Ever wondered how paddle board paddles are made? Get a glimpse through this photo story of behind the making of SUP paddles. Starboard has over the years built hundreds of thousands of paddles, we see this as good training.
“Good enough is not enough”
We have learned that “good enough is not good enough” and despite winning most world-class events with our standard production paddles and developing what perhaps is the worlds lightest paddle, we focus on ensuring that each and every paddle holds the same high quality.
All our composite paddles are hand crafted, this takes a lot of work at our factories and for each mistake we have made, we have come back with a new benchmark.
Our Tufskin paddle has for example gone through close to ½ million paddle strokes in our test machine.
Each process has its own little secrets. Our high-grade core is individually cut by a CNC machine. Every core will go through the process of additional surface QC, the weight is checked serving as the first step in logging the material/ weight track record.
The Fabric Preparation Process
Carbon prepregs, Carbon UD, Carbon biaxial and Carbon Twill, Flax / Carbon, and a multitude of glass reinforcements. Fabrics are being carefully selected according to properties and angulations, while reinforcements are cut prepared a set of each blade’s sizes. The main purpose is to create a super-lightweight blade that feels stable in the water and can handle years of hard paddling.
Lamination & Press Process
The key to a successful process is to each and every time arrange the fabric layers in their specified position. We laminate with Bio resin according to weight standard and carefully control the resin absorption of each layer of fabrics.
Pressing is complex because we cannot view the formation of bubbles or creasing of fabrics inside, we have to wait until we open the mould and as our aim is to have no rework and a no spraying process, so we better get it all right the first time.
Every process has to be done carefully, pressed in right pressure, using the correct temperature and perfect timings these are all completed by the people with the most highly skilled experience.
We have worked with our factory in Thailand since our first paddles in 2007, and look forward to keeping on creating lighter, stronger and better performing paddles, year by year.