(Quick Note: Sorry about the audio. We’re investing in better sound equipment. Turn up the volume.)
We had an impressive demonstration of the new Hala Gear ICT, the inflatable standup paddle board to incorporate Inflatable Composite Technology (ICT). ICT is a high-modulus carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic stringer married to the the PVC inflatable SUP material with the use of proprietary polymers.
That’s a lot to take in, but basically it’s a carbon-fiber reinforced flat plastic sheet that is incorporated into the bottom of the board as part of its structure. It rolls up like a matt, then rolls out straight and becomes rigid when inflated. The sandwich concept increases the stiffness by 200%.
The technology is in getting the materials and getting them to play well together. That is the brainchild of our Thomas SUP Edison and friend Dirk Steinhour of inflatablecomposites.com who is also the inventor of the Leverlock Adjustable Shaft licensed for use by Kialoa Paddles. Dirk was one of original partners at AT kayak paddles.
ICT is being used by Hala, but can also be licensed by other inflatable companies in the future. Hala is leading the way by incorporating it into their boards.
It was really difficult to measure the stiffness of the prototype board by jumping up and down on it. While hardly scientific on our part, it did seem stiff. I’m sure there are better tensile strength methodologies.
It rolls up in the same size and volume as a normal board, perhaps unrolls more quickly “spring loaded.”
An interesting and more tangible effect is when you get to the tail, it
Another effect may be to retain the rocker in surf and downwinder, preventing the nose from getting sucked down when you accelerate down the face of a wave.
The reduced cycles of rise and fall caused by the motion of paddling, causing a flatter waterline and smoother, more efficient and faster ride.