Knock-off paddles

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7 years 9 months ago #21978 by Uncle Frosty
Just wondering how people feel about buying Chinese knock-off paddles. There is a company I have recently become aware of, RPC3.com, that is selling a 100% carbon wing paddles for $240 USD. Makes you wonder about the price of name brand paddles. At the same time, one does not want to support theft of intellectual property.

I hate Walmart for what they do to their employees and suppliers, but it is difficult not to buy groceries there because they are sometimes half the cost of other stores. Seems like this is a similar situation, with arguments on both sides.

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7 years 9 months ago #21980 by MCImes
Replied by MCImes on topic Knock-off paddles
A company rep responded here: www.paddling.net/message/showThread.html?fid=advice&tid=1734796

But didn't really answer any questions directly, so I think its safe to assume its a Chinese clone. Personally, I think I might get one, just because I cant afford $450 for a full carbon epic or werner, but I don't feel great about choosing the cheap knockoff...But don't a couple of the major brands have their paddles made in china anyways? How do they justify $450?

Currently paddling a Kai Wa'a Vega Flex in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10g1, Stellar SRg1, Fenn XTg1, Swordfish S
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"

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7 years 9 months ago #21986 by Kayaker Greg
Replied by Kayaker Greg on topic Knock-off paddles
Yep, most skis and paddles are made in China anyway, same as carbon bikes and parts, which also has knock offs available that can also be bought a whole heap cheaper from China.

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7 years 9 months ago #21987 by Ranga
Replied by Ranga on topic Knock-off paddles
The problem with most people they have no idea what it takes to get a paddle shape and manufacturing process going, this costs money and takes a long time to recoup the costs.

I know because I have been involved in such a process.

Copying is theft! no two ways about it. If the copiers had any intellectual idea why would they not just make their own shapes, production process and constructions? Why? because they have none!

It is also quite amazing that some people can actually justify buying the copies, because it is cheaper and they think they are being ripped off, that seems justification enough. Why don't those that justify it go out and buy a copy Apple phone, or fake Nike running shoes, I can go on... They are much more expensive than the copies, the same justification should hold water, but alas they don't, why? because they don't work properly, have no back up service and last a tenth of the expected life!

What perturbs me most is most of this is driven by the west. A lot of these copy paddles and skis are initiated by people in the west and not the Chinese, yes there are a few that will do it alone but not many. The average Chinese worker has not got the means to do this, they live from hand to mouth.

The last time I looked it was not a Chinese national that came up to me and offered me a copy paddle at half the price!

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  • Ole
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7 years 9 months ago - 7 years 9 months ago #21988 by Ole
Replied by Ole on topic Knock-off paddles
Ranga,

I have a production in China (totally unrelated products) and many companies are trying to copy my products, not just Chinese, but also a lot of "Western" companies.
I could be frustrated or see it as a compliment that I did something really well.
Also, there is a thing called "Intellectual Property" which one can protect in many countries. I spent thousands of dollars to protect my IP and so far could successfully defend my IP even in Asian countries.

Shapes and designs can be protected unless it is prior art!
Last edit: 7 years 9 months ago by Ole.

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7 years 9 months ago #21990 by AR_convert
Replied by AR_convert on topic Knock-off paddles
I would think twice before buying a paddle that hasn't already got a brand name established in the market and a reason to stand behind their product.

I saw a stack of paddles from one particular new brand fail within weeks/months of WA paddlers buying them.

Sure there are some manufacturers who charge through the nose for paddles and there are some who are more value for money, a good rule of thumb is that if you see them sponsoring an event or paddlers they have good reason to look after their customers and one would argue we should also look after them as they support the sport.

Always looking for the next boat :)

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  • Ole
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7 years 9 months ago #21992 by Ole
Replied by Ole on topic Knock-off paddles

AR_convert wrote: ..., a good rule of thumb is that if you see them sponsoring an event or paddlers they have good reason to look after their customers and one would argue we should also look after them as they support the sport.


So from now on we only support the top two companies and ignore small (local) businesses who can't afford to "SPONSOR" races???

Are you serious?

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7 years 9 months ago - 7 years 9 months ago #21994 by AR_convert
Replied by AR_convert on topic Knock-off paddles

Ole wrote:
So from now on we only support the top two companies and ignore small (local) businesses who can't afford to "SPONSOR" races???

Are you serious?


Hold on buddy, "rule of thumb" is general in nature, not a "Blanket rule" which would be hard and fast!

I would suggest a local manufacturer has even more chance of looking after its customers as distinct from a paddle that is sourced through alibaba.

Top two companies? Really?

In our part of the world I see at least 8 manufacturers giving away paddles as prizes and/or supplying them free or at cost to paddlers as a way of sponsorship.

Always looking for the next boat :)
Last edit: 7 years 9 months ago by AR_convert.

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  • Ole
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7 years 9 months ago #21997 by Ole
Replied by Ole on topic Knock-off paddles
Please, don't feel offended, all I am saying is that small genuine companies can't afford to sponsor races/paddles all the time and still offer similar and often even better products (and services!!).

