Norm-breaking, record-shattering, performance-driven––these are just a few of the factors that Dave Boehne (Infinity) and Chris Freeman (Black Project) consider when designing a new product. So what happens when standup paddling’s top performance board builder and highest-quality paddler maker team up and collaborate? They create a race paddle that is so fast, it can only be named––the FLASH.
As an encore to their successful collaboration in 2019, Black Project and Infinity went back to the drawing board to build an even faster, lighter and smoother paddle. The FLASH meets those goals and more––a premium pro-level race blade that is ideal for paddlers ranging from professional racers to weekend warriors looking for an ultra-light, high-quality paddle.
For more details, Infinity lead-designer Dave Boehne, Infinity athlete and APP World Tour Champion paddler Shae Foudy, and Black Project founder Chris Freeman share some insights about this collaboration and why the FLASH lives up its name.
What inspired this second collaboration between Infinity and BP?
Dave: Our first paddle collaboration (Whiplash) was simply a fun project to do with another cool company. Chris and Black Project are second-to-none in the SUP paddle space, so I was super keen to team up. The response has been excellent and the quality of the paddle speaks for itself––so we thought it only made sense to expand the offering. You can bet this won’t be the last one, either. It’s on!
Chris: Working with Infinity allows us to help a wider and more diverse group of paddlers––a central tenant to our mission statement. We deeply respect the work Infinity has put into their boards and branding, so to have our paddle design flying their colors is a real honor. We look forward to future collaborations.
What was this collaboration process like?
Dave: It’s easy and fun. Black Project has all the pieces there, it’s just about creating a lineup of paddles that fits with our brand and customers. Then bringing in an athlete like Shae Foudy and having her feedback through the process just gives that final stamp of approval. The BP crew make it very easy.
Chris: The team at Infinity are really a pleasure to work with, I love their creativity and that inspires us.
As a World Champion paddler, what paddle characteristics are most important to you?
Shae: It’s important to find a blade that catches the water at the best angle during the beginning of my catch and a shaft that is not too narrow but definitely not too wide for my grip. Those are the two main factors I look for when choosing the perfect paddle and the FLASH checks both of those boxes––and much more.
What does it feel like to paddle the Flash?
Shae: The FLASH Paddle is by far the best paddle I have ever used, whether it’s for professional racing, training, or just going for a casual paddle stroll. Specifically, I love that the blade size is not too wide so you can get a smooth, quick and clean entry and exit from the water. This is especially helpful during sprint racing. You will immediately notice this paddle is giving, flexible, ultra-light and quick to catch the water. Using this blade simply feels seamless and efficient.
What type of paddler is the Flash designed for?
Chris: SUP racers and paddling enthusiasts looking for an efficient, lightweight and fast paddle. The FLASH paddle is based on our race-proven and world championship winning Hydro paddle––which has dominated the race scene over the past two seasons. The FLASH’s DNA is 100% Black Project technology, and then we customized it to suit Infinity’s paddling and branding needs.
Shae: Performance-focused paddlers should choose the FLASH because it has everything you need in a paddle to be #FASTAF. Specifically, the blade shape is great for speed because of its quick catch and release, sleek design, light weight and innovative shaft and blade.
“The Flash Paddle is by far the best paddle I have ever used.” – APP World Tour Champion, Shae Foudy
Talk about the unique technology that makes the Flash a top-tier race paddle.
Chris: The blade features Black Project’s signature scooped dihedral design, which is both easy on the body and generates efficient power. The narrow and compact outline helps to stabilize the stroke and reduce fatigue; while the shallow blade angle promotes a responsive feel with instant acceleration. In fact, this ultra-efficient design has gained an almost cult-like following among high-performance paddlers. Not to mention, the 100% carbon construction is lightweight, responsive and strong.
Dave: What’s cool about the FLASH is the two shaft options with different diameter thickness. Not only are they suited to fit different hand sizes, they also provide two different flex options as well. Standard is more stiff and you receive instant feedback and power, while the Slim has a bit more flex so the stroke turnover is raised to higher RPMs. The blade shape is tall and narrow but has an aggressive dihedral so it grabs like a larger blade power-wise, but is much faster in the turnover and produces a clean release feel at exit.
Explain the shaft and blade options paddlers have to choose from?
The FLASH is available in a Standard diameter––ideal for larger and stronger paddlers––or the slim option which is designed for smaller paddlers and those who prefer more shaft flex. The blades sizes are progressive with the smaller blade providing quicker turnover and the larger blade size providing more power.
- Medium SDS
- Medium SLIM
- Small SDS
- Small SLIM
The Flash Race Paddle available to buy from your local INFINITY retailer or via their website.
Pics: APP / Infinity
Follow: @infinity_sup, @shaefoudy, @chrisk97 and @thebrownblur
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