The iGK Pure Carbon impressed testers, as it was both lightweight and compactable. This paddle excelled in both our performance metric and our compactibility metric, but it fell far behind other models when it came to adjustability and locking mechanism performance. While some testers did not think this product's locking mechanism was a deal breaker, others did. Read on to find out more.
While this model did not fare well in the overall scoring metric, this was due in large part to its low scores in adjustability and locking mechanism, which were weighted heavily in this review. However, it performed very well in other areas, so if you determine that the locking mechanism of this paddle doesn't bother you, this could be the paddle for you.
The IGK paddle out for a rip.
Despite its locking mechanism debacles, the iGK managed to receive a high score for performance. This model's large rectangular blade moved water well on both forward and backward strokes, and users felt that the light weight of the paddle contributed to a more pleasant experience on the water. Additionally, this model did not have wiggle in the handle where the shaft section met the blade section.
Here is the rectangular blade of the IGK.
This paddle, made of all carbon, weighed in at 1.5 pounds, making it one of the lighter paddles in our test.
Ease of Adjustment
The iGK did not score well in this metric. With a Family Adjustment adjustment system, the iGK adjusts by lifting a lever that is on the handle and which releases tension, allowing the handle end of the shaft to move, creating a longer or shorter distance.
You can adjust this with a screwdriver, but how often do you have that handy? Unfortunately, the adjustment mechanism loosened up on us often. When free, the handle slides around in the shaft, which makes paddling extremely difficult. This was annoying, but you can still paddle. With 15 inches of adjustability, this paddle scored in the middle of the pack. The Werner Vibe and Trance and Kialoa Makai were the easiest models to adjust.
The adjustment system and marking of the IGK
The locking mechanism metric was another point of weakness for the iGK. The Family Adjust system adjusts via a lever located in the handle. It releases tension which lets you slide the parts. While effective, on such a light paddle, this hefty locking mechanism throws off balance.
The LeverLock and Performance adjustment systems on the Werner Trance and Aqua-Bound respectively are far less bulky. All that said, over time we got more and more used to the weight imbalance.
The iGK received one of two perfect scores in this metric. A three-piece model, this product measured just 39 inches when fully compacted, which was nearly half of what the less compactable models measured.
Both come with an excellent carrying system. The bags are similar, but only the IGK comes with clever stow slots for the handle and shaft. Another point of difference comes in the offset connection point between the shaft and blade of the paddle.
At $200, this model is fairly pricey. However, we feel that if you're hell-bent on getting a three-piece model, then this is a good option, as its system secures tightly with very little play.
This paddle is for travel-focused users. If you're hiking with your SUP or flying across the ocean for remote SUP adventures, this is an incredible option for travelers, offering lightweight construction and performance.