Gara GP2 - which shaft?

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8 years 8 months ago #19768 by Richie
Anyone out there using a Gara GP2 for ocean racing? I'm looking at ordering one but not sure which shaft to go for. The elite carbon apparently is what Hank uses but is that too stiff and unforgiving?

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8 years 8 months ago #19769 by jrmac
Replied by jrmac on topic Gara GP2 - which shaft?
Hi Richie. I have two gp2 paddles both at 29mm OD in the 40/60 carbon glass med flex mix and a gp4. Two have heat shrink sections for uniform better grip when surfing or doing ins and outs on a spec ski or combating sunscreen slippages when I am tired. They are good value, strong and similar to a jantex medium or smaller in feel. I swap them around all the time having skis at different places.

Wrt your question, I believe the elite classification means 28mm OD not the actual shaft construction or stiffness and it is now possible to get the med flex or other glass composites in that diameter also. I have tried the very stiff 80/20 and from my point of view it is best left for Hank if doing any distance. In summary I find the 29mm nice even for my relatively small hands and it is the standard / most popular from what I see around. Hope that helps.

Skis: Fenn Spark & Elite S, Fenn LS spec ski, Epic V12-G2
Paddles: Gara GP2, Jantex Gamma Rio Small plus & Medium Minus

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8 years 8 months ago #19770 by jrmac
Replied by jrmac on topic Gara GP2 - which shaft?
I believe that tonyh on this forum is now using a GP2 and I think the 28mm (elite shaft) or was looking at one so should be able to confirm this also Richie. You can always drop a line to Gara direct as they are quick to respond and nice chaps.

Skis: Fenn Spark & Elite S, Fenn LS spec ski, Epic V12-G2
Paddles: Gara GP2, Jantex Gamma Rio Small plus & Medium Minus

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8 years 8 months ago #19773 by Richie
Replied by Richie on topic Gara GP2 - which shaft?
Thanks Jmac - very helpful. I didn't realise it was very similar to the jantex. Any reason for a preference of the gara over jantex?

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8 years 8 months ago #19774 by jrmac
Replied by jrmac on topic Gara GP2 - which shaft?
Yes the GP2 for me won the shoot out against a Jantex Gamma Medium for a few reasons.

1) It was about $250 - $350 cheaper at the time of purchase and comes with a lovely functional padded bag. The value was a big deciding factor considering I purchased two for nearly the price of one,
2) It felt stronger in construction
3) I was slightly smother in the exit to the gamma medium. It also felt easier for me to remain planted in rough side conditions than the Jan Gamma having just transitioned from an Epic Mid wing. The std 29mm shaft also felt great stepping down for the Epic 31 mm?? oval shaft..

I have zero regrets even though it might be a tad heavier … say 50 - 70gms than the Jantex. Picking both up and paddling I could not tell the difference from a weight point of view only from stroke. The upside is I have done some bad things to my GP2 and 4 in the last 15 months of abuse. The car door is the sworn enemy of the carbon paddle however in this case the paddle won ;-)

To confuse you even more Jantex is now doing a Gamma Rio line with some tweaks to the blade centre and reduction of all round proportionate size from feed back as a lot of guys had trimmed their Medium Gammas. I haven’t used the new model in the water but I like the look and feel of it.

They have re organised their sizings with the 'small plus' looking quite attractive for a high cadence paddle. Still too expensive in comparison but beautifully made.

Gara is ‘apparently' also about to do a smaller size for smaller (normal) guys and gals and masters. I’m happy with my GP2 until the body tells me otherwise.

Btw just incase my positive spin on Gara gets mistaken I’m not an importer just a normal consumer who is happy to let others know what is in my opinion one of the best value (robust) paddles around with proven race results.

Skis: Fenn Spark & Elite S, Fenn LS spec ski, Epic V12-G2
Paddles: Gara GP2, Jantex Gamma Rio Small plus & Medium Minus

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8 years 8 months ago - 8 years 8 months ago #19785 by tony h
Replied by tony h on topic Gara GP2 - which shaft?
having changed from GP3 to Jantex gamma mid & small then to GP2 I can agree with perspective above.

