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Old 10-27-2006   #11
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
I cant count the number of at2 flexi's that i have seen broken. the paddle has a good feel but doesnt seem reliable. i will keep my werner.

"Yesterday I was clever and tried to change the world. Today I am wise and try to change myself." -Rumi
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Old 10-27-2006   #12
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
Sorry double a that was OT. You make a paddle that feels like an AT and make it bomber and light and I would be interested.

"Yesterday I was clever and tried to change the world. Today I am wise and try to change myself." -Rumi
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Old 10-27-2006   #13
Preacher of the Profit Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,062

High-end paddles are tough, for with price increase- so increases the expectations. I’ve been a gear queek longer than I’ve been in the biz. I started buying gear for my college kayak club way back in the day. Paddles are a tough nut to crack, and the hardest by far in the WW world. Most paddle companies don’t make a high-end whitewater paddle. It’s not a money maker, and it might not be enough to keep the lights on.

For a lot of reasons: Almost all paddles break. If you don’t want to break your paddle, buy a Norse. Super heavy-duty fiberglass shaft, massive blades with steel at the edges, 10 lbs of glass, and cheap. Can’t break it (bend yes, break no.), but they paddle like poop. The higher the end materials the more fragile it is, and to make it stronger you’d have to make it thicker- this adds both cost and weight. Again, if someone thinks it’s carbon it better be light. The more custom you make it, the more labor intensive it will be. That comes out of your pocket. Plus, if people drop big coin on this… to them it’s bullet proof, till they prove you wrong. Then it only takes one bad review, from some random weekend warrior snow surfing in Kansas. And, you name is tarnished forever.

Now enough of the negative and on to the perfect paddle. 1) Wood shaft (not the blades- too much impact), 2) neutral bend (AT is very nice. Werner is nice too, but if you really want it to be better flip the Werner upside down- I think Werner made a mistake and won’t fess up- try if and tell me if I’m joking. It’s a 100 times better upside down), 3) 30 degree offset- great for everything (I like it others like less, and others like more) Remember you can set the trend- Waterstick did., 4) Keep the price under $300. Beginner paddles have a market, stay focused you can’t make everyone happy. Start with making the people who buy your paddles happy. 5) A nice kinetic blade shape, not too thick not too thin. 6) The blades should be buoyant and crisp at the edge (some dense ridged rubber would be nice, some thing better than rope and better than exposed cut edge). 7) Modular construction would be the best for both custom off-sets, future blades, and warranty and service.

Good luck and have fun.
I love to dance, but who needs the music- It throws me off.
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Old 10-28-2006   #14
oh yeah
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 535
how 'bout grips like seven2 used/uses? they gave a great feel and reduced the shaft diameter. and mix wood and carbon fiber without comprimising structural integrity.
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Old 10-30-2006   #15
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NOCO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 582
Don't forget Waterstick/H2O lessons learned

I'd recommend checking out lessons learned by Waterstick, many of which have been improved with H20 - assuming the paddles ever get popular. Also check out the Mitchell's - once a popular wood paddle, now more of a niche company?

1 - grips: Waterstick had a great grip, improved it with the "divits" making it a great fit/feel/grip. AT uses the old Waterstick grips, but not the later ones w/ the divits that I thought were better.

2 - grips again: H20 (the new waterstick) is now using rubber grips - similar to Seven2 but with the grip being more full sized/traditional.

3 - materials: Do you remember the Ti-Stick that Waterstick made? The paddle cost $400 or so, basically had a lifetime warranty, etc, etc. It was super light weight and bomber strong - the shaft was near impossible to break. It was also the stiffest and most unforgiving shaft ever made. The blades (carbon) eventually cracked on the one I had - I tried to get them replaced to no avail - my newbie brother is still using the paddle with glue sealing up the leaking cracked blades.
Waterstick didn't make the paddle for long - either they realized they couldn't lifetime warranty the paddle, or do to expense, or that it never caught on.

4 - Materials: H20 has come out with a plastic based blade for their paddles - bomber strong - will they catch on with the masses or do people still prefer glass/carbon instead?

5 - Leakage in the shaft: By the time Waterstick called it quits, they were having a significant amount of quality issues - yet their process was one of the most high-tec in the industry. While Waterstick is gone, much of the innovation can be found in AT's paddles, manufactured by the same company that made the Waterstick paddles (baycomp).
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Old 10-31-2006   #16
ski/kayak bum
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 460
thanks all,

keep the goods coming. I'm starting to work on a few sketches and quite a bit of materials pricing. I think i might have a really cool compound to use but i'm yet to find out if it is cost effective in the manner that i think it should be.

thanks again,

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Old 10-31-2006   #17
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Summit, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
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Also, there is definately some demand for paddle repair and maintenance. If you offer to repair your paddles for a cheap price and other paddle brands for a reasonable price it will go a long way in bringing in future customers. If you did an awesome job of repairing the paddle I didn't buy from you I would guarantee that my next paddle would be from you.

"The world would be a better place if everyone kayaked."-Brad Ludden (Valhalla)
"You only get one chance to run a drop blind."-DD
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Old 10-31-2006   #18
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
I would change Counts post to reasonable price. For me, if you do a good job and do it the first time, I will come back.

"Yesterday I was clever and tried to change the world. Today I am wise and try to change myself." -Rumi
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