[EDITOR’S NOTE: We are excited to work with SUP Think Tank and bring info about their innovative products for paddlers to you. Trevor Wessman Lavelle sent us this press release that details a bit about their manufacturing process. Yes, you’re still on a paddle site. No, you haven’t wandered onto the golf channel!]
“Golf Digest and the National Hole In One Association estimate that a tee shot hit by an amateur golfer on a par-3 goes into the hole one out of every 12,750 times.”
Odds. Sometimes they’re in our favor. At other times, they’re stacked up against us like a 6-year old’s impenetrable Lego wall. When you’re in the business of making things and making them well, odds become measurements of wild success or absolute failure, and are taken very seriously by the manufacturer. A near-obsessive approach to achieve product performance perfection (say that 3 times fast) keeps the odds of failure to a bare minimum.
SUP Think Tank, makers of the innovative LiftSUP board handle and ConnexSUP deck plug system, lives by its mantra: “We paddle. We listen. We design.” They spend time on the water. They want their stuff to work as much as the next paddler. It sounds selfish but it’s also the simplest, most direct basis for getting something right. After using their own paddle experience, along with input from the broader paddle community, the SUP Think Tank crew hits the lab to computer design and bench test their parts. Prototypes using 3D printing technology are then built, poked, prodded and ridiculed by the STT team, their manufacturing partners, industry insiders and some closely guarded SUP enthusiast test subjects. After the 3D printed versions are fully vetted, the mold (or tool) is commissioned for building with a local Southern California mold maker. Testing and fine tuning continues on the 3D parts.
Once the mold is built the first batch of parts are made and the testing and vetting process continues. The production parts are then sent out to a third party destructive test lab for strength testing (Oh, by the way, this testing is repeated randomly throughout the production cycles of thousands of production parts). The test results for SUP Think Tank’s patented LiftSUP handle are always in excess of 850lbs for tensile (pull) strength and 450lbs for shear (sideways pulling/pushing) forces. The ConnexSUP standard tie down has pull strength in excess of 490lbs and the threaded insert tested at 997lbs. That said you’re more likely to drop the proverbial “egg” on a 9-hole par 3 than experience a SUP Think Tank part failure.
**Note: all of these tests are for SUP Think Tank parts only and do not take into consideration the variety of board construction materials, techniques and quality.
While standard in other industries like aerospace and automotive, destructive testing isn’t so commonplace in the water sports equipment realm. For the team at SUP Think Tank, that extra level of consideration ensures the best design and construction of SUP-specific parts that provide the end user the confidence to put their products to the ultimate and final test: their own SUP experience. For more information on SUP Think Tank products and how they’re made, visit their website at www.supthinktank.com. If your board doesn’t have the LiftSUP handle or ConnexSUP deck plug system, they can be easily installed by an experienced SUP shaper or board repair shop.