Over the last few months we’ve had a fair bit of near gear at Unsponsored HQ lined up for testing. One of the hottest pieces of gear this summer has been the VE Explorer Aircore Pro Carbon Bladed paddles.

VE Explorer Aircore Pro Carbon Paddle

I had two sets of these paddles to test with different blade areas. These can be seen in the lower part of the image with a whitewater set at the top for comparison.

VE Explorer Aircore Pro Carbon Paddle

From VE:

Our Aircore pro carbon blades give you the stiffness and buoyancy of a foam-core blade with the reliability of laminate edges for a longer-lasting, higher performance paddle.

We’ve developed the spine geometries and a manufacturing process that means we can use a hollow spine instead of a foam core, resulting in more reinforcing fibres in the blade and less weight.

Due to the weight saved by this process, our blades typically have 30% more reinforcing fibres than our competitors and we can still produce a lighter, stronger paddle.

By having a hollow core, the extra reinforcing material we use prevents the puncturing problems that are common with foam cored paddles.

We’ve designed our paddles with structural analysis software and they have been tested and approved by some of the World’s best paddlers with outstanding feedback – we’re building super-strong blades which flex in the right places and feel great on the water.

Both sets came supplied with VE’s split joint system making them easier to carry and store. The system also allows adjustment in both length and feather.

VE Explorer Aircore Pro Carbon Paddle

VE Explorer Aircore Pro Carbon Paddle

VE paddles are custom built so you have pretty much what you want in terms of the VE Explorer that means three different blade sizes, carbon or glass straight shaft or a cranked carbon shaft in any feather.

VE paddles are custom made here in the UK. The Explorers are available with either a glass or full carbon blade in three different sizes. You also have a choice of a straight glass or carbon shaft or a even carbon cranked shaft. The number of possible setup combinations is quite astounding.

VE Explorer Aircore Pro Carbon Paddle

A full review along with a trip report will be posted shortly.