You Deserve a Good Paddling

Dec 1, 2001
Outside Magazine

Competitive paddleboarder Dan Mann out for a cruise

The 18-foot Eaton Unlimited Class Molded Paddleboard ($2,500), like all paddleboards, is an intriguing hybrid, somewhere between a sit-on-top kayak and a longboard with a hull. Its builder, San Diego-based board-shaper Mike Eaton, who's been crafting surfboards for 47 years and paddleboards for 15, combines a little boat technology (there's a kayak-like rocker and a foot-controlled rudder) with a smattering of surfboard design (long and slim profile and a polystyrene-foam core for buoyancy) in the construction of this elegant open-water cruiser. Swell, but what's the suddenly popular ocean sport of paddleboarding all about? Fitness, for one thing. Whether you kneel or lie down, surfboard-style, you'll need to be (or become) a strong-shouldered waterman to make the thing cruise through surf and chop at a comfortable clip of five miles an hour. Beginners can expect to go half as fast. Elite paddlers, like those competing in the venerable Catalina race held each August for the last 45 years, can clock 32 miles in five hours. In other words, even without the aid of a paddle in your hands or a wave beneath you, this baby can glide. [ / 619-224-5603 ]

More at Outside

Elsewhere on the Web

Not Now

Need a Gear Fix?

Open email. Get latest gear. Repeat.

Thank you!