Building a Greenland Paddle

taught by Brian Schulz
Greenland Paddle Plans

Course description

Traditional Greenland kayak paddles are enjoying a resurgence of popularity and with good reason: these deceptively simple wooden paddles can match the light weight and propulsion efficiency of a carbon fiber spoon bladed paddle, and do so with a far more natural stroke that is safer and easier on the shoulders. The blade and grip ergonomics of a properly fitted Greenland paddle decrease hand fatigue and help protect against repetitive stress injuries. The long narrow blade grabs the water like an airplane wing and the foil section is far more stall resistant than a standard flat paddle. This translates into much easier rolls and sculling strokes.

Paddling aside, a Greenland paddle is just darn useful for everything else you do in a kayak. It tucks nicely under front deck lines for an immediately available one piece spare. Tucking it under the forward lines on peaked decks projects the paddle down into the water resulting in a hands free stabilizer so you can eat lunch on the water or launch more safely off a dock. Finally, Greenland paddles are inexpensive, fast, and fun to build. Try it yourself! Most of us who have switched to Greenland paddles have never gone back!

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Brian Schulz
Brian Schulz

Hi, I'm Brian Schulz, owner and instructor for Cape Falcon Kayak. I've been teaching skin-on-frame boatbuilding for the last 15 years. I'm passionate about skin boat design and and helping people learn this amazingly easy and fun boat building system. My other passions include sustainable agriculture, natural building, and off-grid living. Enjoy the classes, and email me if you have any questions.

Reviews (84)

Free is catchy

by michiel ouwersloot
Excellent course with a ton of information, works great to watch an episode ahead and take the next step in your GP build.

by Steven Lindeman
Excellent class. I bought the plans as well. I will start my paddle in the morning.

Great class, very pedagogical!

by Petter Stenberg
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Free is catchy

by michiel ouwersloot
Excellent course with a ton of information, works great to watch an episode ahead and take the next step in your GP build.

by Steven Lindeman
Excellent class. I bought the plans as well. I will start my paddle in the morning.

Great class, very pedagogical!

by Petter Stenberg

Excellent course

by Sascha Saharov
Thanks so much, will go ahead a buy the plans now

by jesus medina


by anthony young
Great information, clearly delivered


by David Edgar
Excellent very informative

by Morgan Davis

Detailed but concise

by Dewey Fuller
Excellent instructive video. A lot of information packed into less than an hour and divided into segments that make it easy to refer back to.

by William Wright

by Charles World

by William Sullivan

great teacher, awesome format/technology

by brandon woll
I love the free class. Im going to buy the plans now. i love this format where i get to understand the teacher's level of proficiency before paying for the details. i would recommend to friends and family.

First class unlit you and practical for ma y skill levels

by Tim McCann
Relax , listen and know you can relook when the event requires it.

by Ryan Seapy


by eoin downing
Excellent mix of information & good practice. Keep up good work!

Great way of teaching.

by Michael Stauning
First Ill have to say thanks, for just being the guy on the internet that made me (without ANY woodskills) do my own paddle. The way and pace the class is made, and the simpelness of it all, just make you go: Hey Ill can do this. And just when you at a point where you go: Hmm maybe Ill cant, and Brian says - dont worry, mistakes like this are no problem in this system. Perfect timed every time Ill was there. Get the plans as well, yes they are in inch's but you can make you own in cm's in no time when you have the plans :)


by Ronnie McIntyre
very good content It made me feel like I can shape/build a paddle with out any problems, and as if I were building them for years. Looking for word to buying the plans and creating multiple paddles.

by Catherine Burke

by Khiem Tran

Nice look

by Robert Stitson
Enjoyed, learned a bit about the foil and loom shapes. Gave me enough to build one for myself and of course we all have to try a bit of our own way but at least I have a target and lessons on what not to do. I do need to learn a bit more about usage , hand placement and theory of performance but sure to find that also. Tried to pay... they wanted my phone number, email address... my first born son... not liking that so not paying. Not generally using paypal

Very helpful

by Ross Hartman
This video series helps to answer a couple of questions that I had with the plans. Good job!

