Racing Paddleboards

A writeup I just did for CoolTools:

Paddlboarding is a great way to stay in shape for surfing, to explore the coast, to watch birds, and to cruise around in almost any body of water. Paddleboards, like surfboards, snowboards, skateboards and other devices used for moving through space, have evolved greatly in recent years. For years, Eaton paddleboards were the primary manufacturers of quality racing boards. Lately, Joe Bark has been turning out beautiful stock and custom boards. This summer I bought a slightly used Joe Bark 12′ “Surftek” paddleboard in L.A. for $1,000 (“Surftek” is the nickname for lightweight surfboards/paddleboards built with Styrofoam and epoxy resin, rather than the more standard polyurethane foam and polyester resin). The board is feather light (22 lbs.) and lets me skim through the water like a water skeeter. Boards run from 12-19′ or so. The 12-footers are the most popular partly because they are the easiest to transport and store. The longer boards are slightly faster in races (there are over 70 races a year in Southern California), but more cumbersome to deal with on land.

12′ Surftech Bark Board

$1380

Available from The Frog House

To see a full range of boards, including standup boards, see Joe Bark’s website

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

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