Unwrapping the g’power Galaxy II revealed an immaculate finish and seamless one-piece shaft-blade connection.
I couldn’t wait to get it out on the water for a try.
I launched from my usual spot and started upriver. Straight away, something wasn’t right. My grip felt loose and awkward. My catch splashed and ploinked with every second or third stroke. The shaft felt entirely too uncompromising.
Being aware of the need for an adjustment period, I trudged forward. I continued on for another two sessions, but it didn’t change. After three sessions, the paddle just did not feel “right”. I set it aside with no intentions of returning.
Flash forward about eight months. I decided to do some head to head comparisons of the Epic Mid Wing, Gara GP2, Jantex Gamma Rio and the g’power Galaxy 2.
I checked the paddles against each other based on look, feel, short burst speed (200 meters) and longer bursts at 1 km and 5 km distances. All on flat water without current or wind.
To my surprise, I found that my fastest times were clocked on the g’power. In a stark departure from my initial impression, the overall feel of the paddle felt as good or better in direct comparison with the others.
I decided to give the g’power another chance. I started using it on my daily paddles and set myself to working through some of the original issues I had experienced.
During this second go 'round I found some interesting adjustments began to take place with my stroke that allowed me to view the g’power in an entirely new light and with a newfound appreciation.
- The blade is a bit shorter and wider. Thereby forcing a deeper insertion to get a full catch from the blade. This is an area where I have traditionally struggled, as I have a habit of not "spearing" the catch. So the first adjustment I made was to set the GoPro and begin working with a more exaggerated catch.
- It also features a fair amount of twist in the blade, which can assist with a good exit and less cavitation at the catch.
Stiffness---I have been using the Galaxy II in soft construction and in comparison with Jantex, it isn’t as yielding. Of the paddles tested, I would place it near the Epic in terms of rigidity, with the Gara having the least flex and the Jantex the most.
What I have found is that relaxing my grip until the moment I go into my catch and pull phase mitigates the lack of flex. In doing this, it has had the effect of giving my forearm more of a rest and creating a more "connected" and focused feel when in the power phase. Essentially creating more discrepancy between rest and exertion. The adjustment has been helpful during longer races, where my forearm has at times become overly taxed. To compensate for this rigidity, during the power phase, I try to work with the paddle, exerting pressure uniformly.
Blade--- The initial feedback I received on my catch was a near constant ploinking splash. However, I found that the overall grip of the blade on the water was strong and solid. So I started adjusting my setup to create a more vertical insertion point with the proper angle. As I continued down this path I found that I could eliminate the splash and cavitation by improving my setup and catch. The blade DEMANDS to be entered into the water at the right angle. My previous paddle had a much more forgiving catch---which was great but didn’t really force my effort to improve it. The technical entry requires a high-level stroke or will kick it back to you.
The g’power essentially helped improve my stroke once I was able to stop fighting against it and begin working with the design. Using it has pointed out some inherent flaws in my technique and once I opened myself to it, was able to begin working on my weak links. The lesson I've taken away from this experience has been to be a bit more open to user error when trying out new products. It's easy to dismiss a product based on a few initial impressions. It's far more difficult to see your own flaws.