NEW PRODUCT: Bent Shaft & 4pc Breakdown Kayak Paddle Options

 

By Andrew Stern

August 23, 2018

 

Last year we launched the Whiskey and Tango compression molded kayak paddles, and they were the lightest, smoothest paddles we’ve ever made at 23 oz. (Carbon) and 26 oz. (Fiberglass). We put a lot of time and energy into the design and blade shapes, and introduced patterns unlike anything paddlers have seen from Aqua-Bound. The sales have exceeded forecasts to the point where our blade laminating operators have been working nights and weekends. The response has been so positive that many of our dealers, consumers, and sponsored athletes have been asking for more. Well, we listened and appreciate their continued support.

 

It’s my honor to introduce new options and models within our performance kayak family, a comfortable bent shaft and 4-piece breakdown version. We’re pouring everything we have into our composite paddles and looking to offer practical options for all flatwater paddlers. Whether you’re looking for less strain on your wrists and elbows, or traveling to a dream destination, or simply looking for a lighter paddle, we have you covered.

 

Our goal with the bent shaft is take what our research shows is the smoothest forward stroke in paddling, and compliment it with a shaft that offers a more natural wrist position, making every stroke more effortless and enjoyable. We analyzed the physics of three different paddler body shapes, for both women and men, focusing on every curve and movement affected by the paddling stroke. We even studied the hand grip position on the shaft, looking to make the shaft shape more comfortable to the kayaker. Motivated by our goal of “the most comfortable bent shaft in kayaking”, our engineers used that intelligence to design our new bent shaft.

 

We believe one of the most defining features of the bent shaft is an ovalized asymmetrical triangular shaft diameter, which is designed for control strokes and meant to fit into the crevasses of your fingers. Additionally, the 3K Plain Weave carbon shaft is one of the lightest shaft materials we were able to get our hands on, while also exceeding our break strength expectations through internal testing. At weights of 25.5 oz. for the Carbon models and 28.5 oz. for the Fiberglass models, we’re looking to be the lightest option available in bent shaft designs.

 

Bent Shaft Whiskey-Tango 2019

 

Embracing pack-rafting and foldable/inflatable kayaking markets, we’re also making our performance kayak paddles available in 4-piece versions. Breaking down into pieces as small as 20 inches (51 cm.), we’re hoping to see pictures of our Whiskey and Tango from all parts of the world, helping paddlers check off kayaking locations from their bucket list. 

4pc Breakdown Whiskey-Tango 2019

 

For those that have yet to hold one of the Whiskey paddles, it’s available in both Carbon and Fiberglass blade options. The Whiskey blade shape is designed for a high-angle forward stroke, optimal for control strokes and high-energy paddlers. The Tango also comes in both Carbon and Fiberglass options, and features an efficient low-angle touring blade shape, ideal for the majority of flatwater kayakers. All performance kayak models come with the exclusive 100% carbon Posi-Lok ferrule, which has a wobble-free tight fit, no metal parts (eliminating corrosion), and an intuitive low-maintenance locking system.

 

Ken Whiting paddling the Iles de la Madeleines field testing the new Whiskey Fiberglass Bent Shaft
Ken Whiting paddling the Iles de la Madeleines, field testing the new Whiskey Fiberglass Bent Shaft.

 

Aqua-Bound ProStaffer Ken Whiting stated, “I have been paddling with Aqua-Bound since their inception and since I first started dipping blades into the water. Their paddles have been my most trusted ally on the water, and I wouldn’t leave shore without them. Now with a bent shaft and travel options for my TV show, I can paddle and travel comfortably knowing Aqua-Bound makes not just the best paddles, but practical options for the enthusiast paddler.”

 

We hope with positive feedback from a renowned paddler like Ken, we have solid support for this new product launch and our go-forward plan with our performance kayak line-up. Consumers have found Aqua-Bound paddles to be lightweight, reliable companions on the water for almost three decades. Our goal is to take that flatwater paddler who knows and trusts our injection molded blades, and offer even better performing lightweight paddles that will keep them on the water longer.

 

We’re a group of 40 paddlers that walk through the same factory door every day, hoping to make better gear for ourselves and our customers. We’re not saying we have a revolutionary, unsurpassable, paradigm shifting technology that will change the paddle landscape forever, because everyone knows that is puffery and hyperbole. We’re simply looking to keep the current Aqua-Bound paddler within our line-up. And if we capture a few new paddlers in the meantime, then we’re grateful.

 

The Bent Shaft versions of the Whiskey and Tango will be available for sale October 1st, 2018, with the 4-piece breakdown options available September 1st, 2018. Check with your local specialty retailer for availability. More information can be discovered at https://aquabound.com, by calling our live customer team at 715-755-3405 or emailing us at [email protected].

 

Learn more: 

Bent Shaft Models: 

 

4pc Breakdown Models: 

 

See you on the water!