Finally, after eleven months of tooling, Backwater Paddle Company’s newest paddle, the Assault Hand Paddle, is ready for manufacturing. The final mold inspection was recently performed. A couple of dozen sample paddles were made. The mold tooling project was signed off and paid in full.
We are just waiting on some small particulars from the manufacturing end. We expect to have paddles available in a couple of weeks.
The Assault Hand Paddle project was beset with problems from the beginning. Backwater Paddle originally entertained the idea of manufacturing the paddles overseas. The overseas contact we had abandoned the project in mid stream, leaving us stranded. We spun our wheels for four months with nothing to show for it. NO, there was no money invested or lost with the overseas exploration. After very little thought, we decided the overseas venture was not the way to go. Stay at home!!
Having explored the stateside tooling and plastic manufacturers, we opted for a company in Valdosta, Georgia. Peliton Plastics took on the project. However, they were extremely busy and subbed our project out to one of their affiliates up in Kentucky, for the same quoted price.
The project was more than the Kentucky company could handle. They had to upgrade their CAD system, their memory, their tools, etc, etc. All this created delays, massive, mind blowing delays!
To make a long story short, we finally got our mold after eleven months. Did I tell you that the mold was supposed to take only four months to make? With so many problems, delays…all we could do was laugh about our predicament. All we could really do was…hurry up, and wait!!
Another main concern was flotation of the plastic Assault Hand Paddles. We were not sure if the paddles would float on their own. The manufacturers felt “pretty sure,” but not certain. As soon as we got our first sample…it floated perfectly!!
You cannot believe how complicated the mold tooling and pressure injection systems are. The molds are not some simple, two sided, diametrically opposed plates, clamped together and plastic poured in a hole! Unclamp and viola, a paddle!! Not even my friends!!
The Assault Hand Paddle mold weighs about 500 pounds, a quarter ton of steel! It has two steel milled plates with the paddle design. Two massive steel plates that hold all the mechanical parts and ejection pins, are all bolted together. A forklift moves the mold from shop to machine.
Even a water cooling system is piped into the mold. The above photo shows the water lines connected into the side of the mold. Some 250 tons of pressure is generated to hold the mold closed while 400 degree polypropylene plastic is forced in. Pretty impressive operation when you see it all working.
We have so many potential customers commenting on the uniqueness of the paddle design. Many say it looks like a primitive or medieval weapon! I like that, as a former naval survival instructor! Maybe that is where the concept lies? Maybe some early explorers used an axe like device to bushwhack and double as a defensive weapon?
We searched old archived photos and found a file photo of just such a weapon. Hmmmm….makes you think?
Nevertheless, Backwater Paddle Company hopes to get our new Assault Hand Paddle out to the paddle sports community soon.
As usual…still waiting!! Paddle on my friends!!