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Blog

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01.1.2011
We're stoked about our exclusive interview with filmmaker Ran Kalif. Below Ran gives us the lowdown on the SUP scene in Israel, along with some great footage of some of the great SUP waveriders coming out of Israel.

Can you tell us your background in SUP?
I used to surf when I was a kid, we lived by the sea and it was part of my early days. Everyday after school we used to hang out at the local spot and always found something ... read more

12.17.2010
We call Madison, WI home. And as owner Gary Stone says in this clip, “Madison is surrounded by water.” Which makes it a perfect place for the largest selection of SUPs in the country. Whether you are a flatwater racer, beginning recreational paddler or a wave fanatic, we have you covered. Not only do we have the largest selection of boards, but we pride ourselves on knowing every product we sell inside and out. This gives us the abili ... read more

12.1.2010
We taught over 600 new paddlers last year in Madison, WI. One of our go to board lines for all beginners was the Amundson Aquaglide Series. These boards are perfect for anyone looking for an all-around board to paddle with friends on flat water, or take to the beach for a day of playing on the waves.

These boards are both reasonably priced ... read more

11.8.2010
Many paddlers have been caught between the choice of a comfortable touring/flatwater paddle and a racing paddle. Now, you can have the best of both worlds in one blade shape. The Werner Fuse is a new development that mixes the blade shapes of the Werner Spanker and the Werner Nitro. The new combination is a paddle that delivers a smooth and efficien ... read more

10.22.2010
“What length?”, “What size Blade?”, “ What construction?”... These are very common questions that face everyone ready to make a new paddle purchase. We spoke with Quickblade owner and designer Jim Terrell at the Battle of the Paddle to see how QuickBlade has made it easier than ever to choose the right paddle for your needs.

In the video clip Jim explains the new read more

10.18.2010
We had a great time at the Battle of the Paddle last week. It was great to see one of our close friends Connor Baxter. Connor competed in 4 of the 5 races over the weekend. He was kind enough to let us re- post his race recap on our site for all of us to enjoy and to get inspired. Thanks to Connor for the insightful words and to his mom Karen Baxter for her great photos.

Connor's recap:

Another great event here in  ... read more

10.1.2010
We're really excited to be travelling to Battle of the Paddle this weekend at Dana Point's Doheny State Beach on Saturday, October 2nd & Sunday, October 3rd. Shop owner Gary Stone and local racer Cris Rosario will be participating in the races this weekend and testing a large variety of boards, paddles and accessories. With many SUP board companies set up at this show with demos, we expect to come back with a lot of new information to ... read more

09.22.2010
Werner has a long history of paddle innovation, so we were not surprised when we laid our eyes on the brand new 2011 Werner Bent Shaft Paddle. According to Werner the idea behind the bent shaft is to, “create a stable leverage point during paddling which increases comfort and control”. We have been paddling the Nitro version of the Bent shaft and really like how comfortable it is. The bend keeps your bottom wrist in a much more natural position.  ... read more

09.17.2010
The right SUP paddle can make all the difference in comfort, efficiency and overall enjoyment on the water. We have been paddling several new models along with our usual standbys. In this video clip PaddleBoard Specialsits owner Gary Stone gives a review of three high quality paddles. We have been paddling Werner Spanker and read more

09.14.2010
This summer was the first year that we saw SUP really take hold in Madison. We were very happy with the dedicated paddlers who joined us for our Naish Race Series. The races were a mix of beginners and seasoned paddlers. No matter what the skill level, everyone was out to have fun. After tabulating our results we are very happy to announce that Darian Hildreth and Leslie Taylor (pictured above are our top men’s and women’s finishers.  ... read more

08.31.2010
We first paddled both the Bark and Hobie race boards last fall in California. Both boards blew us away. After a full summer of paddling these SUPs we have come to know them quite well. We have tested in flatwater, chop and light downwind conditions. Paddle Board Specialists owner Gary Stone has also raced both boards. In this video clip Gary compares the two boards head to head on the calm waters of Lake Mendota in Madison, WI. For more info o ... read more

08.13.2010
The Amundson Aquaglide line of stand up paddle boards have been a staple in our beginner quiver. They are well designed and affordable. That is why we were psyched to hear that Amundson had a more advanced board in the works for flatwater, downwind, touring and racing. The Amundson 12’6” TR, which stands for touring and racing, is a great new evolution for the Amundson line. Aquaglide product manager Doug Hopkins gives a thorough desc ... read more

08.12.2010
We caught up with the one and only Joe Bark at the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City, UT last week. Joe was happy to show off the new Surftech Dominator 14’ race board. Joe calls this the big brother to the Surftech Competitor 12’6”. In Joe’s own words, it is the “Magic Board”. We know we love the Competitor 12’6” and can’t wait to get this one out on our glassy lakes for some serious speed. Joe even admits that there is a bit of mystery in ... read more

08.9.2010
This summer we have seen SUP races start to take root in the Midwest. We kicked it off with our Paddle for the Polar Bears/Naish race series, and now more events are starting to pop up all over.

