Name: Pendel

Most Recent Reviews

This is my third review of the Akiak. The first paddle I received had a clicking joint and I did end up sending it back. The GearLab service folks are exceptional, and the whole exchange process was absolutely painless (apart for being deprived of the use of the paddle for a couple of weeks). The new paddle has a solid joint, no clicking and no play. Took it out a few times already; it behaves beautifully. It is a real pleasure to use this paddle and to deal with the company. I am very impressed and recommend both enthusiastically. BTW, their paddle bags are also really great.

This is a follow-up to my previous review. I have just come back from a week on Chamberlain lake in northern Maine. Paddled my Capella 166 RM with a 230cm Akiak there every day in all sorts of weather. The paddle performed very well and was a joy to use. There was no flutter and the shoulders are shaped just right for a comfortable position. Paddling in heavier 2-foot white cap surf brought up by the winds, at times I could hear the joint click on a heavier stroke or a brace, which I think may have to do with a little play in the joint that I had mentioned in my original review. Nothing serious though, and the clicking went away when I rotated the paddle 180 degrees so that the button faced me. Overall, this is a really nice and beautiful paddle.

I have a shouldered Akiak in Chili Red at 230 cm. Quality of the finish: I would place this paddle in the “handmade quality” category. Overall it is beautiful, but there are some imperfections and nicks on the loom, the joint has a small gap and a tiny bit of play (whereas my Werner paddles are utterly gapless and tight), and the red enamel is dulled (as in: rubbed and not shiny) near the loom joint. Cosmetic imperfections are not a really big deal, but I would have certainly preferred a gapless tight joint on a paddle of this grade and price. Still, overall, this is a gorgeous paddle, and it is well-made. No doubt about that. Shipping & Service: Outstanding. After my initial order, Gearlab responded quickly with an invoice for me to inspect. I wanted to make a change with my original order, and this proved to be very easy and efficient. No problems at all. The paddle arrived at my doorstep in Maine (with DHL) in less than a week, and communication from Gearlab was excellent throughout the process. Paddling impressions: I am not yet ready to report on this, but I will post my impressions as a follow-up posting after I have had enough time to evaluate. Slight qualms: The extra set of tips included with the paddle came with only one screw. I would have expected at least two (if not four), as that is what it takes to mount a tip. These screws are tiny, special (made of titanium ?) and seem very easy to loose. Also, I had ordered an additional set of round tips, but instead received a set of flat ones. I have reached out to Gearlab and I hope that they will send me a correct set of tips. I will report on how that goes.