As a beginner paddler, my experienced of using any Greenland paddle will be fairly short. I got my Akiak only less than 3 weeks ago, and had been using it exclusively since. This paddle may not be the lightest ones I own but it's one of the most beautiful aesthetically so far. Few things that I have noticed is that my paddling stroke feel more efficient, smoother (less 'fluttering') and quieter during catch and release than any of my full carbon European paddles. Akiak has certainly given me more confidence and enjoyment in paddling longer in the water. I am currently waiting for the next set to arrive as back up. Thank you Gearlab!