In preparation for the Rainbow Sandals Battle of the Paddle, Jeff had Steve Boehne from Infinity Surfboards shape us a couple of boards. In order to compete in the elite race, the boards had to be under 12'6, so we ended up with 2 boards, each were 12'5'' long, one was 26" wide, and the other was 28" wide.
It took about 30 seconds paddling around in flat water for me to realize that this board was something special. Love at first paddle, if you will. The glide on the more narrow board was unbelievable, and it felt less like paddling and more like floating across the surface of the water.
Now that the race is over, both Infinity boards are back in Hawaii and have gone on a couple of Hawaii Kai runs. Not only are they fast in flat California water, but they are fast in Hawaiian water as well. It seems like this board just knows how to find the bumps and link them together.
This board is testimony to something that I have believed since I was 13 years old...Steve and the guys at Infinity make magic boards. It doesn't matter if it is a longboard, a standup surfboard, or a downwind board, they are all magic, and they make it difficult to want to try anything else.
If you have a chance, come in to Wet Feet and check out Duke (the wide one) and Eddie (the narrow one).
Battle of the Paddle Race:
The Battle of the Paddle was THE SUP event of the year. The elite category boasted $25,000 in prize money and the age group race had 217 participants. Sponsored by Rainbow Sandals and Gerry Lopez the event was run extremely well for its first time. There were more participants than anticipated so registration took a little longer than expected but otherwise the event went very smoothly. The course was 1.5 miles. The age group race did 3 laps and the elite was supposed to do 5 laps but it was cut to 3.5 laps due to time constraints and a STRONG northwest wind that developed. This was a spectator friendly race as the elites had to do a 75 yd. run on the sand between each lap. In the elite race Chuck Patterson of Dana Point took first followed by Thibert Lusiaa of the Big Island then Aaron Napoleon of Oahu. For the elite women Jenny Kalmbach of the Big Island took first followed by Candice Appleby of Oahu then Morgan Hoesterey also from Oahu. Complete results can be found here:
and the race website is here:
The event also featured an manufacturers expo which Wet Feet was a part of and an awesome awards dinner at the Surfing Heritage Museum in Dana Point. One of the highlights was seeing 71 year old sufing legend Mickey Munoz take 40th place in the stock division then break the ice on the dance floor that night. For next year the event will be two days and will incorporate early registration and clinics. If you want to be a part of the biggest SUP event of the year in 2009 mark your calendars for October 3rd and 4th.
Drew Brophy Artist and Board Decorator for Ron House