Learning to Paddle the Puma.
Having the chance to work with company like NSP has been a dream come true. The athletes, people behind the scenes and the man who creates the magical shapes.
But one of the reasons I truly love paddling the boards that NSP sells is because of how they feel to me.
I raced it at the Coconut Cup. A 2 day event on the West End of St. Croix. One day a downwinder. The other a course race. The following weekend I head to Puerto Rico for the Rincon Beach Boy, an 8 mile ocean race.
During the event I learned a lot about how the board handled. And I was impressed on the versatility. After the events I spent time surfing on it and training for the next big event the Carolina Cup. But for the Carolina Cup I was making the transition from the flat deck raceboard. To the Sonic, a dug out.
Introduction to the Dugout.
After a few days on the 14′ x 23″ Sonic. I felt comfortable. Surprisingly. The race went really well. And from this day on I’ve been riding a dugout.
But what does that have to do with the Puma? The Puma is a board that I still love to get on and race. I’ve raced it on flatwater. Course races. Downwinders. And my performances have always matched that of any other board in the NSP quiver. It has also taught me so much about how to ride the dugouts that Alain has created.
The Puma is less intimidating due to its slightly recessed deck. But carries the same performance as its dugout counter parts. It also has a similar bottom and nose design as the Carolina. Allowing for it to be as efficient in the flats as it is in choppy water. The slightly recessed deck provides a lower center of gravity which is the ultimate benefit of the dugout.
All and all the Puma is a great performance board. Whether racing or just looking to enjoy a cruise.
Here is a bit more information on the Puma. If you have not tried one. Let me know and I’d love to get one under your feet.