Choosing between a paddle with shoulders and without is completely a personal preference. We recommend that kayakers new to Greenland style blades begin with a shouldered paddle because the fixed hand position on the loom fosters a consistent stroke. Some experienced Greenland paddlers prefer a shoulderless design because it allows for more flexibility in hand positioning for different strokes and water conditions. Other experienced paddlers appreciate the shoulders because they provide excellent leverage during the push/pull motion of each stroke. The shoulders also provide instant familiarity for hand placement on the blade, particularly in surfing or rougher water conditions that require quick reactions.