Behind the Brand: C4 is the first board label that was dedicated entirely to the recent Stand Up Paddling phenomenon. Hawaiian Brian Keaulana, one of the world's most respected watermen, along with surfer/shaper Dave Parmenter, a former Top 16 ASP pro, and Todd Bradley, a champion paddler, founded the brand in 2006. The company is based in Honolulu, Hawaii—the birthplace of the sport—but over the past couple of years the trio has been barnstorming the globe promoting the sport and what they view are its core four principles: balance, endurance, strength, and tradition. Both Parmenter and Keaulana are the brand's leading test pilots, as they remain at the forefront of SUP performance in their backyard of Makaha, the epicenter of the movement. Parmenter, who was central to the high-performance hybrid movement, joined forces with Keaulana to design a set of user-friendly SUP shapes made to perform. They quickly extended their offerings into high-performance shortboard SUPs, classic trimmers, and distance paddlers. Todd Bradley and Maui-powerhouse Archie Kalepa helped them envision and establish an entirely new class of distance racing on their specially designed stand-up paddleboards and C4 paddles.
About his Most Popular Models: While many of his team riders prefer the 10' BK Pro model, their best selling board is the Classic 10', and the 10'6". "It's a versatile longboard shape that's souped-up with flats and edges and a progressive rocker; it is designed for all types of waves and surfing abilities, yet is still a great, comfortable coastal cruiser for fitness paddling."
Taking the Pulse:"A properly designed stand-up board should not merely be an oversized longboard nor a magnified shortboard. They must be precisely tuned hybrids of all sorts of surfcraft, and only a veteran shaper/designer will be able to choose and execute the critical components."Shop Talk
Name three stand up paddleboards your customers should know about. "The first would be the 14' C4 Waterman Vortice XP. It's great for long-distance racing and it will paddle to town very easily after 'peak oil' and the coming depression strand automobiles on the side of the road like mastodons in the tar pits. The next would be the 10' C4 Classic. You might as well go ahead and cancel the cable TV with that one. It's the most versatile and stable SUP on the planet, since you can ride it like a classic longboard and still 'Kong it' on the inside shoredump. And the last would be our new 9'3" C4 SUB Vector. A lot of shapers have jumped into the SUP market, scoffing, 'Hey, it's not rocket science.' But the ballistic SUB Vector, with its concaved deck, twin foot-wells, double-barrel vee panels, and five-fin convertibility proves that it is."
What technologies are especially crucial to SUP boards? "Having a choice of good-quality EPS foams has really come in handy, as SUP surfboards have a far greater core-to-skin ratio than conventional boards, and thus benefit more from reduced core weight."