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Paderson Shafts: Entering the market ‘with a sledgehammer’

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Paderson Shafts has stepped out from “behind the beaded curtain,” in the words of CEO Jason Horodezky. The company has shifted its focus from OEM contract manufacturing to private label manufacturing.

Paderson was the company that developed shaft technology for Original ADAMS Golf Tight Lies and Orlimar Trimetal woods, as well as Rapport composites.

The company’s Kinetixx shafts feature breakthrough technology, according to the company, which compelled Paderson to hang a shingle and build a network of dealers, fitters and retail establishments to sells its wares.

Paderson specializes in carbon fiber and high and low modulus FRP Composites, resin matrix formulation and core process technologies.

The company presently offers four driver shafts: Kinetixx IMRT Green, Kinetixx IMRT Blue, Kinetixx VMT Vacuum Cured, Kinetiix IMRT Limited Edition. The Green and Blue shafts are available for woods and hybrids, as well as irons.

I spoke with CEO Jason Horodezky about company history, the shaft market, key technologies and Paderson’s product line.

g7od1l_padd011-min

Tell me about the decision to get into the crowded and competitive shaft space…

It’s a very convoluted and crowded marketplace. It looks a lot like it did in the 90s…between ‘96 and ‘99, except the volume-quantity turnover in the segment isn’t the same. There aren’t as many home builders as there were. We’ve been in the game the longest of almost anybody. We’ve been behind the beaded curtain. So we’re not new: we’re new to the consumer.

We’ve made a few significant breakthroughs, and we decided it was time to make our brand known, because we’ve been doing it for other people for so long.

We were the power behind two brands: a company called Rapport Composites, and they then spunoff into a company called Swing Science. So we’re coming into the market with a sledge hammer.

Why come out from behind the “beaded curtain” now?

The industry is stagnant in a lot of areas.

At the end of the day, honesty and integrity coupled with the transparent technology (the world’s only visible fiber technology)…was conducive to telling the world of golf…our story.

There’s a lot of people who have exploited us for their own gain, but not for ours, so to speak.

What is your take on the shaft market? It’s a convoluted space, as you indicated…

What we have is cutting edge. We have the only array of iron shafts in the world with true, concentric, spineless technology. We tailor it on three orders of measure; very high order of magnitude stuff. The science we use to model our products is extremely noble. Our methods and manufacturing enable us to do a lot of extraordinary things that other have tried and failed miserably and continuously with.

For instance, you hear people talk about xylon and liquid crystal polymers. It has a very high density and no modulus, therefore they don’t get the order of magnitude and the effect, and this becomes a very heavy weighted composite.

So from our perspective, we’re actually tailoring it to tension, damping, high-order resonance with impedance (and recovery in the shaft), and that’s on the merits of our wound platform, which is unlike any other in the world.

vawpw2_padd044-min

Tell me more about Paderson’s key technologies.

We had in excess of 50 permutations when we started in our R&D room. We reduced the lineup to be tailored to the commercial exploit. So, we have three construction platforms, and those get reduced per category segment.

Unlike any other shaft company, we provide three different constructions, because there isn’t a one-size-fits-all golf shaft. One of our three shafts will fit everybody. In essence, how you make something will determine what materials you use. Construction is the confluence of craftsmanship and materials. That’s why we’ve put into practice a couple of different materials no one else has.

Our flagship is that we’ve patented processes for wound technology. We’re the foremost leader in tension fiber structures: structural architecture that you can see. Think of a tennis racket with a pre-tension net head. You can see and feel the tension in our shafts. We have a pre-loaded shaft. It’s pre-loaded to respond to a golfer’s swing, and it’s visible in two of our three shafts.

Fitted with our shafts, golfers will see ball speed increase. When they start searching for things that are spin related and launch, it gets to be a different golfer speak phenomenon. Our shafts are designed to [increase speed].

Wound technology is the baseline of what we do. It’s because of wound technology that we have our vacuum curing system, and that benefits our laminated, cable-rolled structures.

And we’re transparent. We’re not making claims and hiding things under paint. You can see everything that we’re made of: visible technology.

Tell me about Paderson’s shaft offerings.

