An Aleutian paddle is a Greenland paddle with a spine down the blade. Counterintuitively, the spine is on the power face. I will never go back to a Euro paddle. The blade may be narrow, but also longer, so I get virtually the same kick from the Aleutian. The stress is so much lower, though, that I can paddle faster and longer with it before needing to rest. My shoulders thank me for switching every time. I haven't used a Greenland paddle, but understand it can suffer from flutter. Not a concern with the Aleutian. I don't have to carefully monitor my blade angle. Why T and J? Tom, the owner, is very helpful with sizing and any other questions. You get a custom paddle for the base price. Pointed or rounded ends. Two tone finish. Personalized carved decoration on each blade. Made and delivered fast too. It's a Canadian company - for Americans, that means a great break on currency exchange. Around $150 U.S. For a little more, it can be 2 piece and/or hardened tips. I know this sounds like an ad, but I love the beauty and functionality of this paddle. I also admire that a centuries old technology can hold its own against today's tech.
Extolling the virtues of Tom's Aleutian paddles is difficult to put into words, as they are a beautiful custom work of art that will give you a new perspective on the joy of paddling.
I highly recommend T and J Paddles.
Even though the Aleutian is much heavier than my wing paddle I find that I can maintain similar speeds during training and racing yet my body feels so much better the day after a hard paddle. The Aleut offers better control and a wider range to stroke which really helps in rough conditions.
Tom is all about customizing your paddle functionally as well as aesthetically. My first paddle arrived on time as expected and working with Tom through the purchasing process was easy and enjoyable. I quickly adopted it as my go to paddle, which unfortunately resulted in some dings using it while training and ascending a low level local creek. (My Bad ...not the fault of the paddle or the maker). So a quick message to Tom and he agreed to make me another custom Aleutian paddle with the blades reinforced with fiberglass (and a cool custom color scheme and leaf design). 3 Weeks later I received my 2nd paddle and it performs as well as the first paddle and looks even better!!! I have used it on several trips now and it has held up well to rocks and ice contact.
If you are looking for an inexpensive custom Aleutian paddle I highly recommend Tom and T and J paddles.
I find the Aleut to have a much smoother stroke with very efficient propulsion results. I had my custom Aleut made by Tom at T and J Paddles in Ontario. Pricing was very reasonable and delivery time was shorter than most. That, I assume depends on the seasonal demands. My paddle was made to a 90" length request with a 3.5" blade.
The wood used is a beautiful western red cedar which is light weight and strong. The craftsmanship put into this paddle by Tom is equal to some very high priced paddles. This is a very comfortable, efficient, easy to use paddle that is also a work of art. My recent trip on the Silver River was filled with "What kind of paddle is that?", "It's Beautiful" and "Where did you get it".