Selected by SUP Examiner as the 2014 Gear of the Year, the V Drive from Quickblade Paddles is one of the most innovative paddle designs currently on the market. The unique blade, jointly developed by Quickblade founder Jim Terrell and renowned waterman Dave Kalama, was the result of a lengthy research and development period and marked the first true evolution in the design of SUP paddles.
The all carbon blade of the Quickblade V Drive is readily distinguished from all other paddles currently on the market. The paddle’s name is derived from the pronounced “V” on the rear surface of the paddle’s blade. The “V” is formed by a pair of dihedral edges which channel water as the paddle is pulled during the power phase of your stroke.
The V Drive employs a slight curve on the tip of the blade. The length of the curve is roughly the same as the section of the blade which flattens out on the Quickblade Kanaha. The curve angles rearward and positions the blade to make a cleaner catch. A similar design feature can be found on some outrigger canoe paddles.
Lastly, the “V” forms a small pocket in the center of the paddle which channels water and eliminates blade cavitation.
Available Blade Sizes
81 sq/in 91 sq/in 101 sq/in
Moving away from the blade and up the paddle’s shaft, Quickblade Paddles has crafted an elegant oval tapered carbon shaft which can be capped by a choice of either a carbon or EVA wrapped ergonomically shaped handle. The handle is smaller than most, if not all, other handles in the industry and fits snuggly into your hand.
Quickblade’s oval shaft firmly locks into place in your lower hand when paddling and mitigates the possibility of the blade being out of alignment when setting up your catch. Quickblade’s oval tapered shaft is stiff, quite possibly the stiffest in the industry. A useful analogy is to think of the suspension on a sports car vs. a sedan to give you an idea of the difference in construction.
In comparison to a conventional SUP paddle which breaks the plane of the water’s surface during the catch phase of your stroke, the Quickblade V Drive pierces like a needle. Quick and responsive, the V Drive delivers a firm and quiet catch which is simply unrivaled in the stand up paddling industry.
The twin dihedrals on the V-Drive allow paddlers to rapidly accelerate and generate more power with greater efficiency than conventional blade designs. You can literally feel the paddle pulling your body forward as you propel your board over the water’s surface during the power phase of your stroke. The use of the twin dihedrals quite literally “drive” water down and away in a solid, fluid manner. Similarly, the blade’s release is quick, clean and efficient enabling paddlers to quickly set up their next stroke. A perfect complement to the strong catch and power phase.
Quickblade’s oval tapered shaft is noticeably stiffer than other top of the line paddles and enables athletes to exert a higher degree of torque on the blade. By employing the tapered shaft, we found it was more comfortable for the bottom hand to grip the paddle as the shaft is slightly slimmer than other paddles on the market and has a more elegantly refined construction.
The V Drive works well in all manner of conditions, but if we had to choose a set where we felt it particularly excelled, race starts and choppy open water would win hands down. The manner in which the V Drive grabs ahold of the water during the catch phase of your stroke is remarkably superior to any other paddle we have tested.
The V Drive is an élite paddle designed for discerning athletes seeking the highest level of performance. It is best suited for SUP racers and surfers who derive a sense of accomplishment and thrill from using the best possible equipment while navigating the most challenging conditions and competitive environments on the water.