GearLab Paddle Clutch

Has anyone tried once of these? Love the minimalist design but will it hold the spare paddle on deck in the “rough”?

sing

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I don’t know if this thing works or not, but I know from experience that my deck rigging works really well. It’s simple, multi-functional, lightning fast, and works even with winter gloves on. Do you really want something that requires thought and dexterity to use when you’re already likely upside-down and getting thrashed? No thanks.

The cord and sliders for my deck also cost around 1/10 of the price.

Look for a video on YouTube to understand it better and possibly a review.

I couldn’t find any videos of this.

I am assuming you are talking about a Greenland inspired/derived deck rigging. My execution of that approach is not as good as yours. I know because I found half of my spare paddle floating in the soup zone once. Because I keep the spare behind me, I didn’t realize the paddle half had popped out in the surf. Now, I just don’t trust my execution of that approach and I don’t want to spend time (and risk paddle loss) with “trial by fire” in the surf zone.

My current DIY plastic paddle saddle has not yet failed me, with a GP or a Euro. The problem is that the saddle is pretty much “fixed” onto one boat and not readily transferable to my other long kayaks. I would like that option.

sing

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Yes, Google is a great aid. But, likewise, I haven’t seen anything on Gearlab Paddle Clutch.

sing

It’s a new product. This thread is currently pretty high up in Google results. You might have to be the first to review!

It seems like paddle britches trap the spare paddle from sliding forward while this paddle clutch doesn’t. So, britches might be considered a more secure device.

I was looking to see their clips up close and how they clip on to deck lines. I :thinking: I know just spring loaded. They use it on their deck bags also. Hopefully SS springs in the clips. I have paddle britches two types but just use them in cold weather or longer trip from home area.

Few things I’d change on them if I was making them for my deck lines. I’ve seen few things people fabbed up for their hulls with tubes.

I put automotive door edge guard on my blades sections that are against the deck to prevent scuffing. You can use paddle with in on in emergency fast or peel it off and reuse it.

So, I bit and put an order in. $29 shipping (from Taiwan) on the top of the $48 price tag. Will see more in a couple of weeks. I like my Gearlap GPs. Good quality and well designed. Hope it carries over to the Paddle Clutch.

sing

3 Likes

Keep us posted! I like my Gearlab deckbag as well, even when I’m just stashing it in my hatch.

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Saw a Gearbag deck bag review on YouTube. Showed how clips work. May try one in the spring. Tried a few but my Seals deck bag has lasted a decade plus. Others gone with bad zippers in short order with extreme care.

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I received the Gearlab Paddle Clutch last week (earlier than expected). I used it on the front of the kayak this past weekend to hold my spare paddle. (Normally, I like and carry the spare paddle on the stern.) The clutch looks “simple” but is actually quite sophisticated in design. Each of the paddle holders have a spring loaded plastic clip that latches very tightly on the perimeter line. (Pic below)

The plastic spring clip is backed by a folding velcro flap that goes under the perimeter line and than folds over and locks onto the velcro stitched on the side of the paddle holder. This offers redundancy for securing the paddle holders. The holders are joined in the middle by two nylon straps and a type of magnetic buckle (that I have never seen before). The adjustable straps and magnetic buckle allow the paddle clutch to be located over the cargo hatch (which is not where I like the paddle holder to be for my kayak). To access the hatch, one just unsnaps the magnetic buckle rather than underdoing the paddle attachments to the perimeter line.

This is the Gearlab Paddle Clutch with my spare paddle.

This my spare paddle in my DIY plastic tube paddle holder.

The Gearlab Paddle Clutch weighs 4 oz campared to the 6 oz of my DIY plastic tube paddle holder. While I like the Gearlab Paddle Clutch, the final test will be in the surf. Looks like surf is available this Saturday.

sing

5 Likes

Sing, does this allow you to remove and replace paddles while sitting in the cockpit? Thanks, Greg.

No, Greg, not an issue removing and replacing the paddle while seated in the cockpit. The inside diameter of the clutch is similar to my plastic tube holder, at around 1.75" and holds the loom (or paddle shaft) with a tad bit of wiggle room.

The issue, for me, in using the decklines (including my attempt at Greenland inspired lines and toggles) to hold the paddle is that breaking waves (depending on direction) can move the paddle laterally, as well as back and forth. If I am not vigilant and readjust the paddle, the waves will torgue, push and pull the paddle halves out of position where these can and have popped out of the deck lines.

The paddle saddle mention by @Wolf , as well as my DIY plastic tube, are backstopped to prevent back movement of the paddle halves while my cockpit stops forward movement. The loom/shaft inside the paddle saddle, or my DIY saddle tubes, can wiggle a bit but can not move laterally by the “sheathing” function of the tube.

With the Gearlab Paddle Clutch, there is no backstop to prevent the paddle loom/shaft from sliding backwards. However, the upsweep of the deck towards the stern, should slow/stop significant backward movement of the paddle. The paddle clutch also prevents lateral movement. However, because it’s only 2.5" deep vs. 9" for my saddle tube, the clutch does allow some pivoting of the paddle loom/shaft. Whether wave action can torgue and pivot the paddle enough to unsecure it from the clutch and deck lines remains to be tested.

sing

4 Likes

I see two downsides to this system.

  1. I would think the magnetic connector would interfere with a deck mounted compass,
  2. I never put my paddles on the deck with the open ends facing forward. They would catch all the bow wash.

Any

My compass is on the front deck. Last week, I tested the paddle clutch up in front (as I wasn’t ready to remove my DIY plastic saddle tubes on the back deck). I knew my way around on that paddle. Only occaisonally looked at the compass and didn’t notice anything askew with the compass direction (of course, the impact could have been subtle).

Am headed out to surf in a hour. This time, the paddle clutch is on the back deck, farther away from the compass. Again, I know the surf break (in terms of compass orientation of the landmarks). I’ll be on the lookout with the compass and report back.

sing

1 Like

Cool beans!

Really like the paddle clutch. Swells in the 4’ plus range. Held the spare paddle securely.

I checked the compass against visible land marks. If it’s being impacted, the declination is very subtle at worse.


For the beautiful waves, Mahalo!!!

sing

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Looks like you had the clutch on the back deck. I wouldn’t expect any compass interference from there. I keep my spare on the front, either side of my deck compass so I don’t impede back deck reentry.

Gearlab does come up with some interesting stuff, I have to admit. I’m sorry I invested in a new spare Kalik right before they introduced the oval shaft paddle. I have long fingers and add rubber pads to make the round shaft more oval, closer to a traditional wood carved paddle.