Thursday, October 11, 2012

Bone Boards "walk on water"

While fishing on the Guadalupe river one day, a group of people paddled by me on stand up paddle boards. Watching them glide along, my mind began wandering at the possibility of fly fishing from one. Arriving at the casa, the laptop was pulled out and a search brought me some results and even a local company close to me in San Antonio. After reviewing the board from this new company, I sent an e-mail to the owner with an inquiry to test one out and in return I would do a review. The next morning their was a reply from Bone Boards and I was able to pick a board up and use. 

The Bone Board is built from a rigid closed cell foam that gives it strength and keeps the weight down. Design Specs.
Looking over the board I was impressed with the detail and thought that was put into it.
With a length of 12 feet and width of 32 inches it was stable for it's size. It came with a marine grade aluminum rack that incorporates two rear rod holders and a side paddle holder. The rack is also fitted to hold the Igloo 14 can cooler that is included with the package and a  carbon fiber paddle that comes apart and has an internal steel stake out pin that goes through a hole in the board to keep you in place.

 I was a little hesitant at first to take it on the river because of the abundance of rocks. After a few trips out on the river I don't think you would have a lot of issues unless you are careless and run it into the rocks at high speed. With the light weight, I was able to carry it whenever I had to portage and was surprised at how tough the laminate on the bottom was with the rocks that it did scrape against.

Standing was fairly easy and at 250 lbs I felt stable enough to fish and paddle the board as it was designed. 
Paddling the board was a little bit of an adventure. The board would get nose heavy but it was due to my weight. After talking with the designer they are in the thought process of designing a second board which will be over 13 ft in length and have a wider stance to help out someone like myself. I was able to paddle it at a good pace once I adjusted the trim by backing up some on the board.
Rack, being collapsible and made out of marine grade aluminum it was light and fit perfect into the recessed holes incorporated into the board. The rack was then held in place by a buckle tie down like you would find on a casting platform on a boat.
Paddle, built 100% from carbon fiber, it was light and had the appropriate blade angle that allowed you to really dig when you wanted to cover ground or you turned it around when using it to position for a cast. It also comes apart by pushing a pin and inside is a metal stakeout pin to be used to anchor yourself in place when fishing a flat or if you want to get off and wade.
The standing area of the board is recessed and fitted with a nice foam pad that allows you to stand comfortably for a long period of time. The cooler is a nice addition when using the rack which has a recess that holds it perfectly. I was also able to leave the rack at home and just use my K-2 cooler as a platform to sit on when I wanted to take a break or paddle around.

Overall I think the design is great and functional. Some suggestions I would make would be to add grab handles to make it easier to carry, offer it in other than black. I realize that it was designed primarily for fishing the flats in Saltwater but I was impressed with it's ability to take on the river. I'm looking forward to seeing a larger model and wish them luck with the board.