U-V82 HexFlex and V-Drive 81

Recently I had a conversation with a friend from Knoxville, TN. You might not see him on social media but he is one of the strongest paddler in our area. You might guess it, Larry Hill.

Story has more than a paddle conversation but we stumble on QuickBlade’s U-V82 paddle. It’s almost year when Quickblade has announced before Carolina Cup. I wrote a review back in September of last year finally decide to change the paddle with my new board arriving on the same month.

Interesting enough that both own both U-V HexFlex and V-Drive. Difference between us would be I have U-V82 Hex Flex/V-Drive 81 and Larry have U-V88 Hex Flex/V-Drive 91. General speaking we have great knowledge of using the Quickblade paddle within. I do have to mention that few years ago I was using V-Drive 91 and step down to V-Drive 81 to reduce the stress.

One of our key point on discussion was

  • Distance Per Stroke
  • Speed

For my testing purpose using NK SpeedCoach 2 with Garmin HR Dual performing 12 x 1min (1min rest each piece). I try to keep the speed in mid 5.5-5.7mph and keeping in Level 3 HR zone. At the bottom of the blog you will see chart of 12 runs.. Odd is the U-V81 and Even is the V-Drive 81. Also direction is the same way so there is 6 pairs results. Not all run was completely great results but I have graphs to show from piece 3/4 and 11/12.

Top to Botom (piece 3/4/11/12) – 3/4 – small bumps against the current. 11/12- mild chop against the current

Sometimes raw data is important and graph to see how you perceive each piece. One of the noticeable difference is the little punch with V-Drive and shaft is way stiffer than U-V. Catch is also smooth specially with HexFlex in hybrid construction. Both are oval tapered shaft so identical in every way but U-V shaft definitely has nice flex to it. In both cases U-V’s heart rate performance remains smoother and less stressed over V-Drive. On the other hand V-Drive towards the end heart rate keep climbing which what I used to see when I was using V-Drive. Green is speed, Red is HR and Blue is stroke. When you compare all three data U-V blade definitely shows the smoothest of the blade while speed and stroke remain in same manner.

Is this mean U-V HexFlex is much better , faster and distance per stroke? From the past 6month of using the U-V HexFlex I don’t think distance per stroke didn’t tremendously increased. Smoothness and efficiency of the blade construction is performing much better than V-Drive. U-V Blade has U shaped cup versus V-Drive has V cup with line to the edge of the blade. These two shapes is noticeable when you catch the water. When the tips enter the water you feel water enters differently. Smoothness I’m talking about coming from this blade shape.

How about the stroke rate and distance per stroke? The day I decide to the test wasn’t most flat so distance per stroke is little short to keep the marginal speed to have most accurate results. For the most part I did end up running few strokes with U-V82. In the chart below 5/6 magical had same speed and results which shows U-V82 had less stroke rate.

Do I consider near the future use V-Drive ? Probably not anytime soon after this test but still great blade to have. I think new U-V HexFlex is gamer changer and for those love Quickblade you should try it out.

How do I choose between U-V82 and U-V88. I would definitely for female 82. Quickblade says 175lbs or less is U-V82. U-V blade is still same family as V-Drive so catch is where blade shines. If you are Trifecta user which is mid phase power paddle I would highly recommend to demo first. Blade choice is purely personal preferences so please demo before spend the money.