I ordered this paddle last week and got it yesterday. Fast service even in these strange COVID times. I'll save an in-depth review for later, once I've had more experience, but for now here are my first impressions.
The packaging: the box the paddle came in is quite robust. I think it's safe to say that if you order directly from Gearlab, the odds of any shipping damage happening are quite small.
In the box: the paddle came with an extra set of tips in a contrasting red color (the ones on the paddle are black) along with the tool to change the tips and a spare set screw, just in case. There was also a small envelope with what I assumed was branded soap (strange, right?) but turned out to be a bar of wax for lubing the joining section of the shaft. Last but not least were some nice stickers. Can't argue with any of that.
The paddle: what a nice piece of design and construction. I cannot find a flaw. The connected joint is absolutely without any rotational or axial slop. The paddle is light and feels great in the hands. I had some concerns that the thinnest part of the blade might feel sharp in the hand when gripping there doing an extended sweep or roll, but no, even though much thinner than a wooden paddle, it's nicely smooth and rounded. The loom and the transition to the blade feels great in the hand.
Excited to get out on the water and come back with more detail!