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 (26)


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
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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