felix Martin | Riot Stand Up Paddle Boards

Combat on the Ammer

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I was fortunate enough to get to take the new inflatable Combat onto the Ammer river in the Germany alps with some great local paddlers. The water was low, and it wasn’t an exceptionally hard section of river, but it was a great testing ground for the board, and confirmed that this is going to be a great success – solving the issues that have plagued inflatable river running SUP since their beginningĀ  -swamping, flexing, hard to handle and control, requiring far greater skills to use than the (albeit heavier) plastic boards out there. This one truly is magic!.

Paddle Expo – Nurnberg Germany

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What an amazing week I had at the Paddle Expo. It wasn’t all easy – in fact started off quite rough with Air Canada refusing point blank to take my three boards on the flight (despite the excess baggage having been pre paid). So a rush to delta cargo to “overnight” ship them and I was on my flight. Unfortunately, the boards arrived one by one during the show, and two never arrived at all (ending up in Bogota Columbia I think). But despite not having all the boards, it was a great show and we made many contacts. it was my first introduction into the European market under the new brand, and it was well received – especially the inflatable boards. And of course, after the show… off to do some paddling in the alps!.

Sup Surfing the English Gardens

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“Sitting in the English Gardens, waiting for the sun…”

Everyone knows the Beatles song… but in the English gardens or Munich, Germany is also a surf wave, and today I got to surf it. I borrowed a board from my friend Carsten Kurmis, put on my brand spanking new Jenga wetsuit, and off we went…

The wave itself was pretty bleak… water is low and it was barely in (think California in summer), but it was something, so I was happy to get out and surf. However, my 3mm wetsuit was overkill… I was sweating like a pig!!

I also got a chance to try out our new Cobalt paddle for the first time surfing… I’d used it a bunch just general paddling, but this was my first surf with it. Really nice, I must say, for an inexpensive plastic paddle!.

Custom USA made boards

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Over 90% of our production is in the USA. This is because our plastic boards are made in the USA, so its always fun when we get to make custom USA made boards too. Here are some photos of an awesome high performance surfing shape we made. In girl colours! It’s based on the Mach1, with a wider nose (to compensate for the shorter length), and at 7’9″ x 27″ x 4″ this thing is going to be a real ripper with a 115lbs surfer on it. As you can see, the deck is reinforced with 2 layers of Carbon fiber, pus 2 layers of S glass making this puppy strong, even if its only weighs 12lbs..

Inflatable board preview

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Here are a few images of the new inflatable boards: the Thunder 12’6″, Matrix 10’6″ and Combat 9’3″. These boards are totally unique in the world of inflatable SUP because they don’t have the usual flexing issues. Look at how the boards are NOT bending where the paddlers feet are in these photos. While these are just in a pool, you get a good idea of just how stiff they are, and stiffness means performance! At just 3psi, these are stiffer than any other board at 15psi, and you can pump these to 15+psi. That’s a great thing. IN addition, the nose of both the Matrix and Thunder are displacement, so you don’t get the usual slapping on the waters surface – making the board slow. So enjoy the preview of these boards….

STATIC – in the ocean

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As the name suggests, the Static is designed for surfing static waves – the kind you find on rivers where the water flows through rapids and creates standing waves. Generally, boards designed for these waves are chunkier, and more like a stand on kayak than a surfing board, and while they work just fine on river waves, they cannot be surfed well in traditional ocean waves. This is where the Static differs from all other “river specific” surfing boards. It’s an awesome board in the surf. In fact, it’s so fun that the last few days everyone in our group has been fighting over who gets to surf it (when we have all these other boards available). The “Rail Hull” design which is critical in making it easy and forgiving on river waves, means that this 29″ wide and 4.5″ thick board does not handle like other “chunky” shapes. In fact, it rolls from rail to rail like a board an inch thinner and 2″ narrower, making it very responsive in the surf. Surfing it is like nothing else… lightning fast response time and agility, the first few waves are best described as startling. And lastly, the kevlar construction saved the board. In true California fashion, I was surfing the beach break without a leash, and lost the board after a lip turn. It ran 100 yards into the beach which was all rocks rubble, where it spent the better part of a minute getting pounded by the shore break into the rocks. The only damage… some scratches. Long live kevlar!.

Static: river surfing board

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Today I got to take the final Static out… in ocean surf! And I have to say… this board is FUN. REALLY REALLY FUN. It gets up and goes with no more than a ripple under it, and its loose as can be – like skating on ice. Slash, dash, slide AND carve. Yes, it’s no slouch carving – in fact the way I did the rails on this board means that even though its 4.5″ thick, and 29″ wide, it’s still very quick rail to rail. it feels an inch thinner and 2″ narrower, which is a good thing. So yes… this is a board designed for river waves, but it works amazingly well in the Ocean. If we hadn;t called it a river board… you’d never know!.

Bellissima – fitness and fun

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The Belissima really is getting some traction. As people everywhere try out this amazing board, so they’re getting a real feel for what makes it so fun. Stable, fast and easy, the board paddles like a full on race board, without the instability. At only 18lbs, it’s extremely light to carry (convenient when it’s 110 steps from your car to the water and back) and load on and off your car. Despite its near “race” paddling speed, the Bellissima is also a lot of fun to surf. It really is this overall versatility that’s making this board such a big hit..

San Onofre surfing fun

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Stephanie, Donnie and I went out to “sano” again for some fun times and waves. While it was hardly “pumping”, it was a whole lot of fun, and the we ended it all up with a BBQ at the end of the day… so we can’t complain about that. Stephanie graduated from the Big to the Mach1, and it was pretty funny at first as she had to overcome the tippyness of the board, but once she got it on a wave she loved it. All in all, it’s hard to complain when you live in a place like this..

Lei e Bellissima !

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She’s beautiful! The board of course… what did you think we were talking about? She’s fast, she’s stable, and she’s fun. And most of all, she is beautiful. That’s why the girls were fighting over the board when we took it down to the beach for a paddle. It’s also very very light, and that really helps for carry and loading. But most of all, everyone agreed on the same thing – how fast and easy the board is to paddle. And while the Bellissima will be used mostly onĀ  open ocean, lakes and calm waters, it certainly can surf if you want it to… more on that to come..

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