SmartStroke's Manufacturing Process
The SmartStroke paddle was created using a three-part design. A significant problem with the industry's currently available, carbon fiber canoe paddles is the inability to repair a damaged paddle. With the SmartStroke three-part, modular design, damaged parts of the paddle can be replaced with ease. The following is a basic overview of how each part was fabricated.
The shaft of the paddle was produced by table rolling a carbon pre-impregnated fabric onto a custom mandrel. Shrink wrap was wound around the part to apply pressure while the part cured in the oven.
The grip tool was milled from a hard-urethane material using a Hurco CNC mill. A foam core of the paddle grip was created by casting an expanding urethane foam into the tool. Then a lay-up process was used to put four layers of fiberglass fabric on top of the foam. Fiberglass was chosen instead of carbon fiber to allow for the use of a GPS system.
The SmartStroke blade was the most complicated of the three parts to make. A paddleboard paddle was used as a plug to create a fiberglass tool. The borrowed paddle was used to create a split line for a fiberglass, two-part composite tool. Similar to the grip process, expanding urethane was poured into the fiberglass tool to create a foam core. The foam core was wrapped with four layers of carbon fiber fabric to create the final part.