YOUR EDITOR VENTURING OUT ON A BARK COMMANDER AST PRONE PADDLEBOARD
While the popularity of stand up paddleboarding has exploded, a new offshoot of the sport has arrived, which is actually where SUP got its start. Prone paddleboards are now what many of the pros use on the SUP race circuit, and this trend has begun to trickle down to the recreational paddler. Designed to be paddled while lying flat or sitting on your knees, prone paddleboards are like bullets — sexy and fast! No paddle is required, nor is there standing involved. Typically 12 or 14ft, these boards slice through the water with ease and make chop feel like glass. Prone paddleboarding delivers a great endurance workout and can also improve your surfing by strengthening those paddling muscles needed to catch waves.
BARK COMMANDER PRO ELITE
One of the biggest names in SUP, Bark Paddleboards and namesake surfboard shaper Joe Bark, manufactures some of the top prone boards as well. Shown above is the Bark Commander Pro Elite ($1999/2249), the carbon fiber production model of the winning board for the last seven years of Molokai-2-Oahu — the 32-mile island-to-island World Championship race in Hawaii. Up top, and what I demoed at Island Surf in Westhampton Beach, is the less expensive and more durable Bark Commander AST ($1499/$1699) — ready for those who want to go out and have some fun trying a new summer sport. Ideal for both fitness and racing, the AST features comfortable knee wells and a built in chest rise, so you can max out every stroke. It has a sleek matte finish too, for a cool look both in and out of the water.
Top photo by Ally Greenberg / Swimsuit by Milly Cabana