The early summer sun had started to warm the marsh muck, freshly uncovered by the receding tide. Paddle and fly rod in one hand, and Pau Hana’s Big EZ Ricochet in the other, I sidestepped sharp rocks, shells and fleeing horseshoe crabs until the water started to lick my dogs. I slid the board into the few inches of water and jumped onboard.
I’m always a little nervous paddling a hard board; fiberglass and foam are not friends with rocks and oysters. The advantages of an efficient and stable stiffy come at the cost of dings and scratches. No worries with Pau Hana’s new Big EZ. The board is built with a special outer layer of armor called Ricochet integrated into the fiberglass shell. The board looks and performs like a traditional fiberglass board while bouncing and grinding through the rough stuff like an inflatable.
So, how tough is Ricochet? At last summer’s Outdoor Retailer tradeshow, Pau Hana owner Todd Caranto demonstrated the properties by repeatedly crashing a 16-pound bowling ball off the board. After a week of abuse, the board looked almost as good as new.
While the Ricochet technology adds toughness, it doesn’t add any weight. I dropped sinkers, banged into rocks, bounced off pilings, dragged over shells, even dropped the board with impunity, but it didn’t punish me with heavy lifting.
The Big EZ Ricochet’s construction isn’t the only shining feature. The high-volume board means big anglers can paddle with confidence and even pack on gear without worrying about maxing out the weight capacity. At 32 inches wide, the board is stable enough for beginners or old salts looking to fish without worrying about swimming. Stability comes at the expense of speed; The Big EZ slows down in rough conditions.
While paddlers love the stability, anglers shine on the integrated SeaMount System. Pau Hana has installed nine leash plugs in strategic locations on the deck. Using an adapter, anglers can add electronics, rod holders, tie-downs, even Nocqua lights and a PowerPole Micro anchor.
Motor anglers aren’t left out, either. The board is available with the new Electra Fin motor. The low profile propeller fits into a standard fin box. Forward and reverse are controlled with a hand remote and powered by a sealed, rechargeable battery.
Standup paddleboards earn their stripes in standup fishing. The stable platform silently slides into shallow water.
Stealing up on a flat with the Big EZ, I immediately spotted three schools of cruising striped bass. Hands shaking, I picked up my fly rod and performed a nervous roll cast landing my Clouser in front of a pack of 30- inch striper. With a powerful strip-set, I was tied into the fish, surfing the flat on the board. Nothing could stop that fish from pulling my line into my backing, just like nothing will be able to stop Pau Hana’s new Ricochet.
- Ricochet shell deflects dings
- Vent plug designed to self-regulate
- Compatible with NOCQUA lighting kit
- CoreBrace reinforced components
- Nine leash plug attachment points for rigging gear
- Comfortable deck padding