One of the most interesting races was the Paddle and Portage which took place in Madison on July 17th. Nearly 10 SUP pioneers took to the water with over 300 kayaks and canoes. It was the first year that this long standing race has of ... read more

07.26.2010
We love the Naish Glide series. The 14' has been our weapon of choice when doing downwinders, so we were thrilled to find out that Naish would be releasing a new 12'6" class race board. While Paddle Board Specialists owner Gary Stone was at the Gorge earlier this summer he had the unique opportunity to paddle the new? Naish Catalina. Here is what Gary had to say, "Thanks to Matt Willett for letting me paddle his personal Catalina, the ... read more

07.15.2010
There are a lot of beginner/all water boards on the market these days. There is one series that we have really taken to. It’s the Amundson Series from Aquaglide. These boards can take a pounding, we know because we have taught countless beginners on them.

Not only are they tough, they paddle really well too. The all round shape and full EVA deck make them a great choice for those that want a board the anyone can use from the  ... read more

07.15.2010
Come and check out the first ever Stand Up Paddle division in the Paddle and Portage(http://www.paddleandportage.org/node/329). This has to be one of the most unique paddle races in the country. Paddlers start at James Madison Park do a 1.5 mile paddle on Lake Mendota, then off to a 1 mile portage up the hill, through downtown and back down for 1.5 mile paddle across Lake Monona. Come on down to Olin park to cheer on the paddlers. Fin ... read more

07.8.2010
Join us this Tuesday July 13th from 4-8 pm as we welcome the 2010 Surftech Stand Up Paddle Demo tour to our very own Lake Wingra. We will be on hand along with Surftech team members and reps from Surftech. There will be instructors offering free lessons and demos. Stand up paddle champion and Surtech team member Candice Appleby will be here to help paddlers take their stroke technique to the next level. Also on hand will be Cindi Bann ... read more

06.30.2010
StandUp Paddle board shapes have moved far beyond simply increasing the dimensions and volume of surfboards. Shapers are fine-tuning paddling characteristics to increase tracking, glide and stability. There is a category of boards that still hold on to longboard roots while pushing the paddling characteristics to new levels. Many of our board lines fit the bill for a paddler who enjoys the longboard feel but also wants a good board for recreation ... read more

06.21.2010
15 year-old Connor Baxter of Maui Hawaii, had a great weekend at Battle of the Paddle Hawaii. Connor took 8th place in the Elite Race on Saturday. And if that wasn’t enough, Connor took 3rd in the distance race on Sunday. We have known Connor and his family since 2004, and we are so proud to see him grow into such an amazing waterman. We had the opportunity to ask Connor a few questions about life as a young SUP star and his experience at Battle  ... read more

06.11.2010
Now that summer is finally here, our Wisconsin waters are primed for paddling. This week we started our morning training paddles. Our plan is to meet on Wednesday mornings for a group paddle. Many of us already solo paddle daily or every other day, but there is something special about sharing the experience with others. There is also a good chance that an impromptu race will start up to see who has been practicing. Mostly it is just a good opport ... read more

06.9.2010
Last Sunday was the first of our six Paddle for the Polar Bears events, and the our first official Naish Series race. We were very pleased with the turnout and had participants from across the midwest from LaCrosse to Milwaukee to Chicago.

The day started with lessons ... read more

06.7.2010
We've seen so many new boards come through our shop in the last month. It is amazing to see all the innovation and new ideas being put into board design. Two boards that have really caught our eyes are the Starboard Surf Race and the Starboard Free Race. Both boards look like they were designed in an aerospace lab.

