barkprone1

After months of eager anticipation for the new Bark prone inflatable, four of them arrived at 101 Surf Sports in San Rafael.

Immediately upon arrival, one was unboxed and pumped up and put to the paces by the staff at 101 Surf Sports. The whole experience was seen through the eyes of staff members and with the eyes of a future customer, myself!!!!

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Eco packaging on the Bark Prone Inflatable Paddleboard

After pulling the box open, my eyes carefully inspected the bag, barrel entry, not my favorite, but after taking a look at the backpack style straps, any further criticisms were fast removed. The entire board was folded carefully inside of Eco Friendly brown paper (pictured at right), big karma points to Joe Bark for taking the Earth friendly lead over using the typical plastic wrapping that other vendors offer.

Now the fun part, pumping up the board. Usually this is my least favorite task on regular inflatable stand up paddle boards, given that it feels like a daunting task that has no end in clear sight. But given the width and length of the Bark prone inflatable, coming in at 12’ by 20” wide, inflation was a breeze! In a matter of five minutes and 220 pumps, the only thing standing between getting on the water was attaching the fin and a leash (not included).

bark prone inflatable

bark prone inflatable paddleboard fits in a backpack!

At 101 Surf Sports, we really like fins, as in the fact that different fins change boards. The fin supplied as a lot softer than I had hoped, but that can easily be remedied by adding any conventional fin that goes into an A box, which is industry jargon for the style of box. Surftech and Joe bark put some thought into this one for sure, as most companies who make inflatable use inexpensive fin boxes which tend to be pretty proprietary in nature. Meaning, if you forget to pack your fin or worse yet lose one while away on some far off holiday with not a surf shop within reach, you will not be too stoked. But in the random occasion that one looses a fin or forgets it, or if you simply want to upgrade your fins, the A box allows just that. A staff favorite is the FCS II Connect Fins, available in a classic swept surf design or a 9” Touring fin for better tracking and more stability. The fin which is supplied does come with a handy fin screw, which lets the consumer forgo the need for a screw driver, as does the aftermarket FCS II fins.

Now, back to the water! Each staff member that took turns trying the inflatable prone remarked on how much it felt like a conventional layup prone board, very rigid feeling when pumped up to the suggested 15psi and the deck pad is a legitimate deck pad, the exact same ones used on the Bark Commander, very plush! As for knee paddling, it was super responsive, no bounce and jiggle like a cheap pool toy feeling what so ever, the drop stitching and thoughtful nose rocker kept the board on track and slicing through the water!

As per usual here at 101 Surf Sports, we like to push the limits of each craft, so with that being said, two staff members took to their feet on the inflatable prone board, with a Quickblade stand up paddle blade, and gave it their best shot, with great success by the way in what became a true testament to the stability of the Bark inflatable prone and the deftly skilled paddlers who “stood up” for the challenge! (pictured below the board is so stiff you can stand on it - don't try this at home! Actually do try this at home!)

Prone standing?

So in terms of what direction that you should go for your next purchase, choosing the Surftech Bark inflatable prone is a wise choice, if you are a seasoned water person or just someone who might be interested in trying our prone paddleboarding, this board will be the gateway drug into an exciting life out on the water!

Come on down to 101 Surf Sports San Rafael store and give one a try. Can't get to the store? Than buy one online in our web store. We love this board - you can't go wrong. See and purchase the Bark Inflatable Prone Paddle board - click here.

Watch this video of Jack Bark (son of the designer Joe Bark)taking the board down the Kern river. Awesome.

Jack Bark Prone Paddles the Kern River from Surftech USA on Vimeo.

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