Which paddle?

2 years 5 months ago #29844 by Hulk
Which paddle? was created by Hulk
HI All,

I'm in the market for a new paddle and have put my thoughts on the Small version of the Meek A series or the Gara Odin which both appear to be very similar to the Jantex Gamma Rio in shape.

I've only had the opportunity yet to paddle with the Medium version of the Meek A which was a great paddle but the blade too big for me. The quality of the Meek really impressed me.

The small version of the Odin is in numbers (surface area) a lot smaller than the Meek and Jantex Small plus.. see table below:

Blade width - mm Blade length - mm Surface area - cm2
Meek A Small - ?156? ?488? 715
Jantex Small Plus 158 485 720
Gara Odin Small 166 478 677

Is there anyone who has done a review in relation to paddle differences and or build quality differences?
I'm paddling with the Odin Small this weekend but will not be able to trial the Meek A small.

Thanks.
Regards
Pete

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2 years 5 months ago #29851 by nell
Replied by nell on topic Which paddle?
I have a Jantex Small Plus and an Odin medium. Build quality for both seems top notch so that's not a concern for either. I have heard that the Meeks are top quality as well.

Blade surface area is misleading as different manufacturers calculate it differently - from what I'm told - and my experience supports this. It should be safe to use surface area when comparing blades within a particular brand, though.

The Odin and Jantex I are very different in feel. I really think that differences between paddles have more to do with what you're used to and how you paddle (technique-wise), than whether one is better or worse than the other - when choosing between these major brands. For example, the Gara I have might be the best feeling paddle I have when I'm going at moderate LSD pace, but something I do technique-wise at race pace makes me not like it as much. The Jantex I have feels loose and noncommittal in the water at LSD pace but becomes nearly too powerful for me at race pace, and it's a bit de-stabilizing for me in rough water - but that's just my experience.

Don't discount the importance of the shafts as I think they can make or break a great blade. The Gara 40/60 (carbon/glass) UL is wonderful in feel for marathon speeds. The Jantex Flexi-soft is nice, too, but slightly stiffer.

My suggestion is to demo the paddle for a good amount of time at different paces and then go with the one that your brain likes the best.

EBorgnes

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2 years 5 months ago #29854 by Hulk
Replied by Hulk on topic Which paddle?
Thanks for your response. I guess that different feel for your Jantex and the Odin also comes from the fact that they are a totally different size? Or do you find that holding them side by side that the Jantex Small Plus is similar than the Odin Medium?
Have you ever paddled with the Meek?

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2 years 5 months ago #29859 by nell
Replied by nell on topic Which paddle?
I have not compared the Jantex Gamma small plus side by side with the Odin for subjective size, but they feel fairly similar in the water in terms of size only. The blades are a different shape, so that accounts for most of the difference in feel. The gamma is higher twist and "grows" in size as you increase in boat speed. The Gara is more traditional in shape like an Epic.

At race pace, the Jantex small plus feels a little bit smaller than the Gara Odin M, but it's close. I have not tried a Meek.

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2 years 5 months ago #29862 by feeny
Replied by feeny on topic Which paddle?
I have recently ordered a Meek G series small. I've never tried the Gara or Jantex.

What I like about the Meek G series is that this paddle helps me with more feedback at the catch. I feel like the additional feedback in turn helps me to better use rotation through the power phase. The G series blade also feels good in choppier conditions.

I find the Meek shaft feels a touch narrower than my other paddles, which I also like.

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11 months 2 weeks ago #33734 by CrabStick
Replied by CrabStick on topic Which paddle?
Hey Hulk, what paddle did you end up getting and how do you like it?
I have the Jantex Gamma Rio in small plus with flexi-soft shaft and really like it on flat water, sprint efforts etc. When going downwind I think the strong catch is a good thing but am wondering if it's unforgiving or destabilising, partly based on this forum and various reviews.
Any advice in finding a paddle with a strong catch (I'm thinking twisted teardrop) but more forgiving in rough water and less likely to harm my stability?
Is it possible to get a demo Meek A series in Perth?

CrabStick

Current Boats: BlueFin, Swordfish
Previous: Think Eze, Stellar SR, Carbonology Boost LV

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11 months 2 weeks ago #33735 by feeny
Replied by feeny on topic Which paddle?
The Meek G-Series absolutely excels in dowwind conditions. It is more forgiving at the catch, hence grabs water better in the messier conditions experienced during downwind.

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2 months 5 days ago #35809 by CrabStick
Replied by CrabStick on topic Which paddle?
Update on my search for the ideal paddle.....previously had a Jantex Gamma Rio Small plus with flexi-soft shaft and really liked the strong early catch and clean exit despite sub-optimal technique. it was a big improvement on my prior Braca IV imitation and also liked it better than Epic small mid which I only tried 8 times.
The Gamma rio was excellent on flat water (as above) but sore shoulders were a problem and I never got completely comfortable with it for downwinders. Catch was inconsistent or unforgiving and possibly destabilising but hard to tell in Perth conditions sometimes.
Have now had Gara Odin Small for 3 months (after 3 trial paddles) and love it. Still strong early catch but seems way more consistent in ocean. It has lead to better stability which in turn allows much better leg drive and acceleration onto waves in the Swordfish S and immediately noticed big reduction in shoulder pain. More flexible shaft also helping a lot there, I expect.
The Odin also feels good on flat water, including long slow or MAF type paddles as Nell mentions. Have only done 2 of these though as much more focused on downwind since conditions have really been so good here last 2 months.
Will be sticking with the Odin - Swordy combo!

CrabStick

Current Boats: BlueFin, Swordfish
Previous: Think Eze, Stellar SR, Carbonology Boost LV

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2 months 5 days ago - 2 months 5 days ago #35810 by LaPerouseBay
Replied by LaPerouseBay on topic Which paddle?
Glad to hear you are happy with your Gara Odin.  

I switched to an Odin regular size about 3 months ago.  I don't do flatwater, only downwind.  (Maui...).

I've only used Epic mid (8 years).  I had the 205-215 versions.  The longest length I could manage was about 207-208,  any longer and I would lose stability and confidence.  

I tried a friends Odin small for about 2 minutes in side chop.  It was after a downwinder.  I  immediately felt the difference.   I cannot explain exactly how, only that it felt cleaner on the catch and exit.  My friend won it in the Gorge,  She said the experts called it "more forgiving."   Anyhow, I was immediately hooked and went online to search for one.

I read what I could find - remembered the forgiving feel and decided to move up in size to the 210-217 length and order the full size blade.  The Gara site seemed to suggest that the Odin small was suited to smaller paddlers.  I'm 6-1 185 with crazy long arms.  I planned on using it for flat water if necessary.  Those epics were too tough for me at 210...

So the paddle arrived.  I visually compared the size of the blades - the Odin is maybe a tiny bit larger in overall surface area, but it is definitely a different shape.  I'm not going to try to describe the different offsets, twists or lips.  It's different, but as we all know, the differences are minute.   

Bottom line, I'm using it at 210 and it's really, really nice.  My shoulders don't seem to get as beat up.  I use it on the wildest downwinding days with zero issues of anxiety due to the longer length.  If anything, I'm more likely to charge into those tricky situations that require a bit of luck to survive without a brace.  I can really trust the paddle and I'm really glad I found it.  YMMV, but If you downwind, it's worth a try.  

Build quality is excellent.  Very light.  Nice locking mechanism.  Got a red shaft too.  Nice paddle.  I'm super happy with it.

downwind dilettante

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