Evolution of the Elver
Elver Paddles came about when I was learning to roll my kayak. After years of sporadic attempts to learn to roll I finally asked an instructor to teach me. My poor skill levels were quickly highlighted and the instructor recommended a Greenland paddle may ease the path to a roll.
So I went and made one. Anyway, it helped and my roll started to work. The paddle let me concentrate on the ‘under the deck’ motion while knowing at all times where my blades were. I think also the buoyancy of the timber really helped.
The guy who was instructing me liked my paddles – so much so that I paid for my tuition with paddles! He was a Canadian from the west coast, experienced in Greenland techniques and a consummate roller. He also knew good craftsmanship when he saw it, and especially liked the fine finish of my paddles. That was in 2004.
Since then I’ve made paddles on request for many people – mainly through verbal references.
Recently the Australia kayaking community has become larger, and that grown has allowed people to become more accepting of ‘new ideas’.
This surge of interest has even branched as far as Greenland techniques. As a consequence a presence on the web has been set up to spread the word that an Australian is making Greenland paddles commercially.
My aim is to allow others to enjoy the beauty and joy of a custom made wooden paddle from a local supplier.
I’d love to be able to see more people out paddling with Greenland paddles enjoying the comfort and efficiency they provide, knowing they are paddling with a renewable resource.
Elver Paddles makes Greenland style paddles from timber. Developed by the Inuit, the Greenland style paddle has been used for thousands of years for reliable transport and hunting. Typically Greenland paddles are long and thin, with non offset blades. The loom (handle) is shorter than a European style paddle, and not quite round. The stroke used is different from modern European kayaking stroke. Low and relaxed approximates the style.
Greenland style paddles excel in long distance paddling and fine boat maneuvering skills. Rolling and sculling ability are enhanced by the paddles symmetric blades combined with the natural buoyancy of timber. The non offset blade reduces strain on wrists while keeping the blade always ready for bracing should the need arise.
Elver Paddles are hand made in Australia. Each paddle is carved from specifically selected timber to maximize the use of the natural strength and variation of the timber. Once carved, the paddle is sanded by hand and oiled with natural tung oil.
We use sustainable products in manufacture of our paddles, and aim to provide functional beautiful paddles through simplicity.