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Name: Alex Martin

Most Recent Reviews

Extreme protection for your paddle, I love it! Will be switching to this paddle for my Kq. Much appreciation for this paddle bag! Zipper is very durable and easy to undo with gloves, clips are strong, padding is abundant. Could use a little more drainage perhaps but I haven't noticed any downfalls. Would recommend this bag over the old one if you are travelling with your paddles and worried about breaking while shipping/travelling. Well worth the (inexpensive) price to protect your paddles!

A simple yet solid paddle bag! It nicely protects the entirety of your paddle. I've flown around North America with this bag in my checked luggage and my paddles have yet to scratch or damage! The simplicity of it is very nice, and considerably inexpensive for such protection for your expensive paddles.

Best design of a dry bag! Incredibly durable and holds up to any weight that you put into the bag. The carrying handles are a fantastic design. I use and abuse these bags to no end and they continue to hold up. Will continue to buy more of these bags!

Works well to keep your spare Greenland paddle on your deck. Easily switched between boats. I appreciate it as an instructor since I can quickly store a paddle on the deck. I use it frequently for photography as it is a quiet way of storing my paddle, not to mention quick. My one complaint is that in swell, you can catch the end of your paddle in the water and the port will slip down off the side. It doesn't come off the boat, but it does allow your paddle to drag. Not a big issue if you don't paddle much in surf.

Greatly love this paddle! Have used it both instructing as well as tripping. My only complaint is that the button on the two-part no longer clicks out. I have observed this issue with both my paddle, as well as my students.

Super fun playboat! Love the outfitting in these boats. I'm a 5' 10" paddler and cram myself into this boat. Super easy to throw around. The front padding can be difficult to carve out but it is nice to have a solid spot for your feet. I would recommend this playboat.

Good introductory boat. Large cockpit makes it easily accessible, foam floats create buoyancy. Front float is uncovered so make sure to be diligent about the integrity of the foam over time. Easily customizable for fishing. As a wide and short boat, it turns slowly and does not have a fast max hull speed. Seat is reasonably comfortable. It tracks well through the water. Would recommend as an introductory boat.

I've put thousands of kilometers on this boat, both in expedition environments as well as day tripping, instructing, and in dynamic waters. Can not suggest this boat highly enough as a tripping kayak. It is beautifully light. Hatches stay on well even during beatdowns in surf. The day hatch tends to sweat a fair deal, so be careful what you store in this hatch. Have redone the hole in the bulkhead to accommodate for this. The pocket-hatch in front of the cockpit is great, stores a VHF radio very easily. Would highly recommend this boat.

As an instructor/guide, the Deck Pod allows me to easily keep my basic instructor kit in hand as I switch seamlessly between my different boats. I'm able to fit my paddle float, bilge pump, VHF radio, sunscreen, first aid kit, repair kit, spare whistle, and sponge in my Deck Pod. Durability is important to me, as it has proven to be for Gearlab as well. I haven't used it for a long period of time, but the design seems as though it will hold up to the rigor of daily paddling. I've used quite a few different designs of deck bags over the years, and the Deck Pod's layout suites me best. I can easily replace a paddle float with a water bottle and still be assured it stays in while paddling. I've put the Deck Pod through two days of surf kayaking without any worry of losing any piece of gear. Two things of note: the top mesh compartment doesn't fit my VHF (Standard Horizon HX870) so I choose to keep this on my person when I anticipate using it, thus assuring quick and ready access to it rather than zipped up in the Pod. I also look forward to seeing additional/extra tie-down clips for sale on the website; I'd like to put them on the perimeter lines of all my boats, allowing a more rapid switch between kayaks. All in all, the new Gearlab Deck Pod is a sturdy, well-designed deck bag, ideal for gear storage for recreational and professional use alike. I will definitely be picking up more Deck Pods for my instructors and look forward to putting more use on it!

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.