Sealblades aiming to give surfers that helping hand

Husband and wife team launch Kickstarter drive to develop retractable hand paddles


A new invention is aiming to give surfers 35 per cent more power over hand paddling, helping them catch more waves.

Developed by husband and wife team, Alex and Sorcha O’Connor, Sealblades are retractable hand paddles that give a board user more speed, and then retract up the arm to leave the hands free.

It was while out surfing about ten years ago that Alex came up with the seed of an idea. He was having a bad day, not managing to catch the waves and thought there must be a better way of doing this.

The company has launched a Kickstarter campaign, aiming to achieve pre-orders in excess of 500 pairs of Sealblades to build a community of users.

‘Having fun’

“This brings together some two years of development, testing and user feedback. We are looking to build a community of people who want to have fun around the water to be early adopters of this new kit and help us develop it further,” Mr O’Connor said.

As well as targeting surfers, he says the product can be used by lifeguards to allow them get to stricken swimmers faster.

The company raised £85,000 (€94,000) through an investment round in August 2016 from a mix of private investors in the UK and overseas.

It estimates there are more than 20 million surfers in the world and many multiples of that in the wider water-sports and leisure market.