each hand, and measure the inside distance between the thumb and first finger of each hand. This is a tricky one. Many people will toe their arms either in or out when doing this. The key to this one is making sure the arms stay pretty much parallel to each other. Having someone assist, or doing this in front of the mirror can help. Another question I might sometimes ask is would someone describe you as very broad shouldered, skinny or just average across the shoulders. This measurement is very subjective, as most people will prefer to add a couple of inches to this. Many people of "average" size measure around 17-18 inches but prefer to use something in the twenty inch range. Loom Diameter: Make a circle with your thumb and forefinger and measure the diameter. That's the most common method used, but I've found it's sometimes easier to simply ask if you have large hands, small hands, just average or maybe even huge hands relative to your size and I take it from there. Once we have the actual measurements, we can then discuss any preferences you may have and fine tune things from there. The measurements are a very good starting point for most, and personal preferences can also play a large role in determining a paddle that suits you. Don't hesitate to let me know if you have any questions about getting the measurements, either via email or the old fashioned telephone. After we have the measurements and your name is on the list, I will want to have a quick chat with you to talk about them, and to find out a bit more about the paddling you do.