Both boards are offered in two ... read more

06.1.2010
Paddleboard Specialists is proud to be hosting the Naish Stand Up Paddling race series. Our local Madison races are part of a national series taking place in 22 U.S. cities. The top 3 men and women in each city will go head to head on September 27th in Lake Tahoe, CA. We hope to see racers from across the Midwest at this series. Paddlers from Milwaukee to Minneapolis and Chicago to Sheboygan are more than welcome to join us in our great paddling  ... read more

05.25.2010
In the last week we have had two clinics at Lake Wingra in Madison, WI. Conditions were not ideal for first-timers with the winds sweeping across the lake. Wind aside, we taught over 50 new paddlers and not one person got wet. Well, one 6-year old boy went in up to his knees, but we think that might have been out of curiosity. The new tribe of paddlers ranged in age from 6 to 60. All but a few had never been on a stand up board. Some  ... read more

05.19.2010
Imagine yourself holding your hand out of a car window on a nice warm day. If you turn your hand perpendicular to the ground, you slice through the wind. This is similar to a displacement hull. If you turn it parallel to the ground the wind lifts your hand in the air, and you feel a lot more resistance. This is similar to a planing hull.

Whether or not you get a displacement hull or a planing hull can be one of the biggest considerati ... read more

05.14.2010
Madison is ripe for a huge stand up boom, and we are ready. Our showroom is stocked with boards, paddles, and all gear you need to get on the water. Our sales staff lives our motto of “passion, knowledge and service”. We are here to get you outfitted with the right board and paddle for your situation. Whether you are a beginner, read more

05.11.2010
Ok . . . so it’s not the Maliko Gulch. But as Jerry Lopez says, “Surf is Where You Find It”, and we've found it in our own back yard. Lake Mendota, Madison, Wisconsin to be exact. When 35 mph gusts have cleared our 9,740 acre lake of recreational boaters and fisherman, we know it’s on.

In the past month we've had some great runs across our hometown waters. It's a thrilling and fresh way to enjoy our unsalted treasures. We s ... read more

05.3.2010
Now that summer is right around the corner, we're starting to see many more paddlers on the water. Our line of Stand Up Paddle Boards and paddles is second to none in the Midwest. We want everyone to experience the exciting new developments in stand up boards and also get new paddlers out for their first time. Our demos will take place at read more

04.30.2010
Ahhhh ..... youth. We caught up with the Starboard’s SUP phenom Zane Schweitzer in Maui. In this clip Zane talks about the Santa Cruz Shootout. It gives us a great feeling to know that so many young folks are taking to the sport. But at our age it also gives us a great feeling to know that guys twice Zane’s age are still showing the kids how it is done. Zane finished just one point behind the one and only Chuck Patterson. Pretty impressive. read more

04.27.2010
In our second clip from our interview with Starboard’s Svein Rasmussen, we hear about the full racing lineup from Starboard. Svein describes how Starboard’s long standing history in windsurf racing is being directly applied to the designs of their SUP racing fleet. Being on the shores of Maui there is a little wind noise in this clip. It made for great downwinders that day, but not so great video interviewing.

For more specifics on the ... read more

04.26.2010
We caught up with Starboard’s Svein Rasmussen on our recent trip to Maui. Sven talks up some highlights in the Starboard SUP quiver including the Big Easy, Whopper, Blend and Drive.

We have started many beginners on our demo Big Easy. It is super stable and a great starter for larger paddlers or paddlers who want to have a child or pet come along for the ride.

For more specifics on the Starboard line of Stand Up Paddle Boar ... read more

04.20.2010
PaddleBoard Specialists very own Gary Stone was featured on the Stand Up Paddle Radio show on April 15th. Gary talked with hosts Jeff Archer and Leslie Kolovich about the paddling scene in Madison, WI and his recent paddling trip to Maui. They also introduced our Paddle for the Polar Bears challenge series.

We were also stoked to hear read more

04.16.2010
While we were in Maui earlier this month we had many opportunities to see some new developments in Stand Up Paddle boards. One of our big surprises was being able to talk with Dave of Naish’s R&D department about the new Naish Javelin flat water board.

We will have more o ... read more

04.13.2010
The rise of stand up paddling definitely owes some gratitude to Laird Hamilton. It also might owe a little something to this board. It will go down in history as a classic at the forefront of the SUP movement. The Surftech Laird 12'1" was shaped by the legendary Ron ... read more

04.9.2010
When we headed west last fall we were super stoked for the opportunity to get some good waves. While visiting with Surftech’s Ty Zulim, he made us an offer we couldn’t refuse. Our schedule was packed for the trip, but we managed to squeeze in a morning session with Ty at Dog Patch. It was our first experience with the new read more

04.6.2010
“If you are looking for a board to go have fun, take the kids out on, to have on the boat, or have at the lake without breaking the bank, this is the board for you.” – Ty Zulim

We think that about says it all. Plus the Randy French Softtops ship for free. Make it a package a ... read more

03.30.2010
We visited with Mark Johnson at the Hobie factory last fall. Mark was kind enough to talk us through the entire Hobie SUP line. In this interview, Mark describes in detail the Hobie ATR series.

