With a review I think its important to start at the beginning. I started researching Greenland style paddles vs. euro paddles as I have always used a euro style and Greenland was a new concept for me. After spending weeks reading countless reviews and comparisons of one style vs. another I realized it was time to take a chance and put my trusty euro style paddle to the side and decide for my self.
Next I found my self researching what company to go with, as I didn't want to just pick any Greenland paddle to say yup I tried it. For me all roads pointed to Gearlab Paddles, and I'm happy they did.
I contacted Gearlab and requested their assistance in helping me decide what would be the best paddle for me. I'm sure I could assume but lets face it they're the experts, why not just ask.The customer support at Gearlab is fantastic, Gearlab recommended a 225cm Nukilik shouldered carbon fiber weave paddle. Now I'm not going to lie, a paddle made in and shipped from Taiwan I thought I would be waiting awhile for my new paddle to come, but it came pretty fast! When I opened the box and saw my carefully wrapped paddle I felt like a little boy on Christmas morning opening that one gift I had lost countless nights sleep obsessing over. The bubble wrap was carefully removed and in my hand I had a work of art. Flawless in every way, black carbon fiber with an orange tip guard the light danced across the blade. I carefully examined the shaft and quickly noticed the "D" joint I had read so much about, they had claimed this "D" will add extra rigidity to the paddle. I connected both sections and in my hands I held a perfectly balanced paddle measuring 225 cm in length and weighing in at just ounces. I couldn't believe how light this paddle was and how balanced it felt in my hands. I couldn't wait to try it out!
The next day I loaded my kayak and headed to the outlet of a nearby lake to put this paddle to the test. To be clear when I paddle I usually will do so in lakes, rivers and even creeks, depending on conditions. I quickly realized that my stroke needed to be slightly modified, which came about surprisingly naturally. After my stroke felt more natural and I could really get up to speed, I was shocked how this paddle just sliced through the water and got me to top speed in hardly no time. More importantly I was able to maintain that speed with less effort than I had ever experienced. In a way I had never felt before it was as if I was connected to the water. I could move in ways that I was never able to before. They weren't lying about the "D" joint either, this paddle is rigged and feels like a one piece paddle. Not to mention I was able to go further and last longer than I had using a traditional euro style paddle. The best part of all of this was when I was done I didn't experience the same strain and fatigue I use to feel after a long trip.
When I paddle I will usually cover between 5 to 20 miles on an average outing. This coming summer I am planning a 200 mile paddle and I wanted something that could make a difference in the trip. I'm happy to say, I found that something! 5 Stars!!!
The only down side I have with this kayak is that its cargo compartment is not water tight. However a short trip to the hardware store and $5 will fix this issue. If you're looking into buying your first kayak or considering picking up kayaking recreationaly, this is the kayak for you. The Trailblazer 100 will give you years of enjoyment at a price you cant beat.
• 1-person sit-in kayak • Versatile • Designed for: recreation • Perfect for beginners • Built on an ultra-stable hull platform • Dashboard • Drain plug • Adjustable foot pegs • Seat pad • Adjustable padded backrest • Carrying handles • Storage hatch with bungee to secure items
Cockpit dimensions: 51.25"L x 23.5" W
Weight capacity: 275 lbs