Outdoor Retailer Showcase: 4 Gear Tests at Demo Day


Demo day is a chance for brands to get items into the hands of Outdoor Retailer tradeshow attendees. This year’s demo took place at Confluence Park in downtown Denver on the Platte River.

Brands display gear that just released or will release in 2019. GearJunkie was on site, visiting all the booths and finding the gear that rose above the rest. Read on for four standout demo day experiences.

Greenland-Style Paddles: GearLab Akiak

Sea kayaks, standup paddleboards, packrafts, and canoes lined the Platte River, and large European-style paddles dominated the scene. But one company, GearLab, quietly touted its Greenland-style paddle.

Introduced in April 2018, the GearLab Akiak is a thin, carbon-fiber paddle with a sharp blade and the brand’s patented exchangeable tips. We took the Akiak for a spin and found the paddling experience to be a refreshing change of pace. The Akiak sliced quickly through the water, and its scant weight, at 880 grams, was apparent.

GearLab explained that the difference between Greenland and European styles is similar to that between bike gears: European paddles are like big gears and require a lot of muscle, moving slowly, while Greenland paddles are for quick, constant motion.

According to the brand, because Greenland-style paddles like the Akiak scoop less water, shoulder injuries are less common. This paddle style isn’t new, but GearLab is emerging in the North American market as an option for sea kayakers.

As 2019 rapidly approaches, expect more Greenland-style paddles from the brand.


The original article is released on the GearJunkie: The Authority on Outdoor Adventure and Gear website.