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The Gillis paddle was developed at the behest of Rutabaga's "Chief Paddling Evangelist" Darren Bush. He wanted to shave the modern blade shape of our popular Gunflint paddle down just a bit to offer an extremely well-balanced paddle that can walk the line between power and all-day paddling endurance. The Gillis takes up this cause expertly, offering a squared off blade that offers its full width even in shallow water, and an overall blade size that doesn't require as much strain to get a full stroke through the water.
Like our other Wilderness paddles, the Gilis is normally delivered with the grip unfinished. Because of this you can finish the grip how you prefer; we recommend an oil finish, as it's extremely smooth, comfortable even after a full day of paddling, and it is simple and easy to maintain. It’s a bit more effort, but it’s well worth it. For an nominal fee, we can pre-oil the grip for you prior to shipping, but you'll still want to maintain the grip oil over its life. Click Here to learn more about caring for your paddle grip.
The Gillis comes with an array of options allowing you a dedicated paddle that perfectly conforms to your needs. A 10° Bent-Shaft option offers maximum power and bite to propel your canoe even in strong headwinds and rapid currents, while a straight-shaft option allows for more deft ruddering-strokes and a more traditional look and feel. The Gillis is also offered in three different durability choices: Standard, Wilderness, and Ultralight. The Standard option utilizes Cedar and Aspen with a fiberglass coating to offer a lightweight paddle that perfectly balances weight and durability without sacrificing affordability, making it our most popular choice. If you’re pushing off rocks or tackling tricky currents in narrow rivers or streams, step up to the Wilderness option. Walnut, Ash, and Cherry hardwoods supplement the standard features to offer a tougher paddle that handles almost anything you can throw at it while only adding a few ounces to the weight. But if your trips require long portages or all-day paddling endurance, consider the Ultralight option. The thinner blade is backed with carbon fiber, and the shaft thinned relative to the standard model, making an extremely comfortable, lightweight paddle that still feels like a feather even after hours of paddling. Because of the reduced weight, this paddle should only be touching air or water; no shoving off rocks with this option.
Lastly, you can only love a paddle that fits you perfectly. The Gillis is offered in a range of lengths to suit any paddler. Click Here to learn how to find the paddle length that’s perfect for you.
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