30 march 2017
Paddles. We have a lot of them. Paddles made of aluminum, fiberglass and bamboo. Adjustable paddles, paddles for kids, you name it! When developing a paddle and when thinking of possible improvements, I have to take into account a lot of things. I’ll name a few. First, to make sure a paddle interacts with the water in the best way, research on the ideal shape of the blade is performed. The shape of a blade (for example it’s width and length) determines the amount of resistance it has in the water. Too much resistance and paddling would become too heavy, too little resistance and it wouldn’t help you move. Finding the right balance in this is very important. This is also something I need to take into account when designing paddles especially for kids. What’s also important is the weight of a paddle. Light paddles may be very convenient, but at the same time a paddle needs to be able to withstand the forces of the water and the users. Finding the right materials which keep the paddle relatively light, but at the same time strong, is another part of paddle development. Finally, a paddles’ ability to float is very valuable in my opinion and I’m working on a way to increase the floatability of our paddles even further. I can imagine, not having to dive the depth of a lake in order retrieve your paddle when you accidently drop it, is something everyone can appreciate!