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Glad to hear you like the paddle Tom. I've had quite a few well known paddlers try it while we're down here in Dana Point, both in race length and surfing. All of them are sponsored by other paddle companies, so I can't name or quote them, but they all liked it a lot. So far we've had two criticisms--one guy didn't like the "sharkskin" effect of the handle. Most people really like it--the shaft surface has a uni-directional roughness that lets your hand slide down into stroke position, but resists sliding upwards. Most folks love it, but one person didn't. So I took some 200 grit sandpaper and tried just smoothing it a bit. Pretty cool, you can tune it for exactly how much bite you want, and even make areas of slide/bite, so that critique turned out to be very helpful. The other criticism was that the upper glue joint for the handle was rough and irritated one paddler's palm. We were going to shrink-wrap that joint but I like how perfectly clean it looks, so I haven't been doing it. I guess we'll provide shrinkwrap in case someone wants it. That's it. People have been describing the catch as "Solid, aggressive, powerful, and positive". All good words. And they call the stroke "smooth, quiet, weirdly steady". I tell people to try pulling harder since the paddle is actually smoother with a hard stroke. They all find that pretty shocking. Honestly, I'm surprised at how well this paddle works. Every time I take it out it's a revelation. I especially like how it surfs. Pretty much one pull and I'm in most waves, but when I need a few strokes the plant is so reliable and strong that I can up the cadence and make about anything. It's so steady when I lean back on it that even my weak cutbacks are feeling pretty tasty. I've had to get used to how it works on balance sweeps though, the back of the blade makes a lot of lift, so a hard swing makes the paddle skim over the water. I needed to learn to slow it down, but it gives a huge amount of stabilization force even when it's hardly moving. I just heard this morning that the first shipment will arrive in Hood River when we get back--140 paddles, mostly 8.5" but we'll have a few 8" and 9". As soon as I get the ecommerce element of Ke Nalu tested we'll be ready to take orders. Probably about a week. Those of you that have PM'ed me reserving a paddle, I got your messages, you're on the list. I'll make sure you get them. The retail price is 375, but naturally we have a deal for zoners and Ke Nalu members. Your choice of either $350 or a new Ke Nalu paddle bag ($65 retail). Like everything we're doing, the bag is a substantial improvement over what's currently available. For one thing it will fit any paddle up to 96". It holds two paddles with a blade separator to avoid scratching, and it's got a gusseted compartment to hold your leash, GPS, and other stuff and a bungee for towel, rashguards, etc.. Available in Red, white or Blue. I need to figure out exactly how to handle the discount and/or free bag in the shopping cart system, but the coupon code will be ZONER.