I purchased Joe O's two-piece…
I purchased Joe O's two-piece greenland paddle from a local dealer.
It is a beautiful paddle: visually striking, well balanced, a delight to hold. In use it is a very fast blade. However, it is not practical for use as an every-day paddle. Within a month of purchase spilts formed at lamination lines near the tip with subsequent splintering of a large flake from the very thin most lateral lamination. All blade edges are very prone to damage, splinters and dings. After a few months of normal use the paddle is a wreck. By contrast, I have a Grey Owl Tempest that I have had for over twenty years, with hundreds of miles behind it, that is in much better shape than the new Joe O' paddle.
When the splitting of the lamination joints occurred I contacted Joe to give feedback and ask for advice on repairs - as others on this site have experienced, there was no response.
In short, if you are looking for a beautiful work of art to hang on the wall; maybe take down on occasion for fast, open water paddles; that you transport in a padded, solid protective case this is the paddle for you. If you are looking for a durable, everyday paddle that you don't have to constantly worry about and treat with kid gloves, keep looking.
I just got my second…
I just got my second Greenland style paddle from Joe (sold the first years ago when I sold a kayak...regretted it and bought another). His workmanship is very good, and being quite an accomplished kayaker himself he really understands all the little details that make the difference between a "good enough" paddle and one you will want to use all day. Of course every one is custom and sized just right, but the blade shapes are easy to grip, the dihedral creates great lift with no flutter, and the shaft is ovalized which eliminates hand fatigue. It is lighter than my fiberglass Lendal, and nicely finished with oil which gives it a very soft feel.
Over the past 2 years I have…
Over the past 2 years I have been learning and practicing a lot of different greenland rolls from the rolling list. Learning these different rolls has been exciting, challenging and educational of the history behind them. The greenland paddle which I use to achieve these rolls is the Joe O'Blenis paddle.
I have looked at paddles from various makers in the past and they could not compare with Joe's. Since I'm many miles from Joe, I simply e-mailed him with the what I wanted in a paddle. His communication back and forth with what I was looking for was great and the end product was better that what I asking.
Attention to detail, great craftsmanship, excellent communication and great shipping will keep me a O'Blenis customer for years to come. Sure a lot of people make their own paddles but if you're like me with no time or woodworking experience then I highly recommend Joe O'Blenis paddles.