FREE Greenland Paddle Building Class

Excellent instructive and very practical in it's approach. Brian presentation style is excellent and straight to the point. I would highly recommend watching this before attempting a build a paddle as some of the tips are invaluable

by Matias Salas

by Meinrad Büchel

by Hampi Röthlisberger
The whole thing is extremly helpfull. Thank you very much.

by joe connell

by Bruce Dwyer

Great and thorough. Well-produced.

by Josh Jones
Hard to argue with a very well produced video that is free. Explanations were clear and easy to follow. I am not a huge greenland paddle guy, but the idea that I could make a quality paddle in such a short period of time makes me want to make one just for fun. Thanks for making such a great video available for nothing. I'll happily spend some money for plans.

Making your own Greenland Paddle

by Lance Sheppard
Just viewed a very informative series of free videos by Brian Schulz of Cape Falcon Kayak showing the steps involved in building a Greenland paddle. They have inspired me to build my own paddle and I will be purchasing a set of plans to do just that. Well worth the look!

by edu jr
very nice and smooth instructions. direct to the point. thanks for your passion on it

Great overview on Greenland paddle construction

by Mike Peirce
I really enjoyed hearing the various techniques used in shaping the paddle. I have built a cedar strip kayak which I love and was looking for a good method to build a paddle to go along with it. Brian’s explanation and clear illustration using video provide a great foundation for me to move ahead. I have purchased his instructions which are complete and comprehensive. I look forward to shaping my next paddle!

Fantastic, encouraging course!

by Michael Williams
I am new to kayaking, having grown up with canoes. I discovered the Greenland paddle and had a lot of questions, many of which were answered in the YouTube videos by this guy. But the video took a lot of the mystery out of this stick, and i'm excited to give it a try. And the whole thing was free!

by Jose Luis Martinez

by Larry Fullerton


by Chase Clarke
Very clear and detailed. Easy to follow and understand 👏👏👏👏

Greenland Paddle Building

by Greg Nolan
Great start to finish!

Greenland paddle building class review.

by Darrel Hawthorne
I am very happy with the content and instructions. I would highly recommend this class to everyone interested in making their own Greenland paddles.


by colin yeates
first class

The most

by Mercer King
Most of what you need to see to DIY. Most appreciated by this DIYer too!

Greenland paddle class

by benjamin neville
Great series of videos, and inspiring to see your willing to share for free, it’s a rare thing these days, its appreciated. Constructive stuff: Apart from maybe the bandsaw/jigsaw roughing out process, I would put more emphasis on using hand tools only for this task, for me the router (block or spokeshave) , planer (Stanley No 6 flattening jointer plane) are unnecessary and for beginners, practising and mastering hand tools only, makes sense. Maybe introduce a ‘cruk’ knife or different saw blade types, rip and cross grain. Poking a nail in your super sharp block plane to clear stuck chips is a no no, risk of blunting blade. Having done a years wooden boatbuilding course in the UK, we made spoon blade oars in the 2nd month, making and using a “spar gauge” to round off the shaft (loom). I loved it as an intriguing and ingenious tool, perhaps introduce it and its principle here too? Have you come across bone tips added to the ends of the blades? How did the Inuit do this? Thanks for the inspiration, clear and informative step by step process‘s. I will purchase your plans and wish you all the best. Keep enjoying what you do, it helps more than you know! Benjamin

by craig Cheek

by Graham Miles

by Paul Kinahan

by Joe Montpellier

This is a worthwhile hands-on project for any kayaker.

by Tim Yanasak
At times it is the "simple" projects that teach the craftsperson so very much. And I believe this is the case with the building of the Greenland Paddle as presented by Brian Schulz. The student is guided through sequential steps, using a number of basic hand and power tools, to successfully create a fully functional, light weight, and elegant Greenland style kayak paddle. A crafty craftsperson could figure out a way to build a functional paddle just with careful watching of this video class... but really, why! I payed the $12 and downloaded the Greenland Paddle Plans. It's six pages with bits of info that augment the video class. Twelve dollars, like I bought Mr. Schulz a sandwich. I hope that someone else buys these plans so that he can enjoy a beer or two with that sandwich. Enjoy, -Tim Yanasak

Paddle build explained clearly

by Pete Marracci
Easy to follow. Good pace with the essential woodworking nuances given at key moments.