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7 years 9 months ago - 7 years 9 months ago #21999 by AR_convert
Replied by AR_convert on topic Knock-off paddles

Ole wrote: Please, don't feel offended, all I am saying is that small genuine companies can't afford to sponsor races/paddles all the time and still offer similar and often even better products (and services!!).


Cool Banana's B)

The thread was to draw attention to cheap "knock off" paddles, and not in any way meant to cast any aspersions on smaller companies doing in house design and or manufacturing.

Here's an example of paddle manufacturing with no soul and no attachment to the sport (that we know of)www.alibaba.com/product-detail/SEAK-midd...full_1894512726.html

Always looking for the next boat :)
Last edit: 7 years 9 months ago by AR_convert.
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7 years 9 months ago - 7 years 9 months ago #22004 by Kocho
Replied by Kocho on topic Knock-off paddles
I too looked at that particular company RPC3 and, while the lever lock is the same as Epic's, I can't reasonably tell if the rest of the paddle is. Some of the shapes are definitely not Epic. Are they copies of something else or are they original designs? I can't tell from looking at the photos.

The WW paddles on that site do not look touch enough nor are they sized properly for whitewater use, that seems obvious from the photos.

Let's remember that some components may be available off the shelf, such as shafts and lever locks. So they may look the same across brands. Also, while not common, it might be possible for someone to buy old stock and rebrand it (of course, it won't be ethical to hide its origins).

That said, I know nothing other than what was already posted about the RPC company, so can't be a judge. Knock-offs are rip-offs and should be avoided. Are these?

Lastly, a slightly different twist: legitimately produced versions of a product made by two different manufacturers. Such as Think's China-made vs. SA-made skis. Or some sea kayaks made in Poland/Estonia/etc. The point being, that some of these products are made poorly while others are better (based on my personal experience with 2 Think skis made in China for the US market, their quality is well below Epic's, which is also made in China but held to a higher standard apparently; where I read nothing but praise for the Thinks made in SA)...
Last edit: 7 years 9 months ago by Kocho.

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7 years 9 months ago #22009 by Ranga
Replied by Ranga on topic Knock-off paddles
Lever lock off the shelf!, are you kidding! I wonder how much royalties they are paying for the use of the concept?

Likewise the oval molded shaft, I wonder where they came up with that propriety design and engineering to make it?

OLD stock! Last time I looked a company like Epic have not changed their blade shape for a very long time, where would OLD Stock come from and then still be cheaper?

8 paddle manufactures in Aus? I did not know there were that many companies with engineers in Aus that had the ability to design a blade. In fact not sure there are that many worldwide, however scanning machines are relatively common, but the last time I looked they could not replicate nothing!

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7 years 9 months ago - 7 years 9 months ago #22011 by TaffyMick
Replied by TaffyMick on topic Knock-off paddles
Many times a factory will do a run of a product and have different brand stickers attached at the end of the process. Depending what sticker you have will determine the price.

Food stables are classic. Packaging on one side of the line is the more expensive "Brand" packaging while the other line is the cheaper "No Name" generic... same feed hopper...

Have exposure to this professionally and why I take "Brand" marketing with a dose of salt.

Stellar SEI, Fenn Bluefin S, Sladecraft Comet Long Rec & Vajda K1
Last edit: 7 years 9 months ago by TaffyMick.

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7 years 9 months ago #22012 by AR_convert
Replied by AR_convert on topic Knock-off paddles

Ranga wrote: 8 paddle manufactures in Aus? I did not know there were that many companies with engineers in Aus that had the ability to design a blade. In fact not sure there are that many worldwide, however scanning machines are relatively common, but the last time I looked they could not replicate nothing!


I didn't state they were necessarily Aussie manufactured, just that I had seen them given out as prizes, or knew or paddlers being provided them free or at cost as sponsorship.

Upon reflection that may not necessarily be the manufacturer but the importer or retailer providing them.

Not sure how it got to this point but I think it is well known that even the big brands have at some time used designs that have gone before them in producing their own paddles. I am somewhat bemused at the amount of paddles that are almost identical to the Jantex Gamma for instance.

Perhaps the one redeeming thing from the 8 or more, ( 'll give a list below of the ones that come to mind) is at least the ones who may have copied give back to the sport through sponsorship of paddlers or support of events.

Perhaps someone in the know can tell us if any of these are actually made in Australia or just designed here

Epic
Fenn
Carbonology
Brasca
Jantex
Meek
G-power
Gara
Finn
Bennett
Spirit
Mango
Knysna
Max
Zenith Sport Science

Always looking for the next boat :)

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7 years 9 months ago #22014 by TaffyMick
Replied by TaffyMick on topic Knock-off paddles
My Vajda Carbon Speed (Med) blade is a copy of the Jantex Gamma (and much cheaper!).

Mick

Stellar SEI, Fenn Bluefin S, Sladecraft Comet Long Rec & Vajda K1
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7 years 9 months ago #22015 by Ranga
Replied by Ranga on topic Knock-off paddles
I think only 4 names you have listed are original equipment and not copies.

