I sometimes say that “if you do not capsize now and then you just aren’t trying hard enough...” I guess I can now say that “if you do not break a paddle now and then you just aren’t trying hard enough...” I guess I tried hard enough at last night’s St. Philips Thursday evening get-together because I finally broke a GP.
I made this particular GP over two years ago and have been using it exclusively for all my paddles, pools sessions, and Thursday practices. That would put it at more than 200 times used. Not bad for a paddle that cost less than thirty dollars in materials and about eight hours of rather enjoyable labour.
|This is what more than two years worth of wear looks like|
A couple months ago I started hearing little cracking sounds in the loom, especially when digging in a little harder when paddling. There were a couple little cracks in the loom, one of them being nearly vertical. I decided that it would be prudent to start carrying my spare when going to the Thursday practices (often I do not as we just mostly just stay in the cove).
|As I do not see the vertical crack any more, I believe the location|
of the break was where the vertical crack was
Last night I brought my spare but decided to leave it in the car… note to self and others, treat Thursday practices the same as a paddle, take the darn spare! Anyway, when I practice high braces I will do them with both non-extended and extended paddle positions. Well, I guess I did just one extended paddle high brace too many, and my GP decided it had had enough of that kind of abuse. It broke in two pieces, with the longer piece floating away.
It’s funny the things you think about in times like that. My first thought was “can I roll with half a paddle.” I wish I would have tried to, but I had not succeeded in half-paddle rolling when I was using a Euro paddle and, never having half a GP before, I have never practiced that particular skill…
My second thought was “I should have taken my spare”. In the event that I ever lost my paddle during a capsize, I have practiced tipping over without a paddle in my hands and simply pulling my spare GP off my front deck and rolling with it…
So then my final thought was to just bail. The other guys were alongside me and they would rescue me from the perils of the deep...
After I was back in my kayak (thanks for the rescue, Brian) I was offered the use of one of the guy’s spare Euro paddles. A Euro paddle now feels odd in my hands, and I just couldn’t get my mind around having to use one with my spare GP only a few hundred metres away. So, I opted to paddle back to the car with a half GP paddle to get my spare, after which everything felt perfect again in my kayak world.
So now I have to choose one of my other GP’s to use as my main paddle. I have two paddles out on loan and four more sitting in the basement, one of which has never been used (made last spring). I tell people that you should have a minimum of three GP’s on hand… one to paddle with… one that you carry as your spare while you paddle… and one left at home in case you break one while paddling… and then the one at home becomes your spare while you busy yourself making a replacement... Of course, with a few extra GP’s you can loan them out to your Euro paddling buddies in an effort to coerce them over to the wonderful world of the GP!!!
GP forever, man!