Testing C4 Waterman’s Inflatable Paddle Board

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C4Waterman’s C4 Uli

Want to try the latest rage of paddle boarding, but don’t have the garage acreage to stash your board? Rest easy, oh space-deprived one. C4 Waterman’s new 11-foot Uli is a breakdown inflatablepaddle board that handles nearly as well as its more traditional, non-breakdown cousins.

How does the C4 Uli get Cialis rigid? It’s constructed from military-grade hypalon, covered by hand-cut, non-stretch PVC-coated Polyester. Two layers of this material are on top deck and bottom, with the deck also incorporating a flexible composite deck plate and pad. The board rolls up into a duffel bag for transport in car or on plane, but when inflated to 12 to 15 psi it becomes a paddle board worthy of Laird Hamilton heroics. Keep it as low pressure (12 psi) for flat water stability, or jack it up to 15 psi for more rocker while wave surfing.

We tested the Uli on the lakes and rivers of Colorado, and found it both stable and maneuverable. One Paddling Life contributor even put it through further paces by appropriating it and flying it with him on a kite-boarding trip to Baja, for times when the winds died down. “It was awesome to have down there,” he said between margaritas, “especially on down days when it wasn’t blowing. I had all sorts of people coming up and asking me about it, saying how cool it was.”

How stable was it? So much so that when we took to it on a late fall camping trip to nearby Pearl Lake, people hopped on it wearing everything from down jackets to plaid shirts and jeans, without fear of even touching the drink. “I even brought my coffee out with me one time,” says field-tester Dave. “That’s how stable it is.”

To inflate, you push the value once to open and again to close, and use the enclosed dual-action pump. When, unfortunately, it’s time to drain your last margarita and head home, simply deflate by opening the valve and rolling it up with fin inside. $1,349.99 (www.c4waterman.com; 808-739-2837).

Paddle Time
Of course, to paddle board you’ll need a paddle board paddle. For that, go with the new 8’5” C4 two-piece, made from 100 percent carbon fiber and just as easy to travel with as your inflatable board. The paddle weighs just 1.65 lbs. and carries an oval shaft for 25 percent more strength than a standard round shaft. Its unique blade is specially designed for paddle surfing with a keel-shaped blade neck on the power face to help steer straight with less paddle wander and rail banging. This dihedral also helps push energy downward, which helps push the board up to plane better.
The blade’s wide point is also located down deep for positive bite, with its flowing curved face allowing you to skim it across the water when “pulling Gs” on those hard bottom turns. Not that we made any, but we did find the C4 two-piece so light and powerful that we didn’t want to let go of it, even during happy hour afterward (and neither did our tester when he returned home from Mexico).
($349, www.c4waterman.com.)