Each of our constructions separates themselves based on who they’re for. Our wound series, the Kevlar Green, fits every golfer. Our green table rolled vacuum cured amorphous is very similar, but it’s more tailored to someone who is flat/positive attack angle and is looking for a lighter weight alternative.

Our Kevlar Blue is tailored around someone who is smooth in transition but has a negative to flat attack angle. We’ve tailored all of the product line around a golfer’s swing and particularly arc and speed. So the length of someone’s arc and where they’re fastest: that’s the fitting paradigm from which we tailored our product.

So again, our Kevlar Green is capable of fitting all golfers, but golfers who may be looking for a lighter weight alternative would benefit from our table rolled component.

The wound series is available through the bag. There’s nothing that outperforms it; that’s why we reduced our line. We have three constructions in driver, two in fairways, and the reason for that is performance.

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Going forward, are you more focused on relationships with OEMs? A tour presence? Appealing to clubmakers?

Our focus is on getting to the end user in the most efficient manner possible. And there are two forms of growth in the industry right now. You’ve got new retail, which is like the PGA Superstore. And then you’ve got the bespoken category.

We’re building that relationship with the dealer networks—they’re critical. But we really just want to get to the end consumer with the best technology and price relationship. Our paradigm there is incomparable. We have the world’s only polymer shaft, but we don’t charge $1000 for our shafts. Our shaft is the most expensive by way of materials and process of any golf shaft in the world. Yet because we are designing and making all organically, we don’t exploit consumer weakness or this “deep pocket opportunity.” That’s not our objective. We present unique, technical value propositions.

That all relates to where we go into the market. Some of the bespoken guys want the $500 shaft opportunity or a make-up program. There’s no real reason for a shaft to be $300 and installed at $500, but it helps them with their margins.

But consumers love our product. We have a 97 percent success rate in fitting golfers at arm’s length, and in the field it’s 100 percent. We’ll outperform anything that they have in our green grass demo events.

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. BOB

    Sep 11, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    I HAVE LOOKED AT THEIR WEBSITE AND HAVE READ ALL THEIR COMMENTS . I AM WILLING TO TRY ONE OF THEIR SHAFTS AND MAKE MY JUDGEMENT FROM HOW IT PERFORMS FOR ME AND MY CUSTOMERS. I AGREE THAT THERE IS TOO MUCH TECHNICAL JARGON IN THE ARTICLE BRING IT ALL DOWN TO WHERE THE LAYMAN CAN UNDERSTAND ABOUT THE SHAFTS.
    I WILL POST ANOTHER COMMENT AFTER I RECEIVE MY SHAFT AND HAVE TRIED ITS PERFORMANCE FOR MYSELF.

  2. myron miller

    Aug 26, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    From this article, I have no clue if these shafts would work for my game or not. I really didn’t understand the verbiage. Non-standard shaft terminology doesn’t help us end-users. Where’s the kick point? What are the flexes at head, butt, middle?

    According to the website, the torque is not what I’d call low torque by any means. 5.7 to 5.9 is not low torque when lots of shafts are available with 3.5 or even lower. Fujikura has them down to 2.8 and most are 3.5 or less. I thought advanced tech made torque lower not higher.

  3. Allen

    Aug 16, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    I would love to try these, but at almost $90 a shaft for the irons, I am not sure I can justify the money. I cant believe they will give me $90 worth of improvement, or very much improvement.

  4. other paul

    Aug 16, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    Sounds like the steel fiber shafts to me… Aerotech has been around for quite some time.

    • Mac n Cheese

      Aug 26, 2015 at 9:58 am

      If they actually found a way to create a shaft out of woven steel fibers, it could be a potential game changer considered steel fibers would have a stronger resistance to twisting upon impact. Especially if they drop the weight over traditional steel shafts.

  5. KK

    Aug 16, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    Some of the tech sounds great, some of the phrasing seems a bit too much like meaningless rhetoric; e.g. the virtues of showing the carbon structure underneath vs painting over it. It’s like saying your car is better because the hood is made of glass and you can see the engine vs other car companies who don’t have glass hoods.

