Natalie Kramer Anderson dialing in the line - Mangu bent shaft.
WHY HARD CORE PADDLES ARE DIFFERENT
Hard Core Paddles are excellent all-around whitewater kayak paddles, used by paddlers of various skill levels for creeking, playboating, river-running and racing around the world.
All of our paddles are made with a composite-sleeved cedar core shaft which provides strength, low weight, durability, a warm feel and the optimum combination of stiffness and flex. The Dynel-edged blades are light, strong, and durable with an amazingly strong catch. All of our paddles share this unique blade design. For more in-depth information please see the details below or contact me.
What Makes Our Bent Shaft Paddle Design Different
The hand grip area on our bent shaft paddles is long and allows for a much wider range of positioning than many other bent shafts out there. This means you can have a much narrower paddler's box compared to other bent shafts.
If you've tried another brand's bent shaft in the past and didn't like it, we highly recommend you try ours, particularly if you have tendinitis or joint issues. The vast majority of our customers who have tendinitis or shoulder, wrist, or elbow problems have reported significant and often complete improvements after using our bent shaft paddles.
"I started using a Hard Core Paddle in 2017 and haven't looked back; the paddle helped eliminate tendinitis in my forearm and gave me the confidence to get back to paddling challenging whitewater after time lost to injuries. These paddles live up to the hype and then some."
Paddle Shaft Design - Hand grips and placement
The hand grip areas on all our paddles are shaped to fit your hand perfectly so you will never be unsure of whether your blade is in the right position. This is particularly helpful when rolling or if you've lost your grip on your paddle.
Paddle Shaft Design - Forward offset
Our paddles have some forward offset, meaning that the blade is forward of the hand position. This adds to the balance, helping to eliminate flutter, and allows for a more forward blade entry. It also allows for a lighter grip, which helps with tendinitis. If you have never used a forward offset paddle you will find that when holding the paddle loosely in your hands in front of you the blades will rotate down. This may seem strange at first but it does not affect performance while paddling and you will soon get used to it, trust me. In most cases the pros of a forward offset far outweigh the cons. The majority of new paddles designs have some degree of forward offset.
Our blades are relatively small in relation to other high performance paddles out there, but they have an amazingly strong catch.
A small blade does not necessarily mean you have less traction in the water. (I talk about traction and catch, not power, in regards to paddle performance since a paddle has no power. The power comes from you, the paddle transfers it.)
In fact, paddles with much larger blades often spill far more water than ours because of their design, in which case you are using a lot more energy to generate the same driving force.
"A small blade with a strong catch means you are not wasting energy pulling the blade through the water. In contrast, you are pulling your boat past the blade. Think of a large blade with lots of dihedral as a large tire with no tread on it doing a hill climb while spinning frantically. As opposed to a small blade with very little dihedral as a narrower tire with an amazingly chunky tread doing a hill climb without slipping at all. This is our paddle."
Mike Nash, Owner, Hard Core Paddles
Benefits of Our Blade Design
Our smaller blade size makes it easier to deal while underwater, setting up for a roll, getting worked in holes, etc. While executing Duffeks or similar ruddering type moves, a blade with less surface area is easier to control and just as effective.
Meanwhile, a blade with a strong catch that doesn't need to be pulled through the water at high speed to generate force performs far better in moving water. For example, using moving water to pull you out of a hole, doing pivot turns, etc.. All these benefits make our paddle design an excellent all-around paddle. In short, not a single person who has bought a Hard Core paddle has complained of a lack of power transfer.
Because of this, most people who switch to a Hard Core paddle find that they're more comfortable with a slightly shorter paddle than they were using before. The benefit of a shorter paddle that transfers the same amount of power is that it's more versatile and nimble.
Blade Weight and Swing Weight
The swing weight of our paddles is significantly lighter compared to high performance full foam core paddles.
This is because the blade-to-shaft weight ratio of our paddles is lower. Typically, full foam core blades are slightly heavier than our blades and their hollow shafts are slightly lighter than our shafts. The lower blade-to-shaft weight ratio of Hard Core paddles makes them feel lighter and less clubbish to use compared to a foam core paddle of similar weight. It also makes doing multiple fast strokes feel easier.
"More and more impressed with the paddle, as I use it more. I thought it might be an advanced design that my shitty technique would not take advantage of. No flutter. Plenty of bite. Very happy, and screaming your praises from the rooftops."
The blades have a little flex along the length as opposed to a foam core blade that is completely rigid. This adds to the liveliness and pop of the paddle as the whole paddle flexes through the blades and the shaft from tip to tip. This also eliminates any clubbish feel.
Hard Core paddle blades are light, strong and durable. They have a Dynel edge, however, unlike other Dynel-edged blades they are not full foam core. This means they are much more resilient to abuse on the blade face and back compared to full foam core blades that are more susceptible to puncture and delamination because they have a very thin skin on either side.
The Dynel edge of our blades also gives them enormous resistance to wearing down over time, unlike fiberglass and other non-Dynel edge blades. This allows the performance of our blades to stay the same for the life of the paddle.