Winglets are technology borrowed from modern aircraft wings; they increase an aircraft’s operating efficiency by reducing what is called induced drag at the tips of the wings. An aircraft’s wing is shaped to generate negative pressure on the upper surface and positive pressure on the lower surface as the aircraft moves forward.
This unequal pressure creates lift across the upper surface and allows the aircraft to fly. Unequal pressure, however, also causes air at each wingtip to flow outward along the lower surface, around the tip, and inboard along the upper surface producing a whirlwind of air called a wingtip vortex. The effect of these vortices is increased drag and reduced lift that results in less flight efficiency.
Paddles moving through the water also create high pressure on the blade face and low pressure on the blade back. Just like aircraft wings, the high pressure naturally seeks the area of lower pressure. This action also causes vortices, often visible as whirlpool type bubbles being drawn down from the surface. This “dirty water” surrounding the blade leads to decreased paddle efficiency and can lead to other problems such as blade flutter/wobble.
Winglets help divert the vortices out and away from the blade back making the paddle stroke more efficient, with improved blade stability and increased drive. We’ve found the Konihi to be the most positive dynamically stable blade we’ve ever tested. All this combines for a better paddling experience leaving you less fatigued.
More information on our website: www.kenalu.com