IMO the GP2, surface area wise, is smaller than the jantex gamma mid blade

I prefer the elite shaft as it softer & narrower for flat water & ocean paddling, but have attached one of the testimonials below from the gara website below that may assist you.

see also comments at this link:
www.canoesonline.com.au/kayak-surfski-news/gara-paddles.html

Hank McGregor (3x K1 World Marathon Champion)
2013-10-01, 00:00
My Choice of Blades 2013 Season,

I choose to race with GARA Racing paddles as I like the strength and durability of the Blades. I trust the paddle and shaft set up which I believe is what really counts when choosing your paddle manufacturer.

My Paddle:

I have recently changed Blade shapes .I am now paddling with GP 2 paddles instead of the GP3. After 2012 season I borrowed my paddling partners (Grant Van De Walt) Blades (GP 2) and really liked the forward catch. However I needed to concentrate on my stroke a lot more over the off season and it seems to have paid off. I feel I can keep my average speed up easier and have more catch when accelerating. I paddle with a elite, soft shaft in rivers but prefer the stiff shaft for Flat water and Surf ski races.
I have achieved great results in Surf ski and Rivers this 2013 season but after winning World K1 marathon champs in Denmark I am happy with my decision of changing blade shapes.
The GP 2 shape Blade suites my style and has helped with my forward catch in my stroke.
Catch you on the Water
Hank McGregor
3 x K1 Senior World Canoe Marathon Champion.

ski's - McGregor C/R // Nelo 560L // Epic: 1st/2nd/3rdG V10/10L/10 sport, V14, V12, V8, V7, double -v10/v8 // Stellar: SES 1G/2G, SEI 2G // Fenn: double, elite SL, swordfish 1G/2G // Carbonology: vault, atom, flash //hayden spec ski / gibbons oc. ski / red7 / stealth spec/ocean ski / think legend
Last edit: 8 years 8 months ago by tony h.

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8 years 8 months ago #19799 by Richie
Replied by Richie on topic Gara GP2 - which shaft?
Thank you all for the great info.

Just to clarify Tony H - is the elite shaft you have a full carbon or a 60/40 carbon? Appreciate the advice.

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8 years 8 months ago #19802 by tony h
Replied by tony h on topic Gara GP2 - which shaft?
as I understand, mine are 60% carbon & there is a trial elite shaft of 80% available from Gara.
I like the softer shaft & believe they decrease injury
so unless very strong it is worth considering.
Gara make a very good paddle for the price range- about half that of the jantex.

ski's - McGregor C/R // Nelo 560L // Epic: 1st/2nd/3rdG V10/10L/10 sport, V14, V12, V8, V7, double -v10/v8 // Stellar: SES 1G/2G, SEI 2G // Fenn: double, elite SL, swordfish 1G/2G // Carbonology: vault, atom, flash //hayden spec ski / gibbons oc. ski / red7 / stealth spec/ocean ski / think legend

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8 years 7 months ago #19855 by jrlybrand
Replied by jrlybrand on topic Gara GP2 - which shaft?
I have the 60/40 GP2 shaft on the GP2 and find it a good feel overall and can feel it flex a bit when I am pushing hard on the paddles. There seems to be no change in the blade angle, catch or release when doing this so I think that the extra flex probably saves your shoulders a bit. Pretty happy overall with the GP2 for my paddling style and in particular the after sales service and questions.

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8 years 5 months ago #20569 by Kennneee
Replied by Kennneee on topic Gara GP2 - which shaft?
Hi,

I am interested in trying a different paddle than my current Epic Small Mid Wing, burgundy shaft. It is a great paddle and I have no complaints but would like to experiment a bit. Anybody know which Gara or Jantex would be close to this Epic in size? Any thoughts or advice appreciated.

