Do you remember your first board? For me it was a Tony Hawk skateboard that started it all. Skateboarding was definitely the foundation for more board sports to come- snowboarding and longboarding and then wakesurfing and paddleboarding.
Brock Dumoit: Shaper for Doomswell Boarding Co:
“This is my first wakesurf. I shaped ocean surfboards for 7 years before I got into wakesurfing. This board was a DUD! Definitely glad we went back to the drawing board and stuck with it. This was a 4'9x 21 x 1/8 x 2." I still keep it in the shop for a good laugh.”
Joe Bark: Shaper for Bark/Surftech
"Bark Paddleboards was in full swing and we were building so many paddleboards for racing and touring at that time That when Stand Up Paddling came around it was a very easy step to build a board that had the stability to stand on.I built a 16 ft paddleboard that looked pregnant with a 27 inch width at the center for stability and Iknew we were on to something good"
Kristin Thomas: Team Infinity and President of SUPIA
“No Board from Santa lead to my own search in early January 2010. Rogue was clearing out last year's boards and Rick Karr didn't steer me wrong with a great all-arounder. First race later that same month (Hano Hano) and I was immediately hooked. I didn't get a race board for almost a year!”
Alyssa Mize: Co-Founder of Hype Surf Co
“Everything from the curves, the tail to the nose. It was a perfect piece of art I couldn’t wait to get in the water. Finding the sweet spot was just the beginning, toes to the nose baby.”
Chris Bank: Minnesota Surf Pioneer
1st Board for His Son, Afton: "Kids need a board that is narrower and more maneuverable. They also benefit from a "boxed" rail, for stability. Don't be afraid to get your youngster into an acutal "race shape" as it will assist them in keeping up with older paddlers, they will go faster and make longer distance paddling easier. Race/displacement boards are lighter weight, more efficient and better in rough water than traditional surf shape boards. Go fast and have fun!!"
Jeff Page: Founder of Inland Surfer
Funny to think back 15 years ago but my vision of wake surfing was a board called the Green Room. As I look back to those first days we were way ahead of our time. The Green Room was a dream of an inlander (me) wanting to be tubed in the green barrel, 15 years later were able to bring it back for 2016.
Jeff Archer- YOLO Board Founder
“My first YOLO Board was a 12’ red board we made in 2007. We did everything on that board- distance, fishing, exploring, surfing, even crabbing. It was the perfect all-around platform for fun. I logged hundreds of hours on that thing and it totally connected me with living in the moment.”
Brittany Parker- River SUP Professional and Pioneer
"My first board I learned to surf on was the Badfish Stand Up Paddle 7'6" MVP. It was a great board for the beginner surfer. With a chined bottom that resembled something similar to a kayak it was extrememly stable and forgiving when crossing strong currents. That board got me surfing. Without the 7'6" my surfing skills would not have improved as quickly as they did. It helped me get a good grasp on river surfing basics before I graduated to a smaller more advanced river surfing design the Badfish 6'11" River Surfer.
James Walker- Pro Wakesurfer
My first pro model board was shaped by Mike Walker of The Walker Project. Mike shaped the board from a standard blank and glassed with polyester resin. The original idea was made based on a board my dad, Jeff Walker, shaped in our garage. It was a 4'6" round tail with 3/4" right angle wings cut out just in front of the fins. The fins were a twin configuration. The best part about it was the camo flame airbrush artwork. This board evolved into The Walker Project James Walker Signature Model which became Flyboy Wakesurfing.
Luke Hopkins- Body Glove Waterman
In 2008 there was no such thing as a SUP board made for rivers. Rivers and whitewater was what I knew and at the time the only way I was going to have a river SUP the way I wanted it back in 08 was to design my own. That is what I did. The board was 5.3 inches thick, 10'6" long, and 31 inches wide and an inflatable. Keep in mind, at the time an inflatable SUP was practically unheard of. In the process of making an inflatable paddleboard that became known as the Stride Airlite HD I learned alot about the potential for inflatable paddleboards for everything from travel, to flat water, to racing, to paddling on whitewater. The Stride Airlite HD was designed for whitewater but also for speed. Over the years I sold 1000s of these boards and improved the design with slight changes over time. To this day the Airlite HD model has won more river SUP races around the country than any other board. The reasonably short length of 10'6" combined with a narrow all around profile with minimal tail rocker has made for an inflatable that is built for speed. In 2013 I was able to successfully paddle all the rapids in the 226 mile stretch of the Grand Canyon. I have had this board in my quiver of boards for 7 years and I will probably have it with me in another 7. While this has been the key board for my fun on rivers there are alot of great boards these days to choose from to get out on the river to run rapids, surf waves, and have the time of your live standing up in whitewater.