Chinese Carbon Fiber Greenland Paddles

Greetings all,

I’ve been coveting the GPs for some years now even though I only intermittently paddle a forgot Cooper or Kiawah in varied conditions from Colorado reservoirs to the Adriatic where I now live (Croatia).

A few years ago some people on folding were discussing the possible merits of the Chinese carbon fiber paddles compared to a US or Canadian one at twice the price. I did a little sleuthing and decided to give it a try and bought a King paddle from a Chinese OEM manufacturer for use $245 with shipping. (they also make Euro, SUP and canoe CF paddles).

It turned out to be good, not great. Not that I have a lot of comparative experience, but I know the feeling of a fine instrument and this isn’t one, but it is reasonable and competent. It’s very light, quite rigid and a 3 piece which works great for flying with my folder. All in all, I’m glad to have it, and will also probably learn to make my own to go further down the rabbit hole.

Recently the owner of the company sent me a sales email with a notice for a new version they were making that looks interesting so I thought I’d pass it along here in case anyone is interested.

I lived in China for a time and I’m familiar with Chinese commerce practices which can feel a little strange and sketchy to Americans. It was a very good experience with Jason and I like the paddle. I think it’s a good mid range option for people looking for a taste of the GP carbon fiber at that price point.

The new one looks similar, just more brightly colored, if you’re into that.

His name is Jason Lee at King Paddle +86 (769) 8205 4758

paddle on,

Lawrence in Croatia

Welcome to the forum HRfolder.

As far as Chinese imports go, here are my thoughts:

For more then a few reasons I distrust anything made in China. For the most part, the worst level of quality from any nation for it’s exported goods overall come from China. And they are quite hostel to the people of the USA politically, so it’s foolish to help your enemy or potential enemy hate you.
That’s not to say all goods made in China are poor. Some are not. But if you get a bad one in the USA you may find it’s not possible to get a good one to exchange it for. Even the importers can’t do anything for you but exchange the old piece of junk for a new piece of junk.
Just yesterday I found an ad for a Chinese made 15.5 foot kayak for a price of $1400. The measurement and features all look good but the weight of 72 pound’s is very heavy. (may be the package weight, as it comes with a paddle, skirt and rudder)
But at $1400 it’s too much for me to take a chance on, considering I can get Canadian, American or some European made kayaks for only slightly more and then know I can have some recourse if I was dissatisfied with any of them. Politics aside, if I have to take a chance on a product from China, knowing I have no options for something better if I have any quality issue, I am not going to pay more then about 1/2 of what I can get an Eddyline, Delta, Dagger, Boreal, or Perception for close to the same money.

The rule for me is that if I am going to try anything made in China, it needs to be priced at 40% to a max of 50% of what I can get US Canadian or European made for, until that Chinese products proves to be as good or better then the competition. (I have yet to see that in all the years I have watched)
Most countries in the Orient produce high quality goods and most can be bought with a safe expectation of value. China is the exception, so it’s natural for any thinking person to agree to pay far less to be the Guinea pig and test the product, knowing the track record is slanted against your hope of equal quality by a substantial margin.

Other may disagree and if they decide to spend their money on Chinese imports it’s 100% their right to do so. I Choose to take such a chance only with the percentage of investment I feel I can afford to loose if the product proves to be sub-par. (more common then not from China) To me, that maxes out at about 40%.

So if I can buy known high grade item for $400 I might consider paying $165 to $180 for a Chinese made one.

In Kayaks I know that new price for a 14-15 foot high quality boat is going to be in the $1500-$2200 range, so feature for feature, size for size, I’d maybe pay $600-$900 for a Chinese boat. And at $900 I doubt I’d do so, just because I can find a used American, Canadian or European kayak for that amount or less, and even used the good ones are usually 100% OK.

But that’s just my policy with my money. If others choose differently, that’s ok. Some folks will disagree and that’s their right.

But paying 80% for an unknown is not as good polity. I’ll pay 100% for known or pay 40%( or less) for unknown.
80% is not worth the gain you can make for the gamble you’d take.

Uh…no. There are plenty of places in the world that produce really crappy products and there’s a lot of junk made here in the US, too. There are also high quality products coming from unlikely or unexpected sources. You also have to keep in mind that Chinese companies produce products that companies here contract them to make, and they do so to the quality standards those companies specify, so you can’t blame poor quality entirely on the manufacturers.

That said, China’s government is pure evil and I agree that it doesn’t make sense to be supporting it. OTOH, supporting Chinese companies is not necessarily supporting their government and one could even argue that supporting capitalism in China is one way of keeping the government in check, to a degree.

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I’ve worked with a large number of companies in China involved in drug discovery research and chemical manufacturing , intermediates and raw materials. Unfortunately the Chinese government is very much involved in businesses that one assumes are private but they are actually highly subsidized by the government to destroy foreign competition and the government has a very intense program to steal intellectual property and trade secrets from foreign companies they do business with. I agree with your original statement that China’s government is evil and in light of their support of the Russian regime and threats against China’s own neighbors and US military, I think it would be best to take my business elsewhere when possible.


I’m sure that’s true, but do you really think that applies to some guy making carbon fiber kayak paddles?

Unfortunately Yes, 100% of all business in China is regulated by the CCP. Why be surprised when we see that probably 98% of all businesses in the USA are also regulated to a large degree.

Do you really think ANY business that exports from Mainland China is NOT totally regulated by the CCP? My bet is that you could not find even 1.

Do you really need a carbon fiber Greenland paddle made in China?

A friend gave me a Gearlab paddle. I’m pretty happy with it.

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I and my friend Len make them from wood.

I like them.
Njordr paddles by Steve Zihn, on Flickr