Gear Reviews

A collection of blog posts that have reviewed various paddling gear, kayaks etc that I have tried over the past few years. Feel free to contact me if you want me to write about any other products.

Old Problem – New Solution – Gearlabs

However hard I try I cant seem to prevent it. There is a certain inevitability or destiny about the damage that ocurs to the tips of my Greenland paddles. Whether it is scratches, bruises, chips or cracks, over time the paddles wear. Carbon fiber and wooden paddles... read more

The tuilik

The Inuit know a thing or two about staying warm and dry afloat. The modern spray skirt evolved from the ancient Inuit design for their summer spray skirt the akuilisaq (a-cool-y-sack), the modern spray cag descended from the Inuit tuilik (to-y-leak). Other than changing the materials from the original seal skin, the designs have remained very similar

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Eastpole Paddle test

Not long after my recent article about my pursuit of my perfect Greenland paddle was published in Ocean Paddler Magazine, I was contacted by Eastpole Paddles, a Greenland paddle maker, to take a look at their paddles and give them feedback.   Eastpole Paddles are... read more

Hilleberg Tarra, my ultimate kayak camping tent?

How many times have you bought lower cost, lower quality gear and ended up replacing it with higher cost higher quality gear? The history of my kayak camping gear comprises a litany of examples of this behavior. Recently I swore I wouldn’t buy cheap gear again, I... read more

Custom Tuilik by Comfort Paddling

Paulo Ouellet is a man on a mission to create traditional paddling gear that is comfortable to wear. He has created a unique take on the Inuit tuilik. This week I received a custom made tuilik based upon the multitude of measurement I filled out on the Comfort... read more

Gearlab Oyashio – Composite Greenland Paddle

Taiwan is a collection of Islands off the coast of the People’s Republic of China (P.R.C.). Many Europeans and Americans that I have spoken with have been uncertain of the status of Taiwan, also known as Republic of China (R.O.C.), and have incorrectly assumed that it... read more

Lumpy paddling

A number of months ago I wrote about a lovely wooden paddle that Bill Bremer (owner/craftsman of Lumpy Paddles) had created for me (post 1, post 2). Yesterday I got to take it for a paddle outdoors for the first time. I was with 5 other paddlers from the Inland Sea... read more

Customizable flex carbon fiber paddles

The never ending quest for the perfect paddle. I have a bazillion Greenland paddles; okay not a bazillion but I do have 14 Carbon fiber paddles and 6 wooden ones. If you blindfolded me and handed me one I bet I could name the paddle within a few minutes. Each paddle... read more

Adanac Paddle Art

Jill Ellis is an artisan. Describing her as a paddle maker would be a serious understatement of her craft. For full disclosure I have been a fan of Jill’s for several years. Jill has advertised my book and DVD for free on her website, and I have included her amongst... read more

VI Paddles

VIPaddles is run by Randy Millar in British Columbia. Last month he contacted me and asked if I was interested in reviewing one of his Greenland paddles. I of course replied favorably as I love to try out every and any skinny stick I can get my hands on. I had heard... read more

GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition

I recently upgraded to use the new GoPro Hero 3 Black edition video camera for filming rolling. This new model is substantially smaller than previous GoPro models. It also comes with a plethora of new modes of operation. Two features were of particular interest to me.... read more

A Lumpy Greenland Paddle – Part 2

Really it isn’t fair to comment too much (yet) on using the new Lumpy Greenland Paddle; the lakes are frozen. There are, however, swimming pools, and it was in one such swimming pool at the Brooklyn Center Community Center that I was able to spend a couple of hours... read more

A couple of cool products

About a month ago, while I was replying to a comment on my business page on Facebook, I noticed that the profile picture for the commenter had a really cool looking kayak rolling image in it. I clicked through to the profile and saw that it was a picture of a paddler,... read more

A Lumpy Greenland Paddle – Part 1

Last year I reviewed a number of different Greenland style paddles, and it was my publication of these reviews that caused Bill Bremer of Lumpy Paddles to contact me to see if I would review one of his. Previously, in August 2011, I got my hands on the first piece of... read more

GoPro Cameras and Kayaks

Many people have sent me questions about how to video themselves rolling, so I thought I would share what I am currently using to mount and control my cameras. To record video I use two GoPro HD Hero2, usually statically mounted on the bow and stern. I also use a... read more

Initial impressions of a Joe O’ cedar GP

My first Greenland paddle was made by Betsy Bay. Betsy Bay paddles have a distinctive shape and construction method that sets them apart from more the traditional carved shape Greenland paddles. Since starting with the wooden paddle I have exclusively used Novorca... read more

Stumpy Lumpy – Transition Paddle

Bill Bremer and I have been conversing for a while about building a prototype learning aid. The commonly adopted name for the aid is a Transitional Paddle. Bill has called this the Stumpy Lumpy due to it looking like a shrunken version of a Greenland Paddle. Bill... read more

Test-driving an NLP carbon Greenland paddle

Paul, the owner of Northern Lights Paddles (NLP), recently gave me a paddle to review. Paul knows I am an ardent supporter of Novorca Paddles. Ron Steinwall the artisan owner is a great friend of mine. So it was with some trepidation that Paul provided the paddle. I... read more

Frogtown Kayaks – The fleet expands

In recent years I have exchanged emails and traded messages on forums about the merits of skin-on-frame kayaks. Clearly they can be a closer replica of the origins of our sport than the glass fiber models that I paddle. I have heard that they feel different when... read more

Brooks Tuilik v Reed Tuiliq the great debate

I started using a Brooks Tuilik about three years ago; theyare the predominant Tuilik worn by the Greenland aficionado at the localpaddling club (Inland Sea Kayakers). Brooks  is a family run business out of Vancouver, onthe west coast of Canada. The Tuilik comes... read more
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