We spotted oZoboards at the Battle of The Paddle Expo and set up a demo for our 8-year old daughter at Baby Beach in Dana Point. We have spent the last year looking around for affordable family boards that may work for our daughter in flat water and to eventually learn stand up paddle surfing. In testing a few boards, including my PSH 10’6” x 30”, we realized kids need a narrower board as they have narrow shoulders and don’t need as much stability as adults. Adults cringe when they hear a young paddler clanging the rails as they reach wide to paddle. We liked the idea of a soft board that would allow her to learn to surf without a paddle and eventually with a paddle, all this with comfort and durability.
We met oZoboard’s Ian Cairns at Baby Beach. He was ready with a quiver of oZoboards: 9’ 6” SUPS 32” and 34” wide and the cross-over boards 7’6”(24” wide), 8’6”( 25” wide) and 9’6” (28.5” wide). The narrower cross-over boards are perfect for kids. My daughter was able to carry her own gear! She was able to paddle cleanly without hitting her rails or dealing with a wide board. She could turn and navigate the boards and, being soft, they do not “bite back” when she falls.
At 6’3” and 225 pounds I was able to handle the cross-over 9’6” x 28.5” and could see how it would also work for advanced paddlers in the surf. The boards feature soft and safe construction, slick hull that make them glide and stronger than a Costco Wavestorm. The raised deck gives them stability, and towing eyes offer options for wake surfing and leash plug and handle to complete needs of a wide range of paddlers. The boards also have FCS fin boxes allowing for upgraded FCS fins. The boards make great sense for beginners, surf schools and rental fleets. But I can see they could be a lot of fun in and around the rocks for advanced surfers. Ian thinks that the traction is sufficient, but I would recommend wax or traction pad for advanced surfing. Wiping the board with a bit of sand takes off any slick film.
We happily purchased a 7’6” for our 8 year old daughter who weighs 70 pounds. She can carry it and handle it in the wind and chop. Click here to see a video of her on the board. She can share the boards with friends and share the stoke. oZoboards are all about having fun at the beach, so jump on one for you or your family.
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