Greenland Paddles

Recorded by Gail Ferris

Gail Ferris has traveled extensively in the arctic including Northern Canada and Greenland. She has collect a wide variety of data relating to kayaks and kayaking as done by the original kayakers. Below are some drawings of some of the Greenland style kayak paddles she has measured while in Greenland where she is currently living. All the comments regarding the paddles are hers. For information about greenland paddling techniques, look here. You can find information about building a greenland paddle here.

Kitdit or Vester Ejland Paddle

Aasiaat Museam. Measured and drawn by Gail Ferris 06/22/95

Very large square loom. Paddle blade face very round until the last 20 cm tapering down flat to 0.5 cm tip width. Square loom was squar to the flat paddle blades not offset by halfway making it a diamond in rlation to the flat of the blades.

Nathanial Jensen Paddle

Nikolaj Jensen, Kullorsuag, Greenland. Measured and drawn by Gail Ferris 9/95

Gail's interview with Nikolaj Jensen.

Designed with a ridge down the center to the votices. The shape of the blade cross section a 2 cm is along rectrangel with rounded edges, at 20 cm the cross section is an ellipse without any rib down the center, at 25 cm the rib on the face of the paddle blade starts to form and at 40 cm the rib becomes highly defined. The loom begins at 76-77 cm where there is a step-down.

Lars Jenson Paddle

Lars Jensen, son of Nikolaj Jensen, Measured and drawn by Gail Ferris 9/95

Specifically designed without a rib down the center. The loom is square and the blade is elliptical cross sectioned with no defined rib down th center.

 Ilulissat Paddle

Knud Rasmussen Museum, Ilulissat, Measured and drawn by Gail Ferris 6/23/95

This was a very different paddle because the blade at the end was elliptical becoming square at 90 cm and resolving to diamond shape with the long axis opposite the paddle blades at 100 cm with a distinct, actually an exagerated, ridge running as a back bone from the loom part way down the face of the baldes gradually flattening out.

For more information about these paddles, please contact Gail Ferris at

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