These aren't THE bent shafts... But they're bent shafts.
Mistral just released a snippet about a new paddle they're designing, but it's not just the usual sales pitch about high quality carbon fibre and precision engineered blades... It's about a bowed shaft.
Well, it is actually about all the carbon and precision what-do-you-call-its. But we've heard all that before. What we're interested is what Mistral team rider Markus Perrevoort had to say about a new paddle that will be unveiled during the Stand Up Paddle Expo in Nürnberg this September.
"The most sensational is the 'bent' bow shaft. We took the concept by integrating canoe racing and stand up paddling to the limit. Unlike the paddles currently available on the market, the 'bend' in the Mistral shaft allows for a total and perfect grip for all five fingers holding the shaft. The bow shaft also provides more efficient paddling due to the fact that the blade of the paddle touches the water closer to the nose of the board. Thanks to the 'bent ' in the bow, the upper hand pressure of the paddler is reduced, allowing the paddler to develop more pressure and ensuring that the body to weight ratio of the paddler is closer to the board. But that's just the beginning; you'll have to wait and see what's unveiled at the SUP Expo in Nürnberg."
Mistral started out as a windsurfing company way back in the sports inception in the 70's. It enjoyed huge success but later died out (as did windsurfing) until they became little known during the 2000's. Now, with another push in windsurfing and the latest waterspout crazy of stand up paddling, Mistral say's they're back.
Could this bent shaft put them back on the map? We'll have to wait and see what they unveil in September.