We just wanted to post an update on our progress over the last few weeks!
Things are moving along nicely, though a little more slowly than we'd anticipated. More on that in a moment, but first, we continue to gather excellent feedback from our beta testers on the prototype paddles. Through that feedback, we've finalized a selection of seven cores that will be available as part of the Mix & Match Signature Series paddles. They are:
- Wide-tow carbon fiber over nomex (with 2 different fiber orientation options for different play characteristics)
- Wide-tow carbon fiber over polypropylene (with 2 different fiber orientation options for different play characteristics)
- Fiberglass over polypropylene
- UD (unidirectional) carbon fiber over polypropylene
- Fiberglass reinforced polypropylene over polypropylene
These core selections will of course be nested inside of our patent-pending "ExoFrame" edge guard that unifies the handle and paddle face into a continuous piece for incredible stiffness. The ExoFrames are nearly completed from our manufacturing partner--here's a quick shot from them:
This brings us to the delays. Nothing catastrophic, just longer lead times than we were hoping for. While we do have some light manufacturing capabilities in house, like most other manufacturers, we partner with outside companies to custom-create the parts we need. In some cases, like with the ExoFrames, things go to plan and along the expected timelines. In other cases, things take longer than expected. We had originally stated November as the expected ship date. November starts tomorrow, and currently, it's looking unlikely that we'll have all of the necessary components for the Mix & Match paddles by the end of November.
The good news is that everything is in progress and the delays look to be just a few weeks, not months. Our goal is to get everything together and available to our backers (and the general public ASAP), but without sacrificing quality or relationships along the way. As of today, we're expecting to have all of the components by mid-December. Obviously, everything starts going crazy with the holiday season, so there's a slim chance that could extend a bit longer. Just be assured that when we talk about delays, we're talking a few weeks, not an undefined period of months or years. We're as eager as anyone to get these paddles out to all of you!
Speaking of getting paddles out to you, our gears never stop turning and over the past several weeks we've been testing an entirely new concept and have submitted it to the USAPA for approval. Pending that approval (we're fully confident it will pass the USAPA testing), we expect to start offering these paddles in a month or so. They're a traditionally-built paddle with an aramid (nomex-like) core but with an extra feature that softens, stabilizes, and mellows the paddle for improved playability, sweet spot, acoustics, and overall performance--and this isn't just us talking; this is based on double-blind testing we've done with players at a variety of skill levels!
We're quite excited about this development and eager to get the new paddles out into the world. We're calling them the "RogueSI" and "RogueRSI", and will offer them in two different shapes, the more traditional "Quad" shape and a lean & trim "Teardrop" shape. Here's a sneak peek of the paddle, in its near-final form!
We'll be offering this paddle in a wide variety of color options, likely 8 or more, with custom graphic options available, too! Many more details on this paddle will be coming in the following weeks. Stay tuned!
As always, we're incredibly grateful for this opportunity to continue to explore, grow, and produce products that we can offer out into the wonderful world of pickleball!
Thank you to all of our backers and supporters--we're excited for everything that's ahead!
Mike, Josh, and the entire Players Pickleball team