Chainmail armour provides an effective defense against slashing blows by an edged weapon and penetration by thrusting and piercing weapons; in fact, a study conducted at the Royal Armouries at Leeds concluded that “it is almost impossible to penetrate using conventional medieval weapons”
Slashing blows by edged weapons…penetration by thrusting objects… sounds more like everyday problems encountered by the Stand-up paddler if the word “weapons” is replaced by “paddles”.
We took the classical approach when trying to solve these “problems” and used the Medieval Suits of armor as our guiding inspiration in developing the aesthetics and functionality of our Chainmail Composition®. Our partner in the development, Innegra Technologies, produces a filament that just happened to have the ”chain-link” properties that we were searching for.
“We approached Innegra with this crazy visually stimulating pattern not knowing if it was possible to make,” said Corey Cooper of BOTE, “Involving two different fibers and colors that serve two distinct purposes both mechanically and visually.” Jenn Hanna with Innegra had said, “Challenge us with something; and BOTE certainly did!”
The collaboration produced a fabric consisting of carbon fiber and Innegra that balances the functionality and look that we were striving for. The intent was to create a fabric that solved the problem of brittleness with pure carbon and to make this “construction method” available as an upgrade option on the best-selling boards in the line-up. In the Chainmail Composition ® the carbon fiber provides the light weight tensile strength and resin retention properties while the Innegra, being a plastic, provides light weight durability and pliability to protect against impacts. Woven together they produce a mechanically sound fabric and a striking pattern that actually looks like Chainmail!
Some background on the Innegra fiber is explained by Jenn, “A layer of pure Innegra is not always your best option. Innegra is a social fiber that plays well with others. The original movement with Innegra was to use it to replace carbon fiber or fiberglass but that really isn’t it’s best application; it should be conjoined with it.” She goes on to explain the purpose of the polymer fiber, “Innegra doesn’t absorb water, it’s hydrophobic; it’s also buoyant which is a great advantage for application in SUP or Kayak. Being a contingent element in many materials particularly related to watersports you will find the innegra fiber in things like SUPs, surf boards and wind surfing because it started as a lightweight, impact resistant material.
Corey Cooper is proud of the collaborative effort and gives a glimpse of the design and functional aspect of the production, “The way fabrics are woven is a challenge to both mechanical and graphical design. You have to go through the process of running through prototypes and experimenting with the laminations to have a functional product; it was really a challenging project. In the end, both Innegra and BOTE delivered a fabric that is Bad-ass in function and appeal. The fabric really works the way it was intented I like the look of it so much I might re-upholster my couch with it.” With such a stable foundation for the Chainmail construction model, Corey reveals to us that there's more to look forward to with this innovation. "One of the main things that came out of development of Chainmail is the future potential and collaboration for an even better product." This advancement will produce better boards and shape the industry; there's endless potential for the future.
See the full Chainmail Composition® line-up at boteboard.com.