Custom Board Candy: Joe Bark Unlimited SUP built for the SEVENTY48 Race

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Dean Burke, Joe Bark Custom

Specs

This is a custom Joe Bark UL SUP.
“Purpose built” for the SEVENTY48 race.
Length: 17′
Width: 25″
Tail: Square/ 10″ wide
Nose: Displacement entry….but….has some rocker AND is a bit more rounded on the bottom edges.
The entry and the rails were an important discussion point in making this one. 

Goals

Joe built this for me for SEVENTY48. This is a 70 mile point-to-point race, with no support. You cannot set aside gear stashes or receive any kind of hand-off’s of any kind. Not from land and not from a boat. You take with you whatever you think you need.
The race goes from Tacoma, WA. to Port Townsend, WA., travelling from south-to-north up 3/4 of the section of the Salish Sea called “Puget Sound.”
Racers have 48 hours to complete the distance. What you do with your time along the way is up to you.
That said, I wanted a board that was a UL length for both overall speed and volume for handling gear. Most SUP paddlers in this race will carry anywhere from 18lb – 25lbs of gear for this. Kind of depends on what the weather forecast is looking like. Much of the weight is fluid/ hydration/ fuel. (Will pack a bivvy bag last minute if it looks like being forced ashore might be a reality.) The added weight was taken into consideration when the board volume was drafted by Joe.
Oh – worth noting – the race starts in the evening, and goes straight into the night. If you plan on being a “straight-through” paddler (via SUP), plan for 15 – 20 hours of work non-stop, without touching land.
All those race notes are important because every bit of that is what influenced this design. Of key note: I asked Joe to consider the tweaks to the nose/ entry due to the fact that this route generally sees some kind of northerly quartering wind/ wave conditions. I wanted the speed of the displacement entry, but also needed a little bit of the rounded edge to help the nose slip in those quartering conditions. Last year I spent 15 miles paddling on one side because of a NE wind. Tidal exchange during this time of year can also be 16 feet inside of 6 hours. That’s a lotta moving water.
I told Joe that I really loved the ease and forgiveness of the Surftech BARK Vapor. That big round nose that came over from the Commander prone paddleboards makes lumpy water so much easier. But you sacrifice speed with that type of nose, because they push more water. On the other hand, a displacement entry that is too flat (no rocker) or has too hard of a rail (square) is super fast, but will get pushed around if wind/ water is quartering from the front. Together, we looked at some nose/ entry shapes he had done for Molokai and Catalina. (Not the double-hull prone….but some of the rounded edges behind the nose. And with less rocker than a Molokai board, obviously). Joe got excited and came up with this shape.

Design

As for the graphics….holy smokes….that paint!
So it goes like this: I’m a Gen-X guy. Born in 1972. I grew up in a golden age of design, color and fun. I also grew up with a television that made cars, trucks, vans, motorcycles and helicopters into heroes. The classic sunset fade influence art that was coming out of California was so good. Late ’70’s into the early ’80’s. Brands like OP, Hobie, Vans….BMX, surf, skate…so much good art. Hot Rod cars were cool….the