Kalleq - Gearlab's flagship paddle, Inuit name meaning Lightning. It is the lightest and strongest paddle in our line thanks to its seamless carbon fiber construction. Kalleq incorporates the best-available technology and latest design, offering the ultimate touring paddle experience.
I had a wooden Greenland paddle which I liked but lost. I researched paddle types because I have been having problems with bursitis in the left shoulder. This worsened when I lost my paddle and used a standard European paddle. I bought the Kalleq in hope that it would put less strain on my shoulder, which it has. It feels quite light and with less water resistance per stroke is very pleasant to paddle with. It is not offset so I don't have to move my wrists. I have no problem keeping up with the other paddlers in the three groups I paddle with. The paddle also stores easily as the two halves fit together and can be separated, which would be great for transport, say on aeroplane journey. it's very smooth and pleasant to handle. I was concerned that I wouldn't like the 'feel' as much as my wooden paddle but I think I actually prefer it
I have a laminated wood greenland paddle. I like its feel and flexibility. One problem is that I prefer long paddle compared to my height, and a long paddle tends to be heavy. Now I bought Kalleq. Even though it has a length of 230 cm, it's very light. Also, as other people say, it quite smoothly enters and exits the water. I believe that this paddle would make my long distance touring more fun.
Just got my Kalleq paddle and I put the red reflective stickers on it. It now looks even better and it feels wonderful. After using their Akiak paddle for almost 5 years, I know they produce solid paddles that I can trust, even on longer expeditions. I never had any issues whit my red Akiak, so I am confident that the same will go for my new Kalleq. I put it on a scale and at 220 cm it weighs 750 gr, with the red stickers applied.
Outstanding, very light and strong as we paddle in the water
Well designed paddle. Beautiful made. Light and Strong ~ I just Love it!
I was an avid Euro blade paddler and still love my Lendl Cadence paddle. But as soon as I saw the new Kalleq I was convinced that now was the time to switch to a Greenland paddle. I had tried a few on and off, but was never enticed until now. The Kalleq is so light and has such a nice feel in your hands and even more soothing as it glides through the water, with it's fine edges and slick clean shaft how could I not fall for it. Once falling, the rolling up was sweet too,
I just received my Gearlab Kalleq last night, what a beautiful paddle. Workmanship is excellent, I expected it to be nice, but it exceeds my expectations. Gearlab was great to deal with as well, very good customer service.
Wow! All of the above about this paddle and " it just feeeels alright!!!!"
I received my Kalleq paddle and it amazing. The smooth basket weave carbon fiber is beautiful and it paddles like a dream. Cuts the water cleanly and has lots of power in the stroke. Great feel in the hands being that is does not have shoulders and is smooth. It is a work of art in both design and engineering. Can’t wait to paddle with it more!
Beautifully made and a joy to handle.
After using the Akiak for a while now, have upgraded to the new Kalleq. the lighter weight and feel is so much nicer...
I've used western red cedar Greenland paddles for some years, and resisted carbon versions because of expense and aesthetics. That is, until I tried the Kalleq. It's so light and effortless, with a clean catch into the water. My shoulders were even happier with Kalleq than with my wood greenland paddles, which were in turn less effort than my Werner carbon paddles.
The workmanship on these paddles are terrific. Most of my paddling tends to be extended trips in the Puget Sound area and along the British Columbia coast, typically from 2 to 3 week at a time, covering between 100 to 200 km. At the end of a long day, I really appreciate how light the Kalleq is, I find that my body is not as tired with the Kalleq, as compared to my wooden paddles. The paddle handles well in the wind. This superb paddle!
I have spent a good deal of time paddling the Puget Sound in everything from glass calm water to 25 knot winds and 3-5 swells. This includes surf launches and landings. I wanted to replace my Werner Cypress as my main paddle. I much prefer my Gearlab Nukilik over it but at 220cm it's a big long for me with a high angle stroke and for surfing. My main paddle when cruising, has been my spare paddle in rough conditions. While looking at the Aukaneck, I came across the Kalleq.
The slightly wider blade, length at 210cm, and minimal weight, it's the perfect paddle. I've had a chance to paddle with it briefly and it outperforms the Werner hands down. The surface area of the blade made high angle strokes effortless, yet powerful. The knife-like edge entered the water on the catch clean. Bow and stern rudders were effortless. I love the smooth edge over the curved blades of the Euro paddle for advanced strokes. More control with less effort.
Wow. I like this paddle. Like others have said, this is a beautiful paddle. The layup pattern, fit and finish are all perfect. I tried the Akiak about a year ago when a friend loaned me his while we were instructing some High School kids here in SE Wisconsin. Since then this Gearlab has been on my radar. I opted for the Kalleq for the next level of performance and weight. I bought the 230 as I have a fairly wide kayak, use it in my solo canoe and occasionally from my SUP. This is a performer. It does everything I ask it to do.
Love this paddle. Feather light yet strong. Felt powerful strokes compared to European paddle. Great as a brace and to use to get in and out of kayak.
A beautiful looking paddle that feels and paddles even better than it looks. I have a couple of other Gearlab paddles in my kit but this is by far the best.