    • Mac n Cheese

      Aug 26, 2015 at 10:04 am

      The theory is more in line with carbon fiber hoods vs. traditional hoods. Basically with carbon fiber you don’t have to paint over it, and some people like the look of just carbon fiber in general over painted. Also by having some carbon fiber visible it shows that the product is actual carbon fiber instead of taking their word for it. Really the paint scheme or lack there of is an aesthetic marketing campaign to make their shafts look cooler. Which they do. I want green shafts! lol

  6. Mo

    Aug 15, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Some independent reviews would mean a lot.

  7. Tom Duckworth

    Aug 15, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    I must admit he doesn’t talk like a sales department guy. He’s deeply into the construction of his shafts. I found that refreshing.

  8. Tom Duckworth

    Aug 15, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    Very cool reminds me of Eminence Speaker Co. they made speakers for all kinds of guitar amps and PA systems for other people. One of the largest speaker makers in the world. Now they make them under their own name some of the best on the market. It can only be a good thing for Paderson to enter the marketplace. It will be interesting to see how they do.

  9. Matthew

    Aug 15, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Gotta echo Mark. Less infomercial and more substance.

    • Mac n Cheese

      Aug 26, 2015 at 10:06 am

      Yes, but they found a new method of doing so, as the article pointed out.

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Mondays Off

Mondays Off: Golf Hall of Fame resumes—what does it take?

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We are back from last week, and Knudson is finally a father! Steve asks what it takes to get into the Golf Hall of Fame, how much do majors count? Knudson talks about his last round and how much fun he had. Finally, we talk about the Rory and Keopka beef that is starting to play out.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

Want more GolfWRX Radio? Check out our other shows (and the full archives for this show) below. 

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Opinion & Analysis

The Wedge Guy: Getting more out of your wedges

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When I started SCOR Golf in 2011 and completely re-engineered the short end of the set, I took on “the establishment” and referred to our line of clubs not as “wedges” but as “scoring clubs”—I felt like the term “wedge” had become over-applied to clubs that really weren’t. While I’ve tempered my “respectful irreverence” a bit since then, I still think we are shackled by the terms applied to those high-loft clubs at the short end of our sets.

Think about this for a moment.

It all started with the invention of the sand wedge back in the late 1930s. This invention is generally credited to Gene Sarazen, who famously had metal welded onto the bottom of a niblick to give it bounce, and introduced the basic “explosion” sand shot. Over the next few decades, the sand wedge “matured” to a loft of 55-56 degrees and was a go-to staple in any serious golfer’s bag. In his 1949 book, “Power Golf”, Ben Hogan described the sand wedge as a very versatile tool “for certain shots” around the greens, and listed his maximum distance with a sand wedge as 55 yards.

Even into the 1970s, the pitching wedge was considered the ‘go-to’ club for short recovery shots around the greens. And because the typical pitching wedge was 50-52 degrees in loft, it was very versatile for that purpose. I remember that even as a scratch player in the 60s and early 70s, I would go days or weeks without pulling the “sand wedge” out of my bag—we didn’t have bunkers on that little 9-hole course so I didn’t feel like I needed one very often.

Fast forward into the 1980s and 1990s, people were hitting sand wedges from everywhere and the wedge makers began to add “lob wedges” in the 60-degree range and then “gap wedges” of 48 degrees or so to fill in for the evolutional strengthening of iron lofts to a point where the set match pitching wedge (or P-club as I call it) was 44-45 degrees typically. Along the way, the designation “G”, “S”, “L” and “P” were dropped and almost all wedges carried the actual loft number of the club. I think this was a positive development, but it seems we cannot get away from the pigeon-holing our wedges into “pitching”, “gap”, “sand” and “lob” nomenclature.

So that history lesson was a set-up for suggesting that you look at all your wedges as just “wedges” with no further limitations as to their use. I think that will free you up to use your creativity with each club to increase your repertoire of shots you have in your bag…more arrows in your quiver, so to speak.

For example, long bunker shots are much easier if you open the face of your 50- 54-degree wedge so you don’t have to swing as hard to get the ball to fly further. You’ll still get plenty of spin, but your results will become much more consistent. Likewise, that super-short delicate bunker shot can be hit more easily with your higher lofted wedge of 58-60 degrees.

