I hope I will be forgiven for this plug for a commercial enterprise (although that IS what we do all the time on here in recommending boat models and gear).
I just looked at Gearlab’s current offerings (the company that makes the very sleek carbon fiber Greenland paddles – I own and love one of their Akiak models). If you’ve got kayakers on your holiday gift list Gearlab has a few items that might be of interest to you. I think the prices are quite reasonable and their products are well designed and flawlessly made.
One that they call the “Winter Package” for $59 consists of parts that will allow someone carving their own wooden GP (over the winter) to make it a two piece with Gearlab’s excellent flush spring-button joint assembly. The set also includes their handy little padded deck paddle pocket and a set of their reflective paddle stickers. Pretty nice stocking stuffers if you know someone planning to make their own paddle.
They also sell the paddle pocket separately (only $15). For even non-GP users, they offer a nicely designed compact deck holster pod for $79 that has sleeves for both bilge pump and paddle float and is outfitted for up to a 3L hydration bladder.
They’ve also added a 26 ounce ultra light un-shouldered carbon GP, called Kalleq, to the paddle line-up which they are currently offering with free name engraving. Not cheap at $438, but I have never regretted the $338 I dropped on the sleek Akiak two years ago.
Anyway, I know we paddling geeks can be notoriously hard to shop for so I thought I would pass these along.
I have seen other connector kits for making two-piece paddles, but none that cheap. And the mechanism is really well made – I can’t feel the button at all when I am using my Gearlab paddle. Plus it’s very firm during use with no flex or wobble yet it separates cleanly when you go to break it down.
Another paddler gift suggestion: a local Pittsburgh artist, Don Moyer, sells some unusual stuff based on his quirky whimsical drawings and this shower curtain printed with waves and sea monsters like those shown on remote oceans on Renaissance world maps is pretty neat. Note that none of the images repeat and are all unique. I’m buying a couple for gifts and am considering buying one for myself to use the fabric to sew breathable cockpit covers and tote bags. Don’s brand is Calamityware (based on his re-interpretations of classic Chinese Blue Willow dish designs which include space aliens, giant toads and dinosaurs attacking the bucolic scenes). He sells some cool bandana and tee shirt designs too and funny little books.