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Submitted: 01-22-2014 by svenkalmar
This spring i bought a K219/7,9 white Gearlab paddle. It was an impulse buy, but I had been wanting a two-piece GP for several years. I bought it since its reasonably priced and felt good in my hand. I was very positively surprised.
The Gearlab paddles are designed by a group of Taiwanese engineers/kayak enthusiasts. They are blowmolded, each part in one piece with a carbon fiberglass mix..(see their webpages). The paddles are hollow.
The first thing I notice is how extremely low swing weight this paddle has. its about 800gr but feels lighter that any other paddle I've tried due to the low swing weight. Gearlab paddles are rounded and very smooth in contrast to the sharp/diamond-shaped paddles out there. They remind me of some very old GP from harvey goldens great book. This is also how they feel. Very smooth feel. I find them very easy to manouver underwater when rolling.
The ferrule is well designed with a T-slot in the female part that eliminates twisting. The ferrules are tight as can be and its secured with a spring(carbon) similar to a Werner.
I find the stiffness just right. Not dead stiff. This summer I got a Shoulderless version to test, and its a real beautie. A bit thicker blades. and different shape. I think prefer the K (shouldered) for straight forward touring, and the shoulderless for surfing and wave play since its so easy to adjust and slightly change grip. it feels natural no matter where you hold. Being a light carbon paddle one should of course treat it as such..
All in all I'm very pleased with the Gearlab paddles, and I think these should be taken into consideration if one is looking for a two-piece GP that has a unique feel and a very good joint system. It's a high quality product at a reasonable price.
GearLab also makes a nice bag that will hold two paddles and protect during transport...
best wishes to GearLab in Taiwan!
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