The Kayakid : a versatile paddle

- Declan Nowak

What a great surprise to test the Kayakid paddle under different circumstances than it was designed for and to find it an incredible tool on the water. I had read great reviews about the Kayakid’s performance as a surfing paddle, but I rarely get the opportunity to kayak those waters. Instead I tested it on a large, calm lake and was thrilled by the power and speed it gave me.

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The build of the Kayakid is of the same high quality as Gearlab’s other paddles. It has the improved shoulders of the Nukilik, which are smooth and comfortable for long paddling trips. The 51 cm loom length is ideal for a slightly higher and more powerful stroke. I had worried that the 200 cm length would be too short for my 6’1” height, but I really enjoyed the shorter paddle. The length forced me to focus on and improve my stroke: rotating my torso to utilize core abdominal muscles and raising the paddle higher to plant it firmly in the water. The slim blade edges cut the water like a knife.

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My trials using a GPS tracking system to monitor speed revealed that I paddled almost one full MPH faster using the Kayakid than with the 225 cm Nukilik. I did not feel like I needed to expend any additional energy using it, despite the wider blade width (10.8 cm wide versus 8.4 cm on the Nukilik.) The Kayakid was light, comfortable and fast – an ideal paddle for surfing and for flat-water speed.

In addition, the wider blade width made rolling a breeze. The Kayakid felt light, buoyant and easy to control.

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In the same way that a golfer carries multiple clubs for various golf course conditions, a paddler benefits from both a long narrow blade like the Nukilik and a shorter, wider blade like the Kayakid for strength and control. While the Kayakid absolutely is a Greenland paddle, it performed like a hybrid Euro-blade because of the increased stroke power that it offers. Carrying both for expeditions would be ideal. I’m hooked and will be bringing the Kayakid on all my paddle outings.