Literally means lightning in the Inuit language. And it is no coincidence that the guys from Taipei, which are now a world reference for many kayakers who are keen on greenland paddles, have given it this name. Compared to the previous Akiak, it immediately demonstrates its qualities of lightness and rigidity, saving the kayaker precious energy and ensuring more efficient paddling. The blade is sharper and with a wider active area, and both the enter into water and the lift out of water are perfect without hint of cavitation or energy loss. In the roll, the lightness and the consequent buoyancy of the Kalleq favour positive sensations on the hands before the sweep phase and one never has the feeling that it escapes from the grip. The quality is also seen in the details. The texture formed by the carbon used for its construction is elegant in its matte black. The Gearlab logo and the stamped on name have also been improved and made aesthetically appealing and visible in relief maintaining the same colour as the paddle. The protective caps are similar to those of the other models and of course interchangeable. In short, a product that I am sure will be a hit and even bypass the successes of the previous models.
So I've been paddling with my Greenland 210 cm carbon Kalleq for approximately 2 months now. I've paddle approximately 215 nautical miles in this short time with my paddle in all sea state conditions and it as always amazed me. The Kalleq is one fine paddle. At 210 it weighs in at approx. 725 grams, as light as a Greenland red cedar paddle and lighter then some laminated wooden paddles. It is so light but yet so strong and well built. I just love a paddle that doesn't flex and responds to the paddlers action strokes. It allows us to save some energy and to go further without any wasted strokes. Being 1.1 mm at the edges, on the widest section, the paddle slices the water like a hot knife. It's smooth entering and exiting the water and allows me to make some precise maneuvers that wasn't possible with any other carbon or wooden paddle I've tried. The blade responds so well to the paddlers actions it's unbelievable! I have progressed so much with all the different stokes and braces in this short time. I've also practice my Greenland rolls with it, it as some good buoyancy and is so much more technical then any other paddle I've roll with. Thanks to the innovation in the fabrication of the Kalleq. The two pcs paddle is tight at the joint and easy to take apart with it's flush push button, and so convenient for us sea kayakers for traveling and for the other one on are front deck. The new replaceable tips are awesome they come with only one screw and made of tough plastic that will last for many years under normal conditions. I have shared my paddle with friends for a few hours to full days paddle and everyone love it! I would recommend the Kalleq to all beginners, intermediate or advanced paddlers.
Canadian kayaker Adventurer
I've had the privilege of paddling Gearlab's new Kalleq (KQ) paddle since January. It's been an absolute thrill to push it to its limits over the past few months. I've taken it for a round in whitewater, used it for rock gardening, paddled a 60 kilometer day trip, and used it in the ice covered Lake Winnipeg. For me, nothing says good manufacturing as much as being able to be used in freezing cold temperatures, where things ice over once they're out of the water.
The KQ is a big step up from the other Gearlab paddles. It lends itself to more agile paddling, with a more powerful pull right from the get-go. In comparison to other Greenland paddles, I found it to work quite well for manevours in tight spaces. Altho the paddle has a noticeably larger surface area than some of the other Gearlab designs, I didn't have any pressing issues with shoulder or joint pains, even after both a long day and a cold day on the water. Likewise, the paddle clip didn't seem any worse for wear, even with ice build-up on all my gear. The paddle clip pops out nicely, which makes it easy to put together underwater from a stowed position, a handy trick on a heavily loaded sea kayak or one that doesn't lend itself particularly well to hand rolling. It has served me well as both a primary and spare paddle.
I did find the lack of shoulder on this paddle rather difficult to get used to. I quite enjoy having the shoulder there for a solid grip, and it took some getting used to. The red band around the middle helps for visual reference, but it was something I would have to get used to. For those who enjoy a shoulderless paddle, it's perfect. For those who like having the shoulder to separate loom from blade, it will take some getting used to.
I've been pleased with how little wear the paddle has shown. It's been in a number of tight spots, and inevitably touched up against more than a few barnacles. Still hasn't shown a scratch. It is certainly nice peace of mind to have the replaceable tips, yet, remarkably, I have yet to feel any need to replace any of the tips on my Gearlab paddles, even after hundreds of hours of use and thousands of kilometers. Durability is certianly a key point of their manufacturing, and the KQ is no different. Rugged durability for any conditions.
The slice of the KQ is very gratifying. Combined with the powerful pull of the paddle, you'll find any stroke you use will be efficiently performed. There's also enough power to do a proper high brace, which I've found is not always the case for all Greenland paddles. But, of course, not all paddles are created equal. This power is also what makes it incredibly easy to roll. Those getting interested in rolling with a Greenland stick will find the KQ easier than a smaller, skinnier stick (in my opinion, at least). However, that which makes it slicey and fun to roll could also be a hindrance. It does have a somewhat sharper edge to it, just something to watch out for for if you're using it in highly dynamic conditions.
The red bands on the paddle make it easy to spot in the water, but I added two white Gearlab decals for the added visibility. For another measure of added protection for your investment, I would highly suggest the Gearlab paddle bag. I've been travelling around with my KQ and feel perfectly safe with my paddles flying in their bags.
