While I make and use my own custom cedar Greenland-style paddles, for expedition use it’s amazingly useful to be able to have a two-piece paddle. I used Superior Carbon Greenland-style paddles exclusively for my Iceland trip and will use them on my upcoming Newfoundland circumnavigation.
Although carbon Greenland paddles are not cheap, the ability to store a two-piece saved me a good sum of money when flying to Iceland. I already had plenty of oversize charges, and not having to pack an oversize PVC paddle tube (for a one-piece Greenland paddle) helped avoid additional charges.
Superior uses the Lendal-lock system, featuring an internal cam tightened by an allen wrench, that expands to make an extremely solid and “wiggle free” joint.
Another interesting benefit of the split paddle system is that if you order two of them, in different lengths, you can combine them to make three different paddle lengths. For example, for my Newfoundland trip I will have separate 86″ and an 88″ paddles. The paddle halves can be combined to make either 86″, 87″ (half of the 86 and half of the 88), and 88″ paddles. If you are interested in this option, let Mark Rogers know ahead of time, as it requires some extra preparations.
The Superior carbon paddles have a very clean and strong bite. The lightweight carbon construction is wonderful on long trips. The carbon however, is colder to the touch than wood, and can be slippery when new. I improve the grip of the paddle by sanding the shoulder area very lightly.