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…