SMAO Paddles Swim Paddles by Speedo Usa

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DESIGN DETAILS
DESIGN NAME:
SMAO Paddles

PRIMARY FUNCTION:
Swim Paddles

INSPIRATION:
Utilizing bio-mimicry, the Humpback Whale pectoral fin was part inspiration behind this unique design.

UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
The most innovative paddles to hit the market, loaded with cutting-edge hydrodynamic features for the elite swimmer! SMAO paddle is the answer to the elite sprinter's need to refine the drive-in phase of the stroke, demand an aggressive entry into the water, and reinforce a high elbow catch.

OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
Targeting the elite swimmer who is striving to gain strength and speed in their sprint.

PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
Los Angeles, Development complete October 2013. Product on shelf August 2014

PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
PLUSfoam®. PLUSfoam® is a performance based, 100% recyclable material. It is crafted using various combinations of reclaimed post-consumer material, post -manufacturing scrap and virgin material. Unlike traditional EVA, PLUS compounds are closed-cell, which means they are inherently non-microbial and nonabsorbent. PLUSfoam® out performs EVA in a variety of categories - namely rebound, compression and elongation. PLUS compounds also tend to have better traction in went and dry conditions than the materials they were designed to replace. PLUSfoam® uses less energy to process, is virtually landfill neutral and is endlessly recyclable.

SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
10.8 ounces per paddle, size small

TAGS:
SMAO, Paddles

RESEARCH ABSTRACT:
The design brief for the SMAO paddles required a large size and buoyant material. however, the 1/2 kickboards (that inspired the design) did not move well through the water - they were awkward and cumbersome to swim with. The design team looked to biomimicry to see what elements in nature helped move large bodies through the water elegantly and efficiently. This is how we came to the Humpback whale and the tubercles found on their pectoral fins. These bump-like nodules along the fin edge provide a greater surface area (vs. a smooth edge) for water to pass over. This ultimately helps push more water and give a smooth pulling motion through the water. For the humpack whale, this means they can move quickly and with agility, with relatively small-sized fins, even though they are the largest mammals on earth. For the SMAO paddles, this means the swimmer can move large paddles easily through the water with a smooth and controlled trajectory. Thus, demanding an aggressive water entry and strong pull for the elite freestyle sprinters.

CHALLENGE:
Coming up with paddles that could be large in size while also remaining buoyant was challenging. Swimmers had been cutting kickboards in half and using the halves as paddles. These makeshift paddles were heavy, and difficult to swim with. Our solution? Researching nature for elements that help move large bodies efficiently through the water. The Humpback Whale's pectoral fin is lined with tubercles: nodules that provide a greater surface area for water to pass over. We implemented tubercles onto these paddles.

ADDED DATE:
2015-03-27 22:05:40

TEAM MEMBERS (8) :
I.D. Workshop: , Don Reardon , Damon Clegg , , Speedo: , Kathleen Davis, Craig Stiff and Barry McGeough

IMAGE CREDITS:
Speedo USA Marketing

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NOMINATION DETAILS

Smao Paddles Swim Paddles by Speedo Usa is a Nominee in Sports, Entertainment and Recreation Equipment Design Category.

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AWARD DETAILS

Smao Paddles Swim Paddles by Speedo Usa is Winner in Sports, Entertainment and Recreation Equipment Design Category, 2014 - 2015.



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