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7 years 9 months ago #22017 by Ric
Replied by Ric on topic Knock-off paddles

TaffyMick wrote: My Vajda Carbon Speed (Med) blade is a copy of the Jantex Gamma (and much cheaper!).


I've been under the impression that almost all blades are copies of blades made many years (decades?) ago.

You can't tell me the many many Lettman blades out there are all individually designed? And my Fenn 4 is a direct knock off (I think; it is very close if not) a Jantex blade - have paddled the 2 back to back. Only difference is the Jantex is lighter.

Or is the Jantex a copy of something else?


That said, if you buy a "cheap knock off" and it breaks, you don't have any comeback. If you buy an expensive name-brand knock off, and it breaks, you might be able to get it replaced.

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7 years 9 months ago - 7 years 9 months ago #22020 by tony h
Replied by tony h on topic Knock-off paddles
each to their own, copies seldom of equivalent quality.........certainly no warranties there

interesting summary of previous forum topic on paddle shapes:

So that really makes only about 5 or 6 semi-original designs:

most fun - nordic (most smooth & predictable stroke) / FES
best boat speed potential - B6 (big blade / not good in confused water)

TEARDROP - front loaded power at expense of stability at end of stroke / easier to maintain high cadence
traditional teardrop- B1 / B4 / set / epic (detuned B4) / brasca 1/2/4 all the same blade / jantex beta
extreme teardrop- B6/7, Vandusen 8 /Jantex Gamma etc
other teardrops- Lettmann Warp / B8 (copy of LW) - elongated & skinny blade

PARALLEL - more linear application of power / behave well thro'out the stroke / easier on body & when tired
traditional parallel blade- Rasmussen (which includes Gut and original Van Dusen Zero) / Jantex alpha
updated parallel- Lettmann Nordic / fenn 1/ B3 / gp3 (one of best - smooth / predictable stroke)

HYBRID blade- Brasca 9 / FES / B5 (clint robinson/ronald rauhe) / Kajner 3 medium / G power watertech
(equal parts teardrop/parallel - 'brascamussen') - feels great, smooth & powerful/ too big for distance

ski's - McGregor C/R // Nelo 560L // Epic: 1st/2nd/3rdG V10/10L/10 sport, V14, V12, V8, V7, double -v10/v8 // Stellar: SES 1G/2G, SEI 2G // Fenn: double, elite SL, swordfish 1G/2G // Carbonology: vault, atom, flash //hayden spec ski / gibbons oc. ski / red7 / stealth spec/ocean ski / think legend
Last edit: 7 years 9 months ago by tony h.
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7 years 9 months ago #22021 by tony h
Replied by tony h on topic Knock-off paddles
interestingly Hank Mcgregor has gone back to GP3 (letterman nordic) blade in this last weekends K1/K2 world canoe champs in oklahoma: amazing paddling performance & great advert for this currently less popular shaped blade - it looked like he was the only paddler with this shaped blade.........

ski's - McGregor C/R // Nelo 560L // Epic: 1st/2nd/3rdG V10/10L/10 sport, V14, V12, V8, V7, double -v10/v8 // Stellar: SES 1G/2G, SEI 2G // Fenn: double, elite SL, swordfish 1G/2G // Carbonology: vault, atom, flash //hayden spec ski / gibbons oc. ski / red7 / stealth spec/ocean ski / think legend

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7 years 9 months ago #22022 by Stew
Replied by Stew on topic Knock-off paddles

Kocho wrote: Lastly, a slightly different twist: legitimately produced versions of a product made by two different manufacturers. Such as Think's China-made vs. SA-made skis. Or some sea kayaks made in Poland/Estonia/etc. The point being, that some of these products are made poorly while others are better (based on my personal experience with 2 Think skis made in China for the US market, their quality is well below Epic's, which is also made in China but held to a higher standard apparently; where I read nothing but praise for the Thinks made in SA)...


Kocho,

Not for the first time (in fact, almost every post you make slanders our brand), you have spun a thread onto your misgivings with Think Kayak.

In absolute contrast you your experience, on a daily basis I have customers purchasing our products after trialing your favoured brand, and commenting on how well presented our product is, how well finished it is and how they are impressed with the solidity of the build by comparison. This is reflected in our excellent sales figures and continued growth.

We are dealing with hand crafted, high performance composite products made by very skilled tradesmen here. There is always a margin for error, and any brand which tells you they have made 100% perfect products for their life time is lying. We back our products with factory supported warranty and stand over everything we design and sell. We work ridiculous hours to continue to develop and grow as a brand and be the absolute best we can be. Constant trolling of our brand is both a real kick in the guts to honest, hard working guys, but walks a very fine line. It is most unfortunate that you choose this path.

Yours sincerely,


Stewart O'Regan



Think Kayak Australia

Mob: 0404 236 638
Web: www.thinkkayak.com.au
Skype: stewieor

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