Kalleq & Ipik, a Visual Comparison

As often happens, one good answer asks a question that develops another answer. What could follow the well-regarded, unshouldered Kalleq paddle by Gearlab?  The Ipik, a paddle with shared attributes and significant differences. Whereas the Kalleq transitions from a central round join to a clean and sharp-edged blade.  The Ipik has a distinct shoulder transition, from an oval loom to the sharp blade. The result is a mid-section that is remarkably different, and blade tips that are virtually identical. So different, and yet so alike! (The Ipik is on the left and the Kalleq on the right)

To incorporate a continuous loom, the first puzzle was creating an oval section that could express a relaxed and easy shape that naturally fills the hand, and maintains a shoulder that suggests 'hold me here!' This was achieved with a continuous carbon-wrapping technology that offers a pleasing, ergonomic shape and benefits the shoulder shape and section.

This view of the loom reveals increased volume, and consistent loom depth.

Isolating the shoulder in these next two pictures, oriented for the blade face view, demonstrates again the benefit of carbon-wrapping as the shoulder modulates the journey between loom and blade. It is wider and clearly faceted where and when the fingers of your hand and the paddle join together.

Having turned both blades 90 degrees, the Ipik shoulder reveals a sharper edge sooner in the paddle length. By placing the interior crease of the first knuckle of the your fingers on this edge, and then sliding the index finger and wrapped thumb to the loom, you'll realize a blade entry that slices deep on the stroke, powers up on the differential flow pressure, and releases easily at the exit, all while keeping your hands relaxed and wrists neutral.

Chungshih knocking

Introducing Ipik by Gearlab

How it all happened…Our history with Gearlab

When Gearlab paddles first hit the market, we contacted Chungshih. He graciously sent us paddles to review. We sent him our detailed opinion. Years passed; we noticed that the paddles were steadily improving...

Then the Kalleq came out. Those sharp lenticular blades got our attention. Just prior to the pandemic, we asked Chungshih to come visit. And he did.

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Skin on Frame kayak interior

Paddle Making

How long has it been since you put a plane to wood to make something beautiful AND useable? Or saw a shape materializing before your eyes? A shape that is useable in your kayaking, no less!

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