The Adanac Rock Garden Series - A Review

My paddling preferences have always been unconventional. Since very early in my paddling career I've had a preference for Greenland paddles, loving their warmth, their ability to be used in different ways, and their sheer beauty. I've also been called a "paddler abuser" and have a history of smashing Greenland sticks through my love of rock gardening, leaving behind the splintered remains of commercial sticks amongst the oyster beds and cliffs of Sydney. 

With this problem in mind, Jill Ellis of Adanac Paddles went to work on a new type of Greenland paddle. A paddle which put less emphasis on being a light-weight beauty and really focused on strength, durability and sheer ruggedness. The Rock Garden Series paddles were born.

I've now spent two years thrashing these paddles to within an inch of their life. I've used them to leverage myself off cliff faces after being side-surfed into them. I've had them almost ripped out of my hands as they rebound off submerged rocks whilst surfing through rock gardens. They even survived a rock gardening session with Tsunami Ranger Jim Kakuk. I've also used them for marathon races, surfing white water boats, and of course plenty of rolling. The Adanacs have survived everything I've been able to throw at them.

I have many paddles from many different suppliers, but when the stakes are down and the paddling is going to be exciting, I always reach for the Adanacs first. There's no better endorsement from me than that!

Happy paddles,
Sean Smith aka The Fat Paddler

An Adanac Rock Garden Series paddle graces the cover...

Note: The Rock Garden Series paddles weigh between 28 and 32 oz. Loom size is built to your hand size. Both the regular GP and the Storm paddle include Purple Heart tips.

I could extol the virtues of your paddles for hours (I do!) the zero flutter, the sheer beauty and  elegance of the craftsmanship, the strength and perfect light weight...but truly as I paddled today and each day I realized the magic of my paddle; that from the very first day I brought it to water I had forgotten it was there. Never until today had I given it much thought because it is so seamlessly a part of me. Whether I am on a day trip or upside down attempting a new roll the paddle has enabled what I have longed for in kayaking; a real connection to the water and the environment. 

My paddles are not only my trusted implements of the sport (as the kayak is and pfd etc) but are each a uniquely created extension of my own abilities, strengths and aspirations. I learned to roll, but the paddle continues to teach me to roll better. I learned the forward stroke, but with each stroke the paddle translates my efficiency through the water.

Many thanks to you Jill for dedicating your time and your expertise to creating my paddles that are truly made for me.

Hi Fellow Paddlers,

I started building Okoume Wooden kayaks six years ago, and have built four to date, from Roy Folland, Dancing Waters and Chesapeake Light Craft. 

My first good wooden paddle was a Bending Branches euro style. 

I built my own Greenland paddle about three years ago using George Ellis’ Paddle Making 101 book, and fell in love. Last year I severely damaged a disk in my neck and was advised never to paddle a kayak again.

This was devastating news to say the least, but I was determined that this wouldn’t be the end.

While surfing around the internet, I came across Jill Ellis’ site.

Initially the Ellis name caught my attention and I began to correspond with her – as well as reading the wealth of information contained in her pages.

I was convinced that a properly designed and built Greenland paddle could be used effectively by someone in my condition, without causing any further damage.

I sent Jill the dimensions she needed to build a paddle just for me.

It arrived last week and I was floored by the care in shipping and packaging.

When I opened the heavy shipping tube, slipped off the soft stocking (wait until you see those!), and finally held the paddle in my hands – paddle?

More like work of art!

Jill had admonished me NOT to hang it on the wall.

It was to be used. (I’d asked Jill to burn turtles into the blade tips to remind me to “go slow”. Beautiful job!)

Well, last weekend it got used - a lot – and in less than ideal paddling conditions.

A goodly chop with gusty and strong cross winds. My kayak was weather-cocking to beat the band. (I never install rudders in my kayaks).

This is a TRUE Greenland design, which promotes easy and natural sliding strokes.

I found myself effortlessly compensating for cross currents, performing better leaned turns, and simply becoming a better paddler. I also noticed that, even though I am no stranger to Inuit paddles, this one has zero flutter, no matter what stroke I was doing.

At the end of the weekend, I expected to be in traction.

I had no discomfort at all! I can’t wait for next weekend. Thank you Jill, you’re a Godsend.

Yours truly,

Malcolm Grundy

A Very Happy Yaker. from Montreal

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