Tomorrow...a paddle... February an F1

by james doherty
I’m building one tomorrow. Thanks Brian, eloquent and enjoyable. Wish I could give you a smile with a vid of the three guys moving 5m stacks of white 3”x4” white pine in the lumber store to find the Only piece with decent clarity. Then I told them I only wanted 2m of it ####! Also, for anyone in the UK, Ant at Shipshape Boatyard is a star, my son and I are booked there to build two F1s.

by Charlie Stroud

From an old man who wants one of your paddles.

by David Yancy
WOW !! I'm impressed.I have a wood working friend who I'll buy a set of plans for.. After watching your videos[on using a Greenland paddle] I saw what I thought was a great paddle. As an old canoe paddler who about 25 years ago, could roll my open boat{set up for white water] I saw you using technic to roll kayak by using the whole paddle.I know that that would work for me now.Do to several injuries over the years,I just bought a kayak[can't handle the canoes any more to and from water} to get back on water.Way back in history I took a ACA kayak training course and at roll training used the long sweep type roll method,and came up first time.Not good for instructor, had to learn his method, plus snap roll.I want your paddle.I'll be ordering.Thank you Dave

Greenland Paddle Build Course

by Michael Schlei
I just watched the Greenland Paddle Build Course and I really enjoyed it. Very informative, easy to understand and well thought out. I can't wait to get started building my own. Thanks, Mike

I want to build my own ...

by Frank Ahrenberg
The course gives a ton of information for free and is amazing spoken. I enjoyed every minute watching it. Thank you very much!

by Robert Paterson

Good description

by Peter Hitchcock
Relies a lot on power tools: Planer and Band saw. Don't worry, there is advice on using hand tools, just be cognizant of grain direction. For me, a draw knife was the best tool for wood removal along with a good quality block plane and a bigger bench plane.

Excellent Tutorials

by Chris Terrell
Thank you for an excellent series of video tutorials, I'm going to buy the plans shortly. I've started by making a small practice paddle from a scrap of pine (ex-scaffolding plank!) in order to get experience of the shaping first. I'm using hand tools for all except the major initial cuts, for which I'll use the bandsaw at the school I work at. I don't have a power planer and actually prefer basic hand tools as, although it takes longer, I have the time to correct errors early; anyway, I find the shaping a very pleasant thing to do and it somehow adds to the special nature of the paddle. Your explanations are simple, practical and clear and the extra tips you give are really useful shared experience. Living in the UK (Scotland) , I'll have to find what kind of oils and waxes are available here for finishing the paddle(s) , Tung oil is fairly easy to get but could you say a little more about the kind of suitable waxes please as it would help with finding alternatives to the one you use. I am also watching your other videos about using a greenland paddle and am working out how much it will cost me overall if i decide to build one of your kayak designs. A big feature of your products is that you are designing and using them yourself and putting your own experience into developing and refining them, along with very honest evaluations of them. To me this is a high value part of your online product that sets it apart from other, superficially cheaper, options. Thank you and I am recommending your site to others who express curiosity (and a little bemusement!) when I say I'm making my own paddle. Five Stars... in case the buttons don't work!

greenland paddle thumbs up!

by Terrence Thompson
A great instructional walk-through on making the greenland paddle. How to do it, with cautionary points for inexperienced woodworkers, including tool tips make this video a must for the novice greenland paddle maker. All you need is some hands-on experience, which I am heading out to now. Thank you! Keep up the good work.

by Steve Prather
I thought this was an awesome video on building a Greenland Paddle. I plan to try making one this week. Glad to see the use of both power or hand tools.

Good Greenland Paddle making.

by Paul Chevrier
Very good video on how to make a Greenland paddle. Video is very informative with easy to follow instructions.


by jim roth
Experienced wood worker with all the tools already. Simple and quick wood working project. Thanks

Great Video

by John Whitehouse
I really enjoyed watching your description of making a greenland paddle. Having built a paddle in the past I will be comparing my technique with what you have taught me, and plan to make another soon. Thanks!

by jan jensen

Excellent introduction for first time builder.

by Wayne Gooch
This is an excellent in depth tutorial, along with the plans ,I look forward to reviewing the step by step video instructions, as I make my first Greenland Paddle. Thank You

by roman Hayda
excellent clear instruction

Excellent thorough course.

by Diego Galizzi
I loved this course, it deals with the entire paddle construction. The toolset used it's simple and easy to assemble. All in all, a great resource. I'll be supporting this by buying the plans for sure. Kudos!

Nicely done presentation of Paddle Build

by David Priemer
This is a must see video for anyone wanting to get into their own build.

Greenland paddle

by Gary Guinn
It was a pleasure to watch this video series. I would not imagine buying a paddle when I can create this “work of art”.