When you get out further, and are facing mid-range shots of 40-75 yards, don’t automatically reach for your “sand wedge” out of habit, but think about the trajectory and spin needs for that shot. Very often a softened swing with your “gap” wedge will deliver much more consistent results. You’ll reduce the likelihood of making contact high on the face and coming up short, and you can even open the face a bit to impart additional spin if you need it.

Around the greens, your lower-lofted wedges will allow you to achieve more balance between carry and roll, as almost all instructors encourage you to get the ball on the ground more quickly to improve greenside scoring. For the vast majority of recreational/weekend golfers, simply changing clubs is a lot easier than trying to manipulate technique to hit low shots with clubs designed to hit the ball high.

Finally, on any shots into the wind, you are almost always better off “lofting down” and swinging easier to help make more solid contact and reduce spin that will cause the ball to up-shoot and come up short. Too often I watch my friends try to hit hard full wedge shots into our all-too-common 12-20 mph winds and continually come up short. My preference is to loft down even as much as two clubs, grip down a bit and swing much more easily, which ensures a lower trajectory with less spin…and much more consistent outcomes. It is not uncommon for me to choose a 45-degree wedge for a shot as short as 75-80 yards into a breeze, when my stock distance for that club is about 115. I get consistently positive results doing that.

So, if you can wean yourself from referring to your wedges by their names and zero in on what each can do because of their numbers, you will expand your arsenal of shots you can call on when you are in prime scoring range and hit it close to the flag much more often. And that’s really the goal, isn’t it?

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Opinion & Analysis

Autumn golf is the best golf

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For many, golf euphoria occurs the second weekend of April when the flowers start to bloom, courses begin to open, and the biggest tournament of the year is on television. But I believe the absolute best season for golf is the fall.

Let me explain.

SPRING

Spring is the season of hope and rebirth, and for most golfers, it’s the first opportunity to break out new clubs or take the game you’ve been working on all winter to the course for the first time in many months. Depending on where you are in North America or around the world, golf courses are just opening up and the ground is drying out from a winter filled with snow and ice.

Yes, spring is fantastic, you can shrug off the occasional mud ball since it’s probably your first round in four months and you’re willing to cut “the super” some slack for the slow greens, because you’re just happy to be out on terra firma chasing around a little white ball. Your game is rusty. Courses aren’t quite there yet, but it’s golf outside, and you couldn’t be happier.

SUMMER

The dog days. This time of year is when golf courses are the most busy thanks to the beautiful weather. But high temperatures and humidity can be a real deal-breaker, especially for walkers—throw in the weekly possibility for afternoon “out of the blue” thunderstorms, and now you’re sweating and drenched.

Unless you are a diehard and prefer the dew-sweeping pre-7 a.m. tee time when the sun breaks on the horizon, rounds tend to get longer in the summer as courses get busier. And you’ll often find more corporate outings and casual fairweather golfers out for an afternoon of fun—not a bad thing for the game, but not great for pace of play. Summer makes for fantastic course conditions, and with the sun not setting until after 9 p.m. for almost two months, the after-dinner 9 holes are a treat and you take them while you can.

FALL

As much I love nine holes after dinner with eight clubs in a Sunday bag and a few adult beverages in June, nothing compares to the perfect fall day for golf.

The sun’s orbit, paired with Mother Nature, allows you to stay in your warm bed just that little extra, since you can’t play golf when it’s still dark at 6:30 a.m. The warm, but not too warm, temperatures allow you to pull out your favorite classic cotton golf shirts without fear of the uncomfortable sweaty pits. We can’t forget that it’s also the season for every golfer’s favorite piece of apparel: the quarter zip  (#1/4zipSZN).

Courses in the fall are often in the best shape (or at least they should be), since player traffic and corporate tournaments are done for the season. As long as warm afternoons are still the norm, firm and fast conditions can be expected.

Last but not least, the colors—reds, oranges, and yellows—frame the green fairways and dark sand to make them pop in the landscape. Fall is the final chance to get in those last few rounds and create happy thoughts and mental images before the clubs go away for the inevitably cold, dark days of winter.

Fall is meant for golf! So take pictures, smell the smells, and make great swings, because golf season is quickly coming to a close, and now is the time to savor each moment on the course.

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