The Nukilik is the first modern shouldered Greenland paddle with exchangeable tips. Inspired by the Inuit tradition of strengthening paddle tips with bone, walrus ivory, and harder wood, Nukilik integrates durable polyamide tips with a carbon fiber paddle. The tip unites smoothly with the paddle to form a seamless paddle stroke.
100% Carbon fiber paddle with interchangeable PA paddle tips
I’ve been using this paddle exclusively for a few years and I love it.
Great for Greenland techniques
The shoulder is just the right size. Small enough to allow the paddle to slide easily in your hands, but there is still enough shoulder to let you know at what angle the blade is, so it’s easy to control with precision, with only a loose grip.
The shape of the blades, and the sharp edges make it smooth for paddling and sculling. I let my students use it because it’s perfect for getting them accustomed to the Greenland style of paddling.
My favorite part is the stiffness. I like a paddle which bends as you paddle, but it also needs to flex back with power, like a bow. I’ve been using a Greenland paddle exclusively for 20 years and this paddle has the best flex of any paddles I have tried.
I accidentally slammed it in the car door once. I don’t mean where the latch is. I mean near the hinge. I heard a crack, and I thought for sure it was broken. Not a scratch on it, and I never had any water get inside.
It’s a two piece paddle but you would never know it when paddling. The joint is still firm.
I love that you can change the tips. That’s where most of the wear happens when you hit rocks as you paddle.
I recommend the Gearlab paddles to my friends, and many of them have one and love it.
The Nukilik is the shouldered model of the Gearlab Touring paddles. Based on my desired loom length and overall paddle length I ordered the 230cm with round tips. My paddle arrived to the central US just 7 days after ordering. Communications with the company was very prompt and helpful bearing in mind that a message sent by me at noon would not be seen by them until nearly 10 pm because of the 12 hour time difference. The paddle arrived in perfect condition. I ordered the black paddle with black/round tips. The take-apart function works perfectly and fits tightly. The loom is measured just to the point where it widens into the shoulders and is just what is listed in the specs. My 230 cm paddle is actually 232cm long but I think that maybe with the flat tips instead of the round it would probably be closer to 230cm. The paddle weighs 30 ounces. The balance point is exactly at the center of the length. I have used my own hand carved Greenland style paddles for years so there was no learning curve with the Gearlab paddle. My stroke may not be perfect but i was able to go right out and start using the paddle extensively as soon as I got it. All of my hand carved paddles have oval looms, usually about 1 1/8” wide x 1 1/2” tall. The Gearlab paddles have round looms (about 1 1/4”). I thought that the round loom might make it hard to grip with the proper blade angle but I found that it actually works better than the oval loom. On the oval loom the thumb and first finger find a position while the other fingers and the palm try to find a position on the shoulder of the blade. I realize now that when I get the hand position on the shoulder to get the proper blade angle my thumb and forefinger are in a less than perfect fit on the oval loom. The round loom of the Nukilik is comfortable at any angle of the shoulder and blade. Any paddles I carve in the future will have round looms. The blades on the Nukilik have sharper edges than I can get on my wooden paddles without compromising their ruggedness. The paddle stroke is perfectly smooth and quiet and I think that may be largely due to the sharper edged blades. The paddle buries itself quickly and quietly and exits the same. My bracing and sculling skills could be considered intermediate at best and I have just learned to roll so I am really not qualified to judge the paddle on those points. However, so far, I am not able to see much difference from my wood paddles in those areas. I am quite satisfied with the Gearlab paddle and based on light weight, loom and shoulder comfort, and silent strokes I give it a full 5 stars.
I've been using various greenland paddles for the last 4 years - mostly a variety of home made wood paddles and then a Northern Lights 3 piece carbon GP. After doing research and talking with GearLab directly (great customer service), I knew the Nukilik was the paddle I was looking for. After using it for 2 years here's where I'm at:
What more could you want: two piece with a very solid ferrule, 12K weave carbon fiber construction, very sharp edges, perfect blade and loom sizing, very comfortable shoulders, and replaceable built in tips. The Nukilik has been my go to paddle since I got it 2 years ago. It's light and very quiet through the water. It may not be as buoyant as a wood GP but it is more buoyant than my Northern Lights. The paddle has a bit of flex to it when you really push it hard but not more than an equivalent wood paddle. The replaceable tips come in handy because the majority of my paddling is done in very shallow water where I constantly hit bottom. No worries though, because the tips are very rugged and easily replaced if needed ( mine are 2 years old and still going strong ).
Overall I highly recommend the Nukilik, whether it's your first greenland paddle or an addition to your collection. GearLab put in a lot of work to design the Nukilik and every bit of it shows on the water.