Author Topic: review of the Ke Nalu (Pono Bill) paddle  (Read 398934 times)

Tom

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review of the Ke Nalu (Pono Bill) paddle
« on: September 27, 2011, 09:33:03 AM »
I have had the privilege of being the first to buy a Ke Nalu (Pono Bill) paddle, and used it yesterday in both flat water and in the surf. Bottom line is it does everything Bill says it will do and I am very please. I took it out in dead calm water on my 14 foot race board and it seemed very fast. My GPSs batteries went dead after about 5 minutes, but Id guess I paddled about 2+ miles at a fairly brisk pace. I seemed less fatigued than I would have been with my other paddle.

I then took it out for about an hour in some waist to shoulder high wind swell and it worked very good. I have to adjust to a narrower shaft and a different type handle, but all and all, it really seems great.

K1SUP

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Re: review of the Ke Nalu (Pono Bill) paddle
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2011, 01:46:00 PM »
Jealous.  I want one:)

Caribsurf

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Re: review of the Ke Nalu (Pono Bill) paddle
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2011, 07:03:29 PM »
Bill lent me his paddle for a demo for about a mile or two during the CApe Cod Bay Challenge and I was really impressed.  Felt great from first grip and it felt lighter and more comfortable than my KialoaToro, which I love by the way.

I think he is on to something

 
Hobie Raw 8'10"
Jimmy Lewis Kwad 8'7"
Imagine Snap 8'10"
Coreban Performer 9'3"
Coreban Rocket 10'6"
Hobie 14' race board

Tom

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Re: review of the Ke Nalu (Pono Bill) paddle
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2011, 07:20:07 PM »
I've had it out for the past two days for some surf sessions. Don't know if its all the paddle, but I'm sure catching a lot of waves. Today was pretty special.

stoneaxe

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Re: review of the Ke Nalu (Pono Bill) paddle
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2011, 08:26:10 AM »
My bias goes beyond being Bill's bro, I'll be selling them here on the east coast, but I was blown away when I got to use the prototype. It's pretty surprising how much different it feels. So light and paddles so smooth it seems weird at first. I realized after that i had actually picked up my stroke count without even thinking about it. It just makes paddling easier, and the higher cadence just happens. The real shock comes when you switch back to what you were using. I can't wait to get the first shipment.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2011, 08:31:44 AM by stoneaxe »
Bob

8-4 Vec, 9-0 SouthCounty, 9-8 Starboard, 10-4 Foote Triton, 10-6 C4, 12-6 Starboard, 14-0 Vec (babysitting the 18-0 Speedboard) Ke Nalu Molokai, Ke Nalu Maliko, Ke Nalu Wiki Ke Nalu Konihi

linter

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Re: review of the Ke Nalu (Pono Bill) paddle
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2011, 09:07:48 AM »
when you want me to write a story about it, i'll tell you where to send the paddle  ;D ;D ;D!

PonoBill

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Re: review of the Ke Nalu (Pono Bill) paddle
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2011, 09:32:08 AM »
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.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2011, 09:45:17 AM by PonoBill »
Ponohouse is for sale: http://www.ponohouse.com
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

Henrik F

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Re: review of the Ke Nalu (Pono Bill) paddle
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2011, 01:28:56 PM »
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.

Who's going to sell your paddles in Sweden? They seem to be VERY interesting. (Looked at the 18 minute film) I really want to know, please!

Henrik F
crosswater.se

DavidJohn

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Re: review of the Ke Nalu (Pono Bill) paddle
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2011, 01:33:52 PM »
We need some pictures posted of the new PonoPaddle and bag..  :)

DJ
« Last Edit: September 29, 2011, 01:39:07 PM by DavidJohn »

Boludo

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Re: review of the Ke Nalu (Pono Bill) paddle
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2011, 04:30:14 PM »
So i've got one question about that paddle.  It seems that narrower shaft wouldn't be as comfortable.  Kind of like bench pressing or doing exercises with standard bars as opposed to olympic.  Same thing if I were doing lat pullups on a narrow bar as opposed to a larger diameter one.  I'd prefer the larger diameter one so that the stress is over a larger part of my hand/fingers.  I guess a solution to that is adding tennis grip or tape to it but I don't like to do that.  What's your experience with the comfort of the narrower shaft (oh boy, that just didn't come out right) :D

Tom

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Re: review of the Ke Nalu (Pono Bill) paddle
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2011, 04:49:56 PM »
I got use to the narrower shaft pretty quickly. I was in the water for quite a while yesterday, which was day 3 with the new paddle, and I didn't really notice the narrower paddle. I'm sure narrower is stronger because you get a tighter weave, more fibers per square inch for the same weight.

I really can't compare this paddle to my other paddle which is a Werner Carve. The Carve is very a different paddle from most other 'conventional' paddles. I really liked the Werner, but not as much as my new Ke Nalu.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2011, 05:24:58 PM by Tom »

stoneaxe

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Re: review of the Ke Nalu (Pono Bill) paddle
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2011, 04:57:59 PM »
I only paddled with it for 15 mins or so, so take what I say with that in mind. One of the first things you notice is how slender the shaft is...wasn't sure I liked it when I first started paddling. After paddling a few minutes though it felt good. Then when we switched back my paddle felt too thick....that went away too though so the difference isn't something you can't adapt to....at least for me...and i have big hands.
Bob

8-4 Vec, 9-0 SouthCounty, 9-8 Starboard, 10-4 Foote Triton, 10-6 C4, 12-6 Starboard, 14-0 Vec (babysitting the 18-0 Speedboard) Ke Nalu Molokai, Ke Nalu Maliko, Ke Nalu Wiki Ke Nalu Konihi

spookini

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Re: review of the Ke Nalu (Pono Bill) paddle
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2011, 05:23:21 PM »
Big hands, slender shaft?   :D
-- My doctor says I suffer from low kook --
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PonoBill

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Re: review of the Ke Nalu (Pono Bill) paddle
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2011, 06:12:58 PM »
Okay, whose gonna post the appropriate lewd picture.

the shaft is a pretty odd thing, so far everyone likes it a lot. It's quite a bit smaller diameter than normal, but I think that because you don't have to grip the shaft to control the blade, it doesn't matter. You can paddle with very open hands because there's no wobble, and everyone seems to adapt to that really quickly.
Ponohouse is for sale: http://www.ponohouse.com
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

stoneaxe

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Re: review of the Ke Nalu (Pono Bill) paddle
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2011, 08:10:52 PM »
 :o ;D
Bob

8-4 Vec, 9-0 SouthCounty, 9-8 Starboard, 10-4 Foote Triton, 10-6 C4, 12-6 Starboard, 14-0 Vec (babysitting the 18-0 Speedboard) Ke Nalu Molokai, Ke Nalu Maliko, Ke Nalu Wiki Ke Nalu Konihi

 


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