If you are new to paddle boarding you may have had some serious sticker shock. Paddle boards average in price around $1000 and can reach prices in the many thousands of dollars. No way can a beginner be expected to fork over that kind of money, especially if they aren’t even sure about the sport yet.
Fortunately you may have found a board on Amazon or Dicks Sporting Goods from a company called California Board Company that is half the cost of most boards, but at such a steep discount can the board be any good? Is this thing going to sink like a rock when I launch it in the water? Will this board crack in half if I strap it too tight to the roof of my car? Even with a cheap board like the, California Board Company 10 six, we need answers.
About California Board Company
California Board Company is owned by a company called Keeper Sports that was started in 2008 and is a relatively new player in the paddle board game. Their goal was to make affordable boards to be sold on the mass market.
If you are looking for the California Board Company website to find more information about the board, don’t bother. There is no real cbc website that is designed to inform consumers, only a Keeper Sports website that is aimed at big box distributors.
How is the board shipped and what comes with it?
The 10 six is their most popular paddle board and they sell them at a number of big retailers. When you place your order online the board is shipped via freight (as are most paddle boards) because it is too big to be shipped in a UPS or FedEx truck. It is possible that you will need to call your local freight terminal when it arrives there so you can coordinate getting it to your house. You can expect delivery to take between 5 and 7 business days. When you order from Amazon, your CBC paddle board is an all in one package, it comes with everything you need to get started. Here is what is included in the package.
The adjustable paddle is made of a plastic rubber, making it very durable, and has 5 settings to adjust the length. The different settings means that anyone from a child to an adult should be able to easily use this paddle.
The description on Amazon claims that the board has a “tri-fin system”, which one would think means that there are three fins, but somehow this isn’t correct. It comes with only one fin, but that is all that a smooth water beginner needs.
The leash is a standard paddle board accessory to keep the board from zooming away from you if you fall off. The padded neoprene material means that the leash is comfortable around your ankle
“Roof rack” is in heavy quotations here because it isn’t a rack at all. The board comes with some foam and straps so that you can strap the thing to the roof of your car without scratching my beautiful orange paint job (yes, my car really is orange). You will want to put something like cardboard or a folded up beach towel in between the strap and your board, otherwise you could dig a big trench across your board.
About the paddle board
The paddle board itself is made of a molded EPS high density foam that is lightweight and waterproof, meaning you won’t need to worry about rot or mold. The bottom of the board is a super smooth laminated polyethylene which means it slides through the water easily, making this board easy to paddle, one of the reasons it’s good for beginners. The foam construction also means that the board is lightweight, weighing only 25 lbs, which is excellent for easy maneuverability.
The high density EPS foam means that punctures won’t cause your board to sink and it won’t require expensive repairs, like with a fiberglass board. However, because the foam is softer than fiberglass, it is easy to dent the board. Be especially careful dragging it across gravel or strapping it too tightly to the roof of your car. The upside to having a soft foam board is that it is much easier on your feet and knees (and you tailbone if you choose to sit down).
I’m not a real big guy myself, weighing less than 170, but there are mixed reviews about how the CBC paddle board is able to handle larger men, like 220 lbs+ guys. Some say that they have no problem at all while others say that the board feels too flimsy with their weight. If you are a big guy with excellent balance you might be able to handle this board, but if you are unsure about your footing and weigh more the 220 lbs then you should probably look for bigger, sturdier paddle boards.
The board has a leash plug (for attaching your leash to) and a carrying grip molded right into the surface of the board. The carrying grip, plus the fact that the board weighs only 25 lbs, means that this board is super easy to carry even for young teens and tweens.
Is the California Board Company board a good paddle board?
Yes, when you consider that the board is half the price of most paddle boards and that it is designed with beginners in mind, the CBC paddle board is pretty good.
This sup is definitely not made for everyone though. If you are are over 220 lbs or you want to paddle board over white water than you will probably want to upgrade to a sturdier, more expensive board.
If, on the other hand, you are new to the sport of paddle boarding and are looking for a complete package, without breaking the bank, then the California Board Company 10 six is an excellent choice for you.
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