In the last years paddle sports has considerably changed and varied. New disciplines have come up such as Park and Play, Boater Cross or Stand Up Paddling, and also materials and technologies have been advanced and improved. We at Kober & Moll have taken the chance and have designed the right paddle for any different use. That’s why of many models there are special versions for ladies, teenagers and kids. The pictograms at the respective product indicate availability.
As different as the purposes are, one thing is common to all paddles: They need to be good! In the case of paddles this means to exactly meet expectations and use.
This is what a canoeist expects from a good paddle:
- Pleasant weight, well balanced
- Good performance in the water (silent, calm run, precise tracking, little sticking water at release) due to perfect hydrodynamic design
- Supports effortless paddling by high efficiency
- Anti-fatigue by ergonomic features and a flexible shaft
- Sturdy construction, long life
- Good price-to-value ratio
- Supports canoeists in their action and promotes paddling fun
The TechInfo explains, what crucial details are part of it, what sophistication our paddles contain and why a high performance paddle not necessarily is the first choice for a paddling novice.
Technologies I Constructions I Materials
Different high quality fibers (carbon, aramid, glass) are soaked with special resins and pressed into paddle blades under high pressure in heated molds. Use, weight and price range determine the specific selection of fibers and resins to produce optimum blades. The lightweight self-supporting foam core provides additional stiffness and buoyancy. Reinforcements at the tips protect the blades against quick wear. In this way, using best materials, lightweight, stiff and durable paddle blades are made.
Carbon, aramid or glass fabrics mechanically impregnated in epoxi resin are called prepregs. The mix of materials is automatically controlled, thus guaranteeing constant high quality. The prepregs used at Kober Paddles are manufactured at highest technical standards using the perfect combination of fabrics. In heated molds, using high pressure or vacuum, these layers are pressed into thin, stiff and very impact-resistant paddle blades. Precise performance, optimal weight-to-strength ratio and
long-lastingness – even in permanent use – are the results of this technology.
Kober realized the advantages of Entire Foam Cores a long time ago and has used them since 1977:
- More volume at low density in the blade for good buoyancy even in water full of air. Bracing and rolling are made much easier.
- Leightweight blades, the paddle won’t be „topheavy“.
- Even, hydrodynamically perfect cross-section (without any impairing ribs and edges) for a balanced performance.
- Stiff, light-weight blades through carbon and glass laminates with integrated reinforcing zones.
A dihedral cross section shape is designed to promote efficient paddling by reducing the build up of water pressure on the back of the paddle blade. The dihedral shape reduces the flutter effect during paddling and thus saves engery and increases paddling efficiency. A dihedral paddle shape is especially suited for recreational paddlers and those with a relaxed paddling style, and is not recommended for paddlers with an aggressive paddling style.
Being pioneers in this production technology with its cavity-system, we have known and appreciated the advantages for a long time:
- Low weight (up to 25% lighter), thin blades, so less power is needed. Lightweight blades generate less centrifugal force and leverage, so paddles can be moved with less effort.
- Materials are used specifically for the required applications.
- Additional filament reinforcement.
- Equally spread cooling during production process = no hidden cracks.
- Tensionless blades – no warping = perfect performance.
Thanks to ATT-cavity-system the paddle blades can be designed with a thin, hydrodynamically optimized cross section leading to gentle performance and needing less power. The back of the blade doesn’t need any reinforcing ribs which would impair its performance:
- Whirlpools created at the backside of the blade would lead to a turbulent stroke.
- Catch and release of the blade would be influenced negatively by water sticking to the blade.
- Water sticking to the blade at the release couldn’t drain quickly enough and would add additional weight to the blade at each stroke. This is why paddles by Kober & Moll don´t have those impairing ribs.
Materials used in ATT process:
As with all plastics, the quality of PP is very much dependent on the price. Kober & Moll use only high quality PP to achieve highest strength, low weight and high performance. We prefer PP for touring paddles due to its perfect weight-to-strength ratio. The mechanical properties are influenced positively by the addition of filaments.
As with PP, the quality of this raw material depends directly on the price. At Kober we use only the best PA available (yes, the one with the highest impact resistance) for our high quality WW-paddles. They are additionally reinforced with filaments (carbon or glass), resulting in stiff, heavy-duty blades which are also extremely impact resistant, abrasion resistant and durable.
A classic material, wood is a product of nature and at the same time a renewable resource. Wooden paddles have a pleasant warm touch, are elastic and flexible and are gentle to muscles and joints. You will feel it! Using selected combinations of wood and special gluing techniques, we achieve an ideal ratio of weight and strength. Varying with different types of paddles, the blade tips are protected against wear and damage by either crosswise glued veneer, aluminium or resin edges. Rich in contrast, wood guarantees an attractive and precious appearance.
