One of my current design projects is a Two-piece Dragon Boat Travel Paddle. The light bulb came on after KIALOA ambassador Al Van Gieson came back from his 12,000 mile journey to Hungary from Nanakuli, Hawaii for The Dragon Boat World Championships. “People couldn’t believe how excited I was to race in Hungary. Guys from Nanakuli don’t travel to Europe much,” said Alfred.
I believe good design is about understanding how athletes use their equipment. Paddles are vulnerable to damage in airline cargo hulls. A hard case is one solution. A two-piece paddle which can be carried on board is another.
I estimate this carbon travel dragon boat paddle will weigh 4 ounces more than a standard full carbon because of the two-piece mechanism. We also have a carrying case designed to carry this two-piece paddle. Technically, the case is not carry-on legal in length, but I am confident it will fit in the overhead storage on the Alaska Airline flights I frequent. I do not know if a paddle is approved as a carry item. At 29”, the longest section of the paddle fits diagonally in my Patagonia 120 liter roller bag. Padded with clothes as a checked bag this is another option.
The Test: The two-piece mechanism has been run for tens of thousands of repetitions on an oscillating 3-point load tester without problem. We are on to field testing with the KIALOA 'Elele.
For a look at our current line up of Dragon Boat Paddles click here https://kialoa.com/collections/dragon-paddles
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