BOSTON, MA – The new PUMA/Laird Board, a limited-edition carbon fiber stand-up paddleboard (SUP), was selected by Outside Magazine for a 2011 Gear of the Show Award at the Outdoor Retailer trade show on Friday. Outside editors named their favorite 10 outdoor gear products from Outdoor Retailer, held in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the PUMA/Laird Board was the lone watercraft to make this year’s list.
PUMA, professional surfer Laird Hamilton and surfboard manufacturer Surftech introduced the PUMA/Laird Board at the trade show. Hamilton teamed with renowned boat designer Juan Kouyoumdjian (Juan K), of Juan Yacht Design, to create the unique SUP. The board features the same Volvo 70 boat hull design – both ergonomically and through the use of the same ultra-lightweight materials – seen in PUMA’s Mar Mostro, the yacht set to compete in the nine-month around the world Volvo Ocean Race.
Built in the United States by Clear Carbon and Components, Inc. (Bristol, R.I.) and distributed by Surftech (Santa Cruz, Calif.), the board marks the first time that boat hull design innovation have been used in stand-up paddleboards. The boards will be available at select retailers beginning in January 2012.
The PUMA/Laird Board features a foam core carbon fiber center and epoxy matrix covered by red tentacle graphics matching PUMA’s Mar Mostro. Demo PUMA/Laird Boards will be available at each of the port stopovers during the Volvo Ocean Race. The board is designed to provide more agility and speed on the water’s surface, and it offers the ability to maneuver easily in big open ocean waves or in flat, calm water.
Juan K is the mastermind behind PUMA’s Mar Mostro as well as the designer for the two previous winning Volvo Ocean Race boats – ABM-AMRO ONE and Ericsson 4. Kouyoumdijian is also the principal designer with Artemis Racing Team for the 34th America’s Cup. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, his passion for sailing inspired him to study naval architecture, and he earned a degree in yacht and in small craft design. Today, his company, Juan Yacht Design, based in Valencia, Spain, is composed of a multicultural team specialized in the design of high performance racing yachts.
In addition to co-designing the paddleboard, Hamilton was recently named the PUMA Ocean Racing team’s honorary 12th crew member. Hamilton together with the PUMA Ocean Racing Crew will commence a search for the world’s monster waves during the upcoming Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012. Skipper Ken Read and the crew aboard PUMA’s Mar Mostro will help track the world’s biggest rogue waves which Hamilton will attempt to conquer, getting him one step closer to achieving his life-long ambition of “riding giants.” Using the weather and navigational teams onshore and onboard PUMA’s Mar Mostro, the crew will track wave patterns while sailing through the remotest reaches of the world’s oceans. As monster waves are found, Hamilton will fly in, prepared to surf them.
In keeping with PUMA's long-term commitments to sustainability, PUMA and Hamilton will work together to promote ocean preservation and will reach out to young sailing and sports fans over the course of the nine-month Volvo Ocean Race to raise awareness and learn about the importance and shared responsibilities of ocean preservation.
For more information on PUMA Ocean Racing or the PUMA/Laird Board, go to www.pumasailingnewsroom.com.
For a complete list of Outside Magazine’s 2011 Gear of the Show awards, click HERE.