Ken

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8 years 5 months ago #20570 by Kayaker Greg
My understanding is that Jantex were releasing a smaller version of their Gamma. I use an Epic Small Mid and a Jantex Gamma and have trimmed my Gamma down a little, as has the importer (trimmed by Jantex for his personal use) and it was him that mentioned Jantex were releasing a trimmed down version. That's the paddle I would be trying to get if I was you.
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8 years 5 months ago - 8 years 4 months ago #20571 by jrmac
Replied by jrmac on topic Gara GP2 - which shaft?
Hi Ken,

I have two Gara GP2's and the new Jantex Gamma Rio 'small plus' - stiff blade - soft shaft as per Wesley's review link below. I also have an Epic Mid and all paddles are in the 205 - 215 adjustable range. I paddle in a mixture of harbour, surf zone and offshore downwind.

The GP2 and Gamma Rio feel quite similar when used in anger as they have that same 'great' initial bite and work well with a higher cadence rating. The newly designed Jantex Gamma Rio 'small plus' is lighter and a bit smaller than the GP2 with a smoother entry point when spearing the fish (which I always seem to miss). The Gamma Rio looks and feels a primo product however is priced accordingly and even though it is early in our relationship we will be going out for a very long time :blush:

There has been a lot of changes in the sizing and overall dimensions of the Gamma range now that they have the Rio version with nine different offerings so be careful if referring to the original gamma mid size, etc as all that has changed. In that range some of the actual blade trimming is quite different ... all for the better and probably heading towards the design that Kayaker Greg had his original Gamma mid modded to.

From the Gara GP2 point of view it feels a little bit more secure in the surf or very messy conditions though I've only had the Jantex for a few weeks so time will tell. The GP2 is very well finished and feels tougher in the blade construction by design than most with an obvious weight trade off so is my preferred spec ski paddle at this early stage.

That being said I have no issues with the Jantex's strength or durability as that is me just babying the newer more expensive paddle in a situation where I'm more likely to knock the hell out of it in the impact zone so i need to drop or scratch to get over that ;-). It downwind's just as well as the GP2 and I do appreciate its extra lightness and smother catch on the flat. It has a 29 OD shaft with a funky sort of criss cross carbon pattern which seems to give a better grip but more importantly looks very cool !!!

If I lengthen the Jantex by about 1cm it feels similar to the GP2 so either can be my goto paddle as both are well made, light enough and work well in all conditions once you get use to that style of blade compared to the Epic. I have a six year old Epic Mid heavier green shaft which use to be my fav however this now feels too big for me after using the GP2 for two years and the Gamma rio paddle for 3 weeks.

One thing to consider if buying off the Net or un paddled is the 'gamma rio small plus' is 720cm2 surface area compared to 735cm2 on the epic small mid. Being a 'Jantex' gamma vs Epic (B4) style blade, this number is not always directly comparable as it does not account for degree of twist, etc, etc (Q the paddle forum guru's who can explain this in bigger words). As an example apparently the GP2 is 702cm2 so this becomes confusing as it definitely feels larger to paddle than the Gamma Rio 'small-plus' and looks obviously so when eyeballed next to each other.

Anyway before this turns into another thread I'm 'just saying' be aware of the real world feel in the water as I've had a few mates make this mistake either buying too small or two large when just going off the specs. Paddles are a very personal thing and their testing and purchase is often secondary to ski selection.

To summarise and related back to your question both the GP2 and Gamma Rio SP are very nice mid to small type blades especially when compared to my Epic Mid. I've tried the Epic 'mid small' and would now prefer that to my Mid if that helps put things in context to what you have now. Just remember they will both be round shafts and are not elliptical like the epic which may take a while to get use to and give you a biased impression if doing a quick test. The Gara can also have a slightly smaller OD shaft called the elite which I now have and I use sports tape on it so it is similar to the standard OD size.

I've posted a good review from Wesley which seems to sum quite a bit of this up and he has some great older material on his site talking about all the manner of blades including the older Jantex Gamma and Epic Blades.

Good luck with your selection and post purchase affirmation.

www.surfskiracing.org/2014/03/surf-ski-p...ew-jantex-gamma-rio/

Skis: Fenn Spark & Elite S, Fenn LS spec ski, Epic V12-G2
Paddles: Gara GP2, Jantex Gamma Rio Small plus & Medium Minus
Last edit: 8 years 4 months ago by jrmac. Reason: typo's and other confusing stuff.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Kennneee

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