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diving paddle board

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Jul 21, 2002
i have a buddy who has a paddle board for diving. it has a hatch so that you can keep gear,fish etc inside. you lay on it and paddle it like a surfboard. it is faster than my kayak, less wind resistant, lighter and easier to carry, and slides over kelp with the greatest of ease. i would love to buy one, but i don't know if anyone is still making these...this one is pretty old. i think they were more common at one time, does anyone have info on these?
I think Omersub in Europe sells this paddle type contraption. I saw it in an Immersion Magazine while in Portugal about 2 years ago.

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Sorry cingene, appreciate the input, but that's not what he's talking about.

The atol float from OMER you linked to is just a tow-behind style float that's about 2 feet by 1 foot wide. Click here for a description & better picture.

What divedog is referring to looks much more like a surfboard.
I attatched a picture of a bunch of lifeguard paddleboards I got from "http://www.uslanationals.org"

I haven't seen anybody using them recently, but agree that they're great for flat water. They have a few races in Hawaii every year & it's fun to watch. Very briefly crossed my mind to use one up here in NorCal, but reconsidered when thinking about how much mobility I lose with my 7mm wetsuit :(

I'll try and dig up some info :hmm


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I like this picture too :D



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This last picture shows the difference in paddling styles:

From URL=http://www.hawaii.com/visit/entertainment/paddleboard.jpg]HERE[/URL]


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thanks you two, fuzz is right, what i'm looking for is a paddle board about 12 to 14ft long. it is hollow and has a hatch on top; so that it is able to stow gear inside. i have called numerous surf shops and dive shops. most do not know what i'm talking about, a few do but do not know if anyone is still making them. i get the impression that small shops in the 70's made them. i think the sit on top kayak has taken the niche; though i think there is still a place for a paddle board...at least where i dive. thanks for the help and let me know if anymore information turns up.
here in Oz they are still available. our lifeguards use them...

Ive also heard of a mod where a glass pane is inserted near the front so the spearo can see the reef below. That way you can paddle along until you see a fish and then dive on it.. pretty neat IMHO.:)

There were at least three models of the boards. They evolved from tandem surf boards that we added wooden racks to, into a fully closed, oversized kayak that could carry 3-400 pounds. I went out diving/scouting for the day with my 180cm gun, anchor, lunch, a tank and a depth sounder. About 25 years ago it became legal to use paddles and most everyone added a back rest. If you alternate between arms and legs, they'll do about 5 knots for a couple of miles, without the paddles.
ItÕs hard to believe you canÕt find one. I have a picture of 30-40 of them parked at Leo Carillo (beach park in LA county) after a meet. Someone on the freedive-list must be willing to part with his. The one in my garage however, isnÕt for sale. As soon as I get this deeper/longer stuff conquered, IÕll use it to terrorize the Ono population at the bottom of the street. The shipping back to CA is probably more than the $200 I paid for it in Ô71. A guy named Lighthall (Santa Cruz, CA) made me a lighter version that is under 40#.
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hey bill,
i actually live near santa cruz and i've called most the dive shops and some of the old surf board shapers without any luck. they know what i'm talking about but they don't know where i can get one. do you know if this lighthall fellow can still be reached? thanks.

I too have thought about using a paddleboard for access to the kelp beds that are too far away to swim to. What has kept me away is the notion of paddling with a wetsuit on....
way to stiff and hot
and that there is just too much gear to strap to the deck of my current paddleboard.
Are picturing yourself suiting up offshore, or onshore? Ive never tried putting on my suit in the water, but thats where I picture myself going on even the widest, most stable paddleboard. In the end Ive decided to do longer shore hikes, and longer swims to keep things simpler.

Good luck
I only saw Lighthall once, a long time ago. He's probably in his 70s now. Your best bet might be clubs or councils. They used to trade newsletters and any editor could tell you how to contact the others. Check the GLACD.org site, Fathomiers.com or any of the competitive spear fishing crowd maybe.
We used the boards in winter mostly. When you're lying on 55-60 degree water heat is never a problem, trust me. Even sitting in a kyak, the worst case is cured by falling off. Some divers took their top off for the run back to the staging area.
i've seen people take off the top part of the wetsuit and paddle with ALL their gear safely stowed inside the board.
We get those boards here too, only we call them Malibu boards. Maybe it'll help when searching on ebay.

Sultan to the rescue...

Dog- if you're in Santa Cruz head over to the shop alongside 101, called Aqua Safaris. In their parking lot stacked up with some plastic boards is a genuine fiberglass Oakley paddleboard. These things are dakine!! It's black and pretty roached out and I don't know what they want for it, but some elbow grease and some 4oz cloth/epoxy to stiffen the bottom and you'd be smooth.

I've had two of these and they're real stable as compared to Mulders or Ryans or Lighthalls. Knock the rear bulkhead back and there's enough room for a fat mother-in-law!

Packing a 20' Lighthall to HI had to run a couple canucks, Bill!

O.K. any takers on mass producing this paddle boards. I think we got a market building up and it looks like a goldmine.

Let's see at $0.25/#, about $10 since it fit in the 40footer anyway. Nice thing, the boss wanted my a*s now and picked up the tab. Car, furniture and toys. Only time in my life that I felt wanted. The $500 for the bird and a few thou for the boat was on me.
alright...that's it! how do you make one of these paddle boards...if you can't buy 'em make 'em, i always say

I'm going to hope you're real young or rich... There are a lot, as in, a LOT of easier ways to go broke than making fiberglass paddleboards. Or anything out of fiberglass for that matter...

First off, the market is pretty well saturated with the rotational; molded stuff, I call 'em Rubbermaid boards. They're cheap, you can't break them and they work. Yeah they aren't the ideal but what is these days? To do them out of 'glass would be prohibitive for the cost of the tooling, and then the materials and then the assembly is what'd kill ya. And I say this having a grundle of time with composites and having actually made Lightalls and Mulders, having thought as did you that there's a market. I made 3-4 dozen and then stood back and went broke.

The actual market is with the competition clowns and old school :cool: guys that were raised on them, but we have ours and well, it just sucks for everyone else, ya know? A roto'd board is about $300 and some change. To get the first one out of a mold and in the water is gonna run at least a large G and then only if you don't pay yourself. The numbers aren't there.

The Flipper Dippers Dive Club of San Jose often has a couple for sale, but these guys know what they're worth too. :waterwork

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