We love the ATR line because it is so versatile. It is great for paddling in the ocean and the unsalt ... read more

03.26.2010
Last fall we paid a visit to Hobie’s Stand Up Paddle division. Lead shaper and craftsman, Mark Johnson was a great host. He gave us a full tour of the Hobie shaping bays, and also talked with us about the latest and greatest that Hobie has to offer. He even gave us a few sneak peaks at some new technology. Afte ... read more

03.19.2010
The weather is warming up and our warehouse is filling up. We just received a huge shipment of stand up paddleboards and more are on the way. This week we received our 2010 Starboard, Surftech, Hobie, Amundson / Aquaglide, read more

03.16.2010
Paddleboard Specialists recently had our first chance to fully examine the Quickblade Kanaha. Right away we noticed how silky smooth this paddle pulls through the water. There is a light feeling to it. Not just the actual weight, but the combo of very low swing weight, blade design, and a little magic that make it a delight to paddle.

Unique to the read more

03.12.2010
We are super excited to announce that Paddleboard Specialists is hosting The StandUp Paddle Challenge series on our home waters of Madison, WI this summer. Sponsors include Wingra boats, A Stones Throw, Naish Surfing and read more

03.10.2010
On Saturday a couple of us decided to head out to the Cherokee Marsh, just blocks from our shop. We were out testing some new adjustable stand up paddles, from QuickBlade and Werner. We were surrounded by warm sun, migrating water fowl and good amounts of ice cover. Our boards had to punch through the a very thin  ... read more

03.5.2010
Here at PaddleBoard Specialists we know that a good board is only half of the equation when it comes to stand up paddling. The right paddle can make all the difference in comfort and confidence on the water. We also know that the most expensive paddle is not always the most appropriate paddle for your needs. We are all about the right paddle for the right situation in order to give you the best SUP experience.

We carry read more

03.3.2010
Twenty yards to the west little Olympic hopefuls played pond hockey, while to the east fishing shanties dotted the white abyss. We on the other hand had our eyes pointed towards warmer pursuits. Spring is at the tip of our tongues. We could not wait to hit the water, even if most of it was still in solid state. Joggers and cyclists gawked as we paddled down the Yahara river in Madison, WI. It was sunny and warm (relatively), and it felt great. < ... read more

03.1.2010
In November, we had the opportunity to talk with Joe Bark in his shaping room. Joe and his entire staff were very welcoming and gave us a great insight into their boards and how they are made. Joe was also kind enough to take us out for a test paddle in the harbor. Here we have a clip with Joe talking about his 12'6" Competitor race boards. If you like what you see, check out our 12'6" customs or  ... read more

02.23.2010
Here at Paddleboard Specialists we can’t imagine what a bummer it would be to receive a board that you purchased, only to find that it was damaged during shipping. That's why we've adopted the same technique that we have used in our windsurf business to make sure your board is ready to hit the water as soon as it arrives.
 ... read more

02.19.2010
April 24, 2010 will be the first annual Hovie SUP Paddle Festival. Classes will include a 9.5 mile SUP elite race, a 4.5 mile SUP race, a SUP Match, tandem and dog race. All Proceeds will Benefit the Newport Aquatic Center Junior Program

Details and race entries can be found at  www.newportbeachsup.com

 ... read more

02.2.2010
We've spent the last couple of months making sure we have the perfect quiver of boards, paddles and accessories to meet the needs of every paddler. From beginners and families to hardcore racers and wave junkies we’ve got the right prescription to get you on the water.

We pride ourselves on service, experience and passion for SUP. We have over twenty-five years of customer-focused expertise in getting everyone on the water. Our pa ... read more

02.2.2010
When we visited Joe Bark in November we knew we were in for a special treat. Joe radiates enthusiasm for paddling. His down to earth demeanor and unbelievable craftsmanship make him a perfect fit for the Specialists. And when we were able to paddle the boards with Joe, we were instantly sold on the glide, stability and speed. All of this plus beautiful styling and colors that make Joe’s boards works of art.

We have three custom Bark board ... read more