Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In



Duo Kayaks Inside Passage with Greenland Style Paddles

Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.

TAIPEI, Taiwan – Denver, Co, July 15, 2019. Today Gearlab sponsored dou, New Zealander Blake Hornblow and Canadian Tim Hollenberg will embark on a 1,200 km kayaking expedition along the Inside Passage, a network of waterways stretching from northwestern Washington to southeast Alaska.

The raw beauty of the coastline is a draw. The duo also aim to raise awareness of environmental issues effecting ecosystems and communities along the Inside Passage.


“Tim and I have both grown up hearing stories of this coastline from our families and have always wanted to go and see the wonders for ourselves,” says Blake. “Through kayaking, we have become more aware of the threats the ocean is facing. We have paddled past fish farms, masses of garbage, and some of the large vessels that frequently travel through the fragile passages of the Inside Passage.”

His paddle of choice for the challenge? The Gearlab Kalleq.


“I knew planning this trip we would need great paddles — not just good paddles — to make it the 1,200 kilometers we plan to cover. Greenland style paddles are known to be excellent touring paddles and are light and efficient. After much research and talking to friends, I found Gearlab, which makes top quality innovative paddles for trips like this.”

Blake and Tim will paddle the entire route with the addition of teammate Cas Smith from Prince Rupert onwards. The trip will take six weeks to two months, starting deep in the Stikine watershed and finishing at Port Hardy on Vancouver Island.

Tim and Blake met at the University of British Columbia, where Blake studied marine ecology and Tim studied materials and mechanical engineering. Blake now works around the world as a naturalist, kayaking guide and assistant research scientist. Along the way he has lived in Alaska studying bubble-net feeding humpback whales, kayaked through the Grand Canyon, and paddled along the Antarctic Peninsula and rivers in the Peruvian Andes. Tim, a recent university graduate, is starting a job for a forestry engineering company in Prince George, an ideal spot to embark on further adventures.

“We both love getting out into remote and wild places and sometimes our means of transport for getting to these places changes,” Blake says. “We love to ski, climb, hike, bike and surf as well as kayaking.”

On their expedition through the Inside Passage, the teammates will advocate for the Salmon Coast, an organization that helps researchers understand and restore ecosystems of coastal British Columbia. They will also advocate for the Tahltan Nation community of Telegraph Creek, which lost 32 homes in a wildfire last year, through their GoFundMe campaign.

“Our coasts are places where climate change, deforestation and pollution are most noticeable, and we aim to document that,” says Blake. “The team wants the trip to be more than just kayaking. Inspired by nature, we want to be part of recording the landscapes, faces and voices of the Inside Passage.”

For updates on the trip, see


For the past eight years, GEARLAB has designed and manufactured Greenland-style carbon-fiber paddles for ocean kayakers around the world. Created by a team of award-winning industrial designers and outdoor enthusiasts, the paddles are adapted from indigenous Inuit designs. Greenland paddles allow kayakers to travel farther with greater efficiency and precision, while reducing injury and fatigue. Made from 100 percent continuous carbon-fiber material, GEARLAB paddles perfect thousand-year-old ergonomics with advanced material strength and durability. GEARLAB paddles will open up a new realm of adventure for both recreational and advanced kayakers. Discover the benefits of GEARLAB paddles at .

Contact: Mike Shih | GEARLAB |

Communications: Beth Cochran | What’s UP PR |