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Opinion & Analysis

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.

8e9qhv_padd032-min

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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Podcasts

The Gear Dive: TrackMan’s Tour Operations Manager Lance Vinson Part 1 of 2

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In this episode of The Gear Dive brought to you by Titleist, Johnny chats with TrackMans Lance Vinson on an all things TrackMan and its presence on Tour. It’s such a deep dive that they needed two shows to cover it all.

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

An open letter to golf

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Dear golf,

I know it has been some time since we last spoke, but I need you to know I miss you, and I can’t wait to see you again.

It was just a few months ago I walked crowded isles, stood shoulder to shoulder, and talked endlessly with likeminded individuals about you and your promising future in 2020 at the PGA Show. At that time, the biggest concern in my life was whether I had packed the perfect dress-to-casual pant ratio and enough polos to get through the mayhem of six days in Orlando. Oh, how the times have changed.

On a professional level, what started with the LPGA Tour a few weeks prior progressed quickly at The Players Championship, when you ground to a complete halt within days. As much as it was a tough decision, it was the right decision, and I admire the judgment made by your leaders. Soon after, outside of the professional ranks followed suit and courses everywhere began shutting doors and asked golfers to keep away.

This is the right decision. For now and for the foreseeable future, as much as I don’t like it, I understand how important it is we let experienced health medical professionals make choices and craft policies for the wellbeing of people everywhere. Although, judging by the indoor short game trickery I have witnessed over the last 10 days, handicaps could be dropping when you finally return.

As a game, you are over 200 years old. You have survived pandemics, wars, depression, drought, and everything else that has been thrown at you. Much like the human spirit, you will continue on thanks to the stories and experiences others passed down and enjoyed.

I know you will survive because I also plan on surviving. As long as there are people willing to tend to your grounds and maintain your existence, I will also exist ready to take on your challenge.

When you are able to return in full, I will be here.

Sincerely,

Ryan Barath (on behalf of golfers everywhere)

 

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Opinion & Analysis

The Wedge Guy: Improving your short iron and wedge impact

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One of my most appreciated aspects of this nearly 40 years in the golf equipment industry is the practically endless stream of “ah ha” moments that I have experienced. One that I want to share with you today will–I hope–give you a similar “ah ha moment” and help you improve your ball striking with your high lofted short irons and wedges.

As I was growing up, we always heard the phrase, “thin to win” anytime we hit an iron shot a little on the skinny side (not a complete skull, mind you). When you caught that short iron or wedge shot a bit thin, it seemed you always got added distance, a lower trajectory and plenty of spin. It was in a testing session back in the early 2000s when this observation met with some prior learning, hence the “ah ha moment” for me.

I was in Fredericksburg, Virginia, testing some wedge prototypes with a fitter there who was one of the first to have a TrackMan to measure shot data. I had hit about two dozen full pitching wedges for him to get a base of data for me to work from. The average distance was 114 yards, with my typical higher ball flight than I like, generating an average of about 7,000 rpms of spin. What I noticed, however, was those few shots that I hit thin were launching noticeably lower, flying further and had considerably more spin. Hmmm.

So, I then started to intentionally try to pick the ball off the turf, my swing thought being to actually try to almost “blade” the shot. As I began to somewhat “perfect” this, I saw trajectories come down to where I’d really like them, distance increased to 118-120 and spin rates actually increased to about 8,000 rpms! I was taking no divot, or just brushing the grass after impact, but producing outstanding spin. On my very best couple of swings, distance with my pitching wedge was 120-122 with almost 10,000 rpms of spin! And a great trajectory.

So, I began to put two and two together, drawing on the lessons about gear effect that I had learned back in the 1980s when working with Joe Powell in the marketing of his awesome persimmon drivers. You all know that gear effect is what makes a heel hit curve/fade back toward the centerline, and a heel hit curves/draws back as well. The “ah ha” moment was realizing that this gear effect also worked vertically, so shots hit that low on the face “had no choice” but to fly lower, and take on more spin.

I had always noticed that tour players’ and better amateurs’ face wear pattern was much lower on the face than that of recreational golfers I had observed, so this helped explain the quality of ball flight and spin these elite players get with their wedges and short irons.

I share this with you because I know we all often misinterpret the snippets of advice we get from friends and other instructional content that is out there. To me, one of the most damaging is “hit down on the ball”. That is a relative truth, of course, but in my observation it has too many golfers attacking the ball with their short irons and wedges with a very steep angle of attack and gouging huge divots. The facts are that if the club is moving only slightly downward at impact, you will get the spin you want, and if the clubhead is moving on a rather shallow path, you will get a more direct blow to the back of the ball, better trajectory, more distance and improved spin. Besides, shallow divots are easier on the hands and joints.

If this is interesting to you, I suggest you go to the range and actually try to blade some wedge shots until you somewhat groove this shallower path through impact and a lower impact point on your clubface. As you learn to do this, you will be able to zero in on the proper impact that produces a very shallow divot, and a great looking shot.

[TIP: If you will focus on the front edge of the ball – the side closest to the target – it will help you achieve this kind of impact.]

It will take some time, but I believe this little “experiment” will give the same kind of “ah ha moment” it gave me.

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