Even an old gal can do it!

by Joyce Bimson
My husband and I just began kayaking this last year, We discovered Greenland paddles but could not find anyone nearby who made and sold them We finally found a paddle builder who could make paddles for us for a pretty good price, Then we found Cape Falcon, We wondered if we could make our own paddles but it remained only a question. I finally decided to give it a try. My husbands 74th birthday is next week. With the help of a friend with a wood workshop , I secretly built my husband his 90 inch paddle. My friend did all the machine cutting but I did all the planning and sanding by hand. I admit it took me a lot longer than 4 hours. I watched the videos repeatedly and reread the paddle plans many times. I am about to do my final oil coat then wax. It has been very satisfying to see the paddle take shape. I know it is a beginner built paddle but I think he will like it. I had enough wood to make a smaller paddle for myself. I used my paddle to test a technique. Once I figured out what I really should do, I did it on my husbands paddle. After I give my surprise paddle, I will finish mine. My paddle will be a little wonky because I was learning on my paddle but I don’t care too much. I learned a lot and had a blast. I will also have a new paddle next month for my 67 birthday! Thank you Brian!

Cheers mate glean in New Zealand

by glen Benson
Thank you very much for that I've really enjoyed it and I'm enjoying making a Greenland battle can't wait to get out in my canoe with it

Greenland Paddles

by Mike Smith
Very nice instructions, focusing on the import issues.

Greenland paddle

by Michael Hiltmann
Very good and interesting, pleasant to view the corse. Also your site is very perfect, I bought the plans and I' m curious to build the paddle.

Great course

by Michael Ferrel
very well done

Excellent course!

by Kent M Jensen
Although I have a lot of woodworking experience this was a great series of lessons on building a Greenland Paddle. Everything is there to lead you to a good finished paddle. I especially like the step-by-step lessons so that I can work through the process one piece at a time and easily re-view a lesson if needed.

Very Well Done

by William Rupp
This course is one of the best I've seen. Concise, easy to follow, and entertaining ! Well worth the time spent watching.

by Shanon Barber

by Richard Smiley
I'd expected a lot more work and a lot more skill requirements that this requires. Fortunately I didn't go and buy a concave spokeshave or some such item, although I'll invest in the best block plane blade I can get. My only criticism (and not having received the plans, I can't say whether it is justified or not) is that names appear and before I write them down they are gone and I can't seem to go back and get them after the clip ends. As someone who also uses a bow (archery) I am wondering if you've tried with laminated cores - that'd give you way more strength and as little or as much flexibility as you wanted... but of course you'd want to seal it, and yes, I caught the comment about a hard finish creating blisters. These are paddles that wear out.


by Luca Paci
Clear footage, a lot of talking for non English properly speaking!

by Giorgio Chiozzi

What a great video...

by Andrew R Wilds
Great video, excellent pace and detail. Informative and entertaining...I will be back for the plans on payday!

by Antti Oittinen

Greenland Paddle

by William McCaffrey
Brian, I thought you did a great job with breaking down each step and making the whole process repeatable to relatively inexperienced persons. You touched on all of the critical dos and don'ts Just a suggestion for the future: I think it always helps beginners if the tool set is as small as possible and the need for power tools is eliminated where possible. This paddle could be built entirely with a small set of hand tools in not much more time than with power tools: good saw preferably a Japanese Dozuki saw, 1" to 1"1/2" chisel, block plane, a card scraper, and a couple of pieces of straight hardwood to use as a saw guide. A little more elbow grease is required, but that is half the fun of it IMHO.

by Hans-Gunnar Samuelsson

First Rate Greenland Paddle Course

by Chuck Granger
Hi Brian Just wanted to let you know how impressed I was with your Greenland Paddle build videos. You made the process incredibly clear, and I'm well along on my paddle build. I did purchase the document, mostly to support your video work, but your videos stand on their own. Thanks for a great resource! Chuck

Excellent demonstration of proper tool use.

by Jim Jeffries
I greatly enjoyed the explanation of the steps involved in shaping the Greenland Paddle, but the discussion of tool safety and demonstration of proper use makes this an excellent presentation. Though I've been using planes, spoke shaves and draw knives throughout my life, I picked up a couple of tips during the course. Now, I'm off to find some suitable wood to make my own paddle!

by jorge jaramillo