Ralph Norrander started Whippersnapper in 2006, frustrated that he was being forced to pay $100s every year to replace broken paddles. With his wife, Nancy, he set out to create a stronger, more durable paddle—and largely succeeded! In 2014 he transferred the business to its current owner, Alan Hathaway. With his extensive expertise in structural design and background in aerospace systems engineering, Alan has propelled Whippersnapper even further with the creation of the KLX. It is the first paddle to ever use a Kevlar face and features several other innovations “under the hood” that help create a longer-lasting, powerful, premium paddle. It is covered by a one year manufacturer guarantee, so try out the Whippersnapper difference for yourself!
An Interview with Whippersnapper's Alan Hathaway
Here's a transcript of Alan's interview:
I'm here with Alan Hathaway of Whippersnapper. How are you doing today, Alan?
So, on PickleballCentral.com, we carry the Whippersnapper KLX, made with Kevlar. How did you come about using Kevlar on the face of a pickleball paddle?
Kevlar came about because I came across a material that was a combination of Kevlar and graphite. We all know that graphite is carbon fiber and used on a lot of paddle. Adding Kevlar to the mix gave it a little different feel.
So what is the advantage of a Kevlar face on a paddle?
Kevlar is a very dynamic material and it responds differently to a high velocity shot versus a low velocity shot, which makes it a good compromise between serving the ball and playing at the net.
And the question everybody wants me to ask... is your paddle bulletproof?
Actually, it is not bulletproof. The Kevlar we use is Kevlar 49, which is a sporting brand of Kevlar. The bulletproof Kevlar is Kevlar 29 and has a much higher number of filaments in the Kevlar than Kevlar 49.
Alan, thanks so much for taking a minute with us and have fun here at USAPA Nationals VII.