Kipps and I hit the road last week for another "tough day on the job" to demo new stand up paddle boards in Santa Cruz. Our first stop was to the Surf Tech warehouse to pick up all of our new Bark Stand Up Paddle race boards we are adding to our retail and demo fleet.
Surf Tech is the distributor for a bunch of boards that we are adding to our line, including the Barks (fancy race boards, if you have to ask the price you may not have the dough for these puppies at over $2,000), Randy French soft top (retail $999), and Surf Tech Lahui Kai Bamboo ($1399). We now can get any boards in the Surf Tech line including Laird Hamilton, Robert August, Mickey Munoz, Gerry Lopez, Marisa Miller ladies specific SUPs, and Takayama. The guys at Surf Tech were super cool (isn't everyone in Santa Cruz super cool!?) and helped us gather up our order and strap all those huge boards onto our roof racks.
Our next stop was to visit Bob Miller and the Blue Coil Surf Shop. Bob is John Miller's brother, and John and Bob owned and operated the ASD Windsurfing Shop that we took over at Coyote Point Park in San Mateo in 2007. Bob has continued to shape surf boards and is now shaping stand up paddle boards. It was my first time meeting Bob (I see John all the time as he stops in to hang out and does board repair for our customers). Bob is handsome and super nice (just like John!). He spent time with Kipps and I reviewing their board line up. We are looking at placing a custom board order with them for stand up paddle boards. They are famous for their shapes (Bob is an awesome board shaper) and their street cred (a.k.a. how cool the boards look) is off the charts. These boards will be priced very competitively and will be gorgeous to stare at (and 90% of most sports is about looking good, right?).
Once we had our Blue Coil SUP in tow, Kipps and I drove over to Santa Cruz harbor to demo both the brand new Bark 12'6" Competitor race board, and the 11' Blue Coil SUP. We unpacked the Bark board and just stared at it for a while. It comes with a carbon fin and the deck is so damn pretty that we sat in silence for a moment. We grabbed our paddles and headed for the boat ramp. Once in the water, I was amazed at how stable the Bark board was. And despite my endless teaching of students to not stare down (look up! look where you are going!), I simply could not keep my eyes off the new beautiful Bark race board. Not only was it super stable and gorgeous, it also glides through the water like a ginsu knife!
Kipps did a good job keeping up on the very different 11' Blue Coil. This board has great glide as well for it's size, and has impressive rocker (curve like a surf board) so we know it will handle the waves like a charm.
We paddled out into the harbor and saw lots of cool birds, a sea otter (so cute!), kayakers, and a few other SUPers.
After our tough day, I think we both decided that the Bark board is our new favorite for speed and glide. This is a race board in its' own class. If you are interested in recreational or competitive racing, this is the board for you! We have demos at both Alameda and San Mateo, and they are offered on a demo to buy for racers or advanced SUP paddlers. Come try one and fall in love!