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AT Paddle Breakage…A Thing of the Past!

Posted: 06.18.2014

It never fails. A whitewater paddler finds out I work for Adventure Technology paddles and the first thing they say is, “I love your paddles…but they break”. Next, they tell me all the ways they’ve broken their paddles.

One guy recalls his blade broke coming out of an eddy.  Another complains his shaft cracked over the deck of his kayak on a waterfall drop.  For some reason gals don’t seem to break as many paddles…go figure.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of ammunition to combat their grievances.  There is a slight weakness in the shaft (near the hand grip area) due to our dual axis ergonomic bend.  Most AT fans agree our bend is pretty awesome and worth a slightly more fragile shaft.  Sure, we have a lifetime warranty on the beefy Superduty model shaft…so if it breaks, we replace it. 

But, let’s face it, my arguments were weak…until now…

Adventure Technology introduced a new paddle line for 2014 with a new material called Duraweave with Innegra.  Innegra is added to traditional composite materials--fiberglass and carbon in AT paddle shafts and blades. 

Blades with duraweave are lighter, more buoyant and have lower swing weight.  They are also much more abrasion resistant and hold up to the constant abuse paddlers and low volume rivers and creeks dish out.  This means the shape of your blade will stay the same from the day you buy it to the day you retire it.   

Shafts with duraweave are more powerful with a smooth, consistent flex.  But most importantly, duraweave construction provides unparalleled secondary strength.  Let’s say your paddle becomes pinned and the shaft breaks.  It will crack, but the unique molecular structure of Duraweave prevents cracks from spreading and significantly reduces the likelihood of complete shaft failure.   This means your paddle will stay in one-piece and you will, as a result, be able to safely paddle downstream.  For some boaters this can mean the difference between life and death. 

It’s time to set your expectations of paddle performance higher.  No longer should we accept blades wearing down over time or shafts snapping in crucial moments.  Now, if they would just come up with a kayak that weighs 5lbs….hmmm…