The Adventure Life with Steve Casimiro Gear Review: Hobie ATR Standup Paddleboard
Text by West Coast Editor Steve Casimiro
Photo by Joshua Scott
Five years ago the only guys who knew what “stand-up paddleboarding” meant were pro surfers like Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama. Since then the sport has invaded beach scenes from coast to coast, attracting converts from outside the surfing world. Fitness fanatics have latched on to stand-up’s full-body workout—you stand facing forward, feet shoulder-width apart, and paddle canoe-style—while hydro-explorers have started using the boards to access hard-to-reach shorelines. The first time I tried it, I enjoyed tooling around my Southern California harbor, but the excitement wasn’t worth the hassle of schlepping an unwieldy, 30-plus-pound beast.
Now comes the Hobie ATR ($1,350). Using molded construction similar to windsurf rigs, the board weighs as little as 22 pounds. For carrying, there’s an inset handhold in the middle: easy peasy. I grabbed it with one arm, zipped across the sand, and in seconds the ATR was blasting through the water as if motorized. If you have decent balance, stability on mellow H2O should be no problem, thanks to the ATR’s lengthy, 11-foot deck (stand-up paddle surfing takes a bit more practice). Give it ten minutes—plus or minus a fall or two—and you’ll be walking on water your very first day.
We’re also big fans of the Werner Spanker Paddle ($339; pictured).
- Nat Geo Expeditions