Reacquainting with Stratos 14.5s and GP

Spent all summer with the Revision SOT and waveski. Figured I better start getting reacquainted with the longboat before winter. Took along the GP since I havent used this in a long while too.

South shore break was getting 2.5’ waves comprised of 2’ swells at 10 seconds mixed with 4 second wind waves. Sideshore north wind also messed things up a bit more. Not surprising to have the whole break to myself.

Getting out on textured water is enjoyable and pretty chilled given a small day like today.




Hoping the waves, albeit sloppy, will hold up through tomorrow. Couple of things to work out after this past session with the longboat. One, I think I must have moved the footpegs a notch too forward when I last went out in spring. I need to move these back a notch so my thighs get more locked into the braces. Felt like I wasn’t well locked in and thus shifting around. I can see myself adjusting my position in the seat after edging/bracing/rolling on video. Two, with the Gearlab Aukuneck - shouldered surf GP - I felt too “locked” in with my grip. I prefer shoulderless with the GP because my grip will slide naturally and according to my need. With the Aukuneck, my hand position never shifted at all in the video. I don’t like that. Heck, my hand position shifts even on shaft of my Euro paddle, to meet whatever I am doing, e.g. bracing, ruddering, sweep stroke, etc. Want to get back out with a shoulderless for my practice.


Nice with 2’ @ 10 seconds and offshore wind. Got to get some tasks and a couple of meetings out of the way…


Nice—no more crowds at this time of year.

My gosh… what beautiful waves today. Small but clean and nicely pitched by the offshore wind. All the more my disappointment with my surfing performance. I moved the footpegs back and felt more locked in. However, I could not fully stern rudder and control my direction with the longer, narrower Gearlab Akiak compared to the shorter, wider surf GP. As much as i dislike the shoulders on the surf GP, this paddle performed closer to my Euro.

Had a feeling that I might get frustrated. So, I left the Euro at home…:confounded: No choice but to keep trying withe Akiak. Gotta look at video later…

Mahalo for a nice day!


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Yes. Every thing much more relaxed. Parking in the area I frequent is a cinch now. :+1:t3:


Beautiful day but so-so surfing performance. My honest appraisal in the video description:

Small but beautifully clean waves, pitched up by an offshore wind. Unfortunately, was surfing mediocrely with my inability to stern rudder well and control the kayak. Fell off the back of a number waves because of bad cutback attempts. Also, could not direct the kayak well to make the necessary wave sections to stay in front of the peels. Lots of quick broaching as result. Better try next time. Or, stick with the big Euro paddles that I am more used to.



Hi Sing
I am curious, The Akiak by Gearlab is a shoulder less paddle but does it still have that round loom or is it indexed? {oval or rectangular in some way}

I believe that your surf Greenland paddle would still be among the round shaft models isn’t it? {seems to me to be a very strange concept on a Greenland paddle}

If it is a round shaft , then would that be among the reasons that any sort or height shoulder is so offence inducing to you? {or is it just too tall of shoulder? I see this a lot}

Yes. The loom on the Aukunack and the Akiak have round looms. The roundness makes the loom the equivilent of the DMZ. When you slide your grip across the loom (DMZ) for extended paddle usage, there is a brief sensation of disorientation for the hand in that loom area.

With my Akiak, where the black color meets the orange (and where my hands usually are), the indexing is clear and unconspicuously reassuring. With the Aukunack, I find the shoulder providing clear indexing but in a bothersome way. I am aways AWARE of the shoulders while using the Aukunack. I don’t want to think of the paddle. I want it be a natural extension of my arms/body when surfing and just “doing” without me being conscious of it.

My cedar GP is of course indexed in the loom. It’s a very comfortable and natural paddle for me to used. It’s longer than what I would used for my SINKs but it’s perfect for my Scupper Pro and what I use when out kayak fishing.

I heard that the Gearlab Kelleq has an oval loom and also a 3.5" blade wide. This width seems in place for about 3/4 of the blade length. I think it would likely perform more to my preference in surf. But, do I really want to spend $400 plus (when I already love my Werner Shuna) in surf?

I also still have a beautiful piece of cedar 2x4 underneath my shed. But do I want to spend the time to carve a “surf GP”? Since I have had this piece of cedar for over 15 years, I guess the answer to the question is self-evident.

Roy, with your observation/question, I assume that your carbon GP creations sport oval looms.


Yes Sing, since I made all the plugs and all the molds, I made them the way I wanted.

I am very surprised that the Gearlab paddles were able to market a Greenland paddle that didn’t have an index able loom. Reminds me of the old aluminum shafted Carlisle paddles with flat blades in the big box stores.

We use to put those Aluminum shafts in a vice to make them indexed. Lendal use to glue an index riser and then shrink wrap it to their paddle shafts to add an index. Now they just shape the initial shaft. The newest Gearlab paddle I believe is indexed. {I have never seen one yet}

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One of the problems with buying commercial Carbon Greenland style paddles that have shoulders is that unless the paddle was designed for a loom length within a !/2 inch of what actually fits you. The shoulder will always be in the wrong place for you.

Most companies only have a mold and the sizing is done by cutting the loom length .

If a paddler wants a shorter paddle, the loom gets cut and that means that the shoulders are closer together. The blades are the same length no matter what the paddle length.

This makes it easier to have a shoulder-less paddle fit more people. Depending on a desired length of loom and paddle length. I did my paddle testing by remaking a plug and then a mold for each sized paddle instead. But then I was testing paddle sizes and paddle dimension for knowledge instead of to sell and make a profit.

These 15 paddles were done this way. This would be very costly for a “for profit” business to do. The paddles consist of 3 different widths and 5 different lengths of each width and all with adjustable length looms. This was just to determine what actually feels correct to any paddler. {prior to making a wood paddle to find the fit}

I did get a wee bit carried away…but it was a fun project.

You think!?! This makes you the most prolific “hobbiest” carbon fiber paddle maker in PNet, if not in most of the paddling community. LOL!


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Should call this group the “Dagger Stratos and GP in the Surf Gang”… (Yeah, there is a Valley boat in there… LOL!) Looked like kin folks who find joy in the rough stuff: :+1:



Nice rough water paddling action (with wet exit and solo reentry). Enjoyed the music choice as well: