Gearlab – the award-winning design company and pioneer of the first modern Greenland-style paddles with exchangeable tips – is introducing its latest high-performance open-water excursion paddle to North America.
The Gearlab Greenland paddle’s engineering provides for long range, efficiency and precision while reducing injury and fatigue. Gearlab paddles and accessories use ancient wisdom and modern materials, fusing efficiency and technology like no other design in the world.
The Kalleq (from the Inuit word for lightning), with its signature patent-pending swappable paddle tip, is now 13.5 percent lighter than the top-selling Akiak, (750 g ± 30 g in the 220 cm paddle). The leaner edge radius is reduced from 2 mm to 1.1 mm, which makes for a substantial improvement in performance. The paddle is slightly wider at 8.8 cm and the exchangeable tips are slightly smaller and lighter. This full seamless carbon paddle is a newly engineered hybrid that’s noticeably faster than former models.
The Kalleq’s new sharper edge improves water splicing efficiency and paddling stability. The longer paddling surface area improves paddling efficiency per stroke compared to previous models. The Kalleq has a redesigned internal structure that improves strength and durability in harsh conditions. At roughly 750 grams, it’s a truly lightweight paddle.
Gearlab believes the Greenland-style paddle is the best paddle for ocean kayaking. And the Kalleq is the ultimate solution. While Euro blades are designed for rivers and whitewater, long and streamlined Greenland blades are innovated for open bodies of water.
Chung-Shih Sun, co-founder of Gearlab and design developer, explained the new paddle design: “With the Kalleq, I set out to craft the best paddle ever. The paddle is the result of two years of development, as well as drawing on experience with both the Akiak and Nukilik models. The new tip excels in the water, and it grabs the water with solid feedback. The Kalleq’s lean shape supports the paddler to push the kayak forward. I am very satisfied with Kalleq. I believe it will be the perfect paddle on the market for quite a long time.”
The company’s location in Taiwan is central to product development and manufacturing, which means the design and development process is agile and efficient. Gearlab products go through systematic and rigorous research, usability analysis, and ﬁeld testing. The result is a paddle that is easy to transport, buoyant, efficient, light, and strong. “With the Kalleq, we hope to bring the best and most efficient paddling experience to all ocean kayakers around the world,” says lead designer and co-founder Henry Chang.
Touring kayakers are passionate about the paddle’s advantages, with Gearlab quickly gaining a respected reputation and loyal following. “Just when I thought Gearlab’s carbon fiber Greenland paddles were as good as they could be, the talented engineers at GL created a superior paddle unlike any in the industry. The new Kalleq paddle takes the best of Gearlab’s touring paddle line—quality construction, light weight, a convenient flush two-piece design, and replaceable tips—and adds a sleeker design with a sharper edge that slices the water with each stroke.”
“The slightly wider blades, strategic dihedral, and carbon composite construction move more water with no underwater flutter or drag, resulting in a super smooth stroke and a fluid paddling experience. The Kalleq makes paddling 30-plus miles on smooth water or confronting rough ocean tides easier than with any other paddle on the market, Greenland or Euroblade. I have spent decades searching for the ‘perfect paddle’ and have finally found it in the Kalleq.”explained Maureen G. Nowak, a Gearlab Ambassador from Chester, New Jersey.
“I was out testing the new Kalleq yesterday, bringing along both the old prototype and new. The new one is of course lighter and swings better. Also somehow the paddle is calmer in the sea: no wobbling even when I tried to provoke it. I find my top speed to be better with it. I really like the new look, and the center marking is sweet when using a paddle without shoulders,” added Lars Midtsand, Gearlab Norway Athlete.
“I took the new KQ out for a 30km trip yesterday in Thailand. I was immediately impressed with how light this paddle is and the sharpness of the blade. It makes for a great long-distances paddle. I normally don’t paddle a shoulderless, which took a bit of getting used to, but I was really happy with the speed-to-effort ratio.” said Peter Strand, Gearlab U.S. Athlete.