Of all the Gearlab paddles I've used, I would recommend the Kalleq above all others. It's high efficiency and powerful pull combined with its smooth slice and release make it a pleasure to paddle. Perfect for those looking for a powerful Greenland paddle.
First things, let me make the disclosure. Gearlab supplied me with a Kalleq paddle prototype and revised version at no cost to me. Gearlab sort comments from some testers around the world and made some slight improvements to the original prototype based on feedback received. However I believe that I am able to judge this paddle independent of this but the facts are there.
As to a paddling background, my primary interest is in longer distance kayak trips on the ocean, including unsupported expeditions of up to a week. For nearly 10 years I paddled a number of euro blades, and my last euro blade prior to pursuing the greenland paddles was a 630 gram top of the line full carbon Werner. I am not a ‘greenland style’ paddler (though I fully appreciate, and am slowly leaning some, greenland style skills).
Firstly what to expect to view one of these paddles: • Full carbon, light weight. The construction is different to other Gearlab paddles in that with the Kalleq each half is made in one continuous piece of carbon. This improves strength and reduces weight. My Kalleq is slightly heavier than my previous full carbon Werner, however I feel the swing weight is less than the Werner. It is lighter than my other Gearlab paddle. Note I paddle both my euro and greenland paddles with a high angle stroke – more on this later. • Sharp edges. Gearlab have pushed up to the limits of how narrow the edges of a Greenland paddle can be without making them too sharp to hold the blade for extended paddle strokes. The sharper edges are to improve the bite and power of the paddle in use. • Wider blade. The Kalleq is slightly (about 4mm) wider than Gearlab’s current touring paddles – the Akiak and Nukilik. This seemingly small width increase is very significant in the look of the paddle and translates into more power potential on the water. • Improved plastic tip. Still replaceable, but shorter and only held with one screw. The plastic tip also butts up to a thin plastic bush on the paddle itself, which improves the fit. • Same proven ferrule. The paddle is a two piece with the same proven ferrule design as found on their other models. I haven’t heard anyone complain yet about these ferrules – they work well.
On the water I do find this paddle slightly more technical to use than the other greenland paddles. By that, I mean it took me slightly longer to get efficient with it and it required a little more attention to paddle placement on the catch. Having said that, the rewards are oodles of power – in fact more than I can utilise. This is a paddle for fast cruising on textured blue water all day long. It would be very well suited to the newer generation of fast touring sea kayaks - Epic 18X, Tiderace Pace, Rockpool Taran and their kin. If anyone was to try racing with Greenland paddles the Kalleq should be on their shortlist.
If you are paddling with the Kalleq (or many other Greenland paddles) and feel that you are lacking speed or power, be assured that the reason is the wrong technique. Study the canted stroke – if the paddle feels like the paddle has low resistance in the water you are not using it right. The standout feature of greenland paddles generally is their versatility. You can use them with different forward stroke techniques – high angle, ‘wing stroke’ style, low angle – but with all techniques if you don’t consciously utilise the canting you won’t get enough grip on the water. The technique does become subconscious soon enough.
I personally gravitate to a high-angle (very close to the gunnel and almost parallel to the centre line of the kayak other than a little ‘kick out’ at the end) stroke which may not be textbook but has proven to be solid enough. Indeed I have paddled a number of trips now with groups of other kayakers who are using everything from heavy plastic euros, premium Werner and Adventure Technology euros and various wing paddles. With the Kalleq there is no issue keeping (or exceeding) pace with any of them. I also have studied my cadence against these other paddlers and with the Kalleq my cadence is no faster than even a Werner Ikelos for the same speed. This includes times with strong paddlers in identical kayaks to myself.
In rougher water the Kalleq’s lightness translates to a buoyant feel on the water that is very reassuring. Greenland paddles generally speaking excel in rough blue water as they are so predictable at any angle. Unexpectedly I find the Kalleq easier to skull with than other greenland paddles and as is typical of a greenland paddle, rolling is very simple.
The reaction from others that have tried this paddle has been immediately positive. The quality of the paddle is apparent on a look-over, the composite manufacturing appears as good as the best alternatives, the sharpness of the edges is striking and it immediately feels secure in the water.
The Kalleq is going to be an interesting design to watch in the market. I believe that the forward efficiency of this style of paddle when used correctly is better than a euro even if perhaps not quite as good as a wing. However the greenland paddle is superior to all others in versatility for technical strokes, bracing and rolling. It will appeal to traditional greenland paddlers looking to move up to something with a bit more performance potential. But it may also attract a newer type of paddler to greenland paddling – that being strong paddlers looking to churn out long distances at high speeds with high efficiency.
Hi there, I used it for rolling and surfing last weekend. It was so nice gear, cuts water sharply and moves quickly. In other words, it would be convenient for rolling and surfing that requires such movement. I will need to try this on touring. This lightness may not cause fatigue easily. However, I found only one drawback of this nice gear. The sharpness is that it hurts the hand holding the blade. Anyway, I think all Greenland Paddle users should try this. And this is my very personal request, I would like this paddle to have some variation in "width" and "length". Traditional Greenland tools are sized according to the size of the user's body. I want to emphasize this way of thinking. Thanks.