High angle style, mostly used by highly skilled paddlers, is the more active style. The blade moves close to the boat, your pushing hand moves above shoulder level. This technique is more efficient as the boat drifts off track only slightly at each stroke. The blades used are short and wide. The paddle length is a bit shorter, too.
Low angle style is the most common. The blade catches the water at a low angle and moves in some distance to the boat. Your pushing hand doesn’t exceed shoulder level. On long distances paddling is more relaxed and also wind resistance is lower. The same applies to effectiveness. A longer paddle is used, the blades are narrower and longer compared to high angle style. Experience proves that paddles built for high angle could also be used for low angle style – with certain qualifications. Vice versa it is significantly more difficult.
A convenient feather angle at paddles, does it exist?
The feather of a paddle is always a compromise between very low wind resistance and optimal ergonomics. In the air, the blade is the most streamlined at a feather of 90°. Your wrist however is doing heavy labour, joints and muscles are aching, your body is tiring fast. A sharp angle, which comes close to the biodynamic body rotation, is the optimum for the body. In windy conditions however, this is counterproductive. With the blade almost fully faced into the wind, the paddler needs to force a lot of work into each stroke to align and hold the paddle.
For us at Kober & Moll the truth is in between:
Whitewater paddles come with a 45° feather as standard. This angle allows fast reactions, comes close to the body rotation and is gentle on joints due to little motion. Wind influence is secondary.
At touring paddles the impact of winds is more crucial. With a 60° feather they put less surface against the wind, save on power and lead to gentle, smooth strokes. The relief of the strain on your wrists and your whole body is clearly noticeable, especially on long distances.
With side cut blades (blade area tilted down from shaft axis) the stroke can be set closer to the boat which leads to a faster and better response, especially at vertical moves and high angle paddling style. Originally developed for slalom competition, this shape has become more and more popular among athletic whitewater paddlers and freestylers in the last years.
· Moderate side cut for whitewater and slalom
· Aggressive side cut for freestyle
A tracking fin is a convex, wedge-shaped line at the front side (concave side) of the blade in the extension line of the shaft.
What does it do?
- Equal draining of water from the blade results in a gentle stroke. No torquing, no fluttering.
- A paddle with a tracking fin performs much smoother in the water, provides more comfort and is more efficient.
- A blade without a tracking fin causes more turbulence in the water and tends towards unwelcome fluttering and torquing at a fast stroke. This has to be compensated by more exertion of power by your hands leading to faster fatigue.
Kober has used the tracking fin since the mid-1960s. Hartmut Moll introduced this advantageous design element to Kober’s SL and WW range first in 1977. Now almost all paddles by Kober & Moll have this tracking fin.
Hydrodymanic is in water what aerodynamic is in the air. Hydrodynamics are an important factor in the design of a paddle blade and are the key to an enjoyable
paddling experience. A hydrodynamic paddle back has four essential advantages:
· Less disturbance in the water allows for a more efficient paddle stroke from the beginning to the end.
· Less water is lifted up with the paddle as it leaves the water after the paddle stroke, the water that is lifted up flows quickly off the blade. Not lifting excess water with the paddle saves energy.
· A quicker and exacter pressure build up allows for better control of the paddle during paddle strokes.
The more reinforcement ribs or hollows a paddle blade has the less hydrodynamic it is.
This edge, woven from synthetic fibers is unsurpassedly shock and abrasion resistant. Integrated into laminates, it provides unparalleled protection for our high quality carbon paddles, e.g. models Scorpion EFC and Attack EFC. Additionally, the slightly enlarged cross section reduces the danger of pinning in whitewater use.
Special protecting edges made of aluminium in Kober’s laminated paddles (e.g. Carving C, Viper EFC, Rocket SL, Control) prevent fast wear and damage to the blade. Additionally, blade tips can be designed thinner while maintaining the same stability. The result is a precise catch and less displacement of water, which leads to a more exact stroke. Experts appreciate these features.
All aluminium shafts processed at Kober & Moll are seawater resistant.
Varying according to use, we are offering three different types:
- Touring and easy WW, Ø 30 mm, anodized
- Kids’ paddles with a smaller diameter, Ø 28 mm
- WW and polo, heavy duty shaft Ø 30 mm, anodized
- Grip areas are covered with insulating shrink tube and are oval-shaped to improve ergonomics, varying according to use.
Die Griffbereiche sind mit kälteisolierendem Schrumpfschlauch überzogen und je nach Einsatzzweck, für bessere Ergonomie ovalisiert, nicht nur oval aufgedoppelt.
Speziell für kleine Hände bieten wir einige Modelle mit kleinerem Schaftdurchmesser an (Grizzly, Little Bär, Rafting, Trophy, Economy).
Die Hände können so den Schaft leichter und sicherer umschließen.
Fiberglass shafts provide excellent flexibility and have a warmer touch than aluminium shafts. Thus movements go easy on muscles and joints and the paddler doesn’t tire as fast. Varying according to use, different classifications of weight and strength are used to reach the optimum for each paddle model. The surface of our fiberglass shafts is sanded and the grip area is oval-shaped. This provides a safe grip in all situations.
The super light shaft has been specially developed for touring and long distance paddlers. A carefully selected carbon weave combined with a special resin mix provides the basis for a very flexible and energy efficient shaft to project on your muscles and joints on long tours, it is also ovalised the for better grip.
Carbon shafts are stiffer and transfer power faster and more directly than any other materials, which enables the paddler to make significantly more precise paddle strokes. But the greatest advantage is their low weight.
Therefore carbon shafts are used in high quality whitewater, touring and competition paddles. To provide a safe grip in all situations, they come with a sanded surface and an ovalshaped grip area.
Kober is one of the pioneers in building paddles with ergonomic shafts. Since the 80´s of the last century kober has been building "ERGO"-shafts of carbon, also aluminum at times. These have been improved steadily.
ADVANTAGES OF KOBER’S ERGO PADDLE SHAFTS:
- Kober Ergo-Shafts always provide the ergonomically correct position for relaxed paddling.
- The ovalized grip area provides safe grip even in rough waters and when rolling.
- Due to adjustments to the biomechanics of arm and shoulder joints, with minimal movement of the wrist maximal transmission of power will be achieved. Ligaments, tendons and muscles will not be strained.
- The ergonomic bend causes a pleasant and secure position of the hand, and the optimal angle of the hand ensures the protection of the musculoskeletal system. No clenching of the safely closed hands during paddling.
- No cramping muscles even on long distances. Even with paddlers who already had aching joints in hand, elbow (tennis elbow) or shoulder, Kober’s Ergo-Shaft gave relief.
- During the stroke the ideal position of the blade is automatically adjusted. Little holding force is necessary.
The grip point is positioned on the center line of the shaft, like at a straight shaft.
The grip position however is ergonomically designed. Advantage: The horizontally held paddle doesn’t tilt by its own weight. It stays in the optimal position even with a slightly opened hand. At back strokes the paddle reacts “neutral“ like with a straight shaft.
The blade keeps its track and doesn’t have to be stabilized with force. Changing between different paddles with straight and neutral Ergo-Shaft needs just a short time of getting used to.
If you want to have a Ergo-paddle which is set ahead we can recommend the whitewater paddle Rebell EFC.
Canoe paddle handles
Adapted to the hand’s shape.
Provides exact control of the paddle and makes manoeuvring easier. Preferred in swift waters.
Models: Stand Up, Leader, Pioneer, Contra, Little Bär, Traveller, Dragon Training
Provides a very good grip to the hand, enables precise manoeuvring, particularly in WW and competition.
Models: Rocket, Explorer, Adventure, Soca
A wooden T-grip for paddles with a 30 mm diameter shaft. Oval 0.
Models: S-Power, Ranger
A light weight carbon T-grip for advanced paddlers and slalom paddlers.
In general a one piece paddle is more stable, less vulnerable and lighter. It can also be paddled more efficiently. Split systems in the shaft are sensitive, wear out and faster and need more care. Thus the decision in favour of a split paddle needs to be wellconsidered.
• Small packing-size for transport
• Adjustable length (depends on model) for use with different paddlers or boats
• Adjustable feather angle (depends on model) for different wind conditions
• Careful use
• Take apart after paddling and clean from sand, salt and dirt with fresh water
• Point loads, rolling with ground contact, impact with the boat on jumps/waterfalls and poorly designed bridges can lead to breakage.
• Never put loads on the split system
• Lock completely before use
• Protect the split system with foam tubes during transport in the boat
Materials | Construction
For aluminium shafts. Works like tent poles and is locked by a spring button. 60° right and left feathered.
For fiberglass and carbon shafts. Internal fiberglass tube locks with a spring button. 60° right and left feathered.
The shaft can be extended by about 10 cm, the feather can be set variably at any angle. High quality aluminium clamping system.
The split is also possible for whitewater paddles, but it should only be extended up to 6cm and not used in heavier whitewater (>WW3).
The shaft can be extended by about 10 cm, the feather can be set variably at any angle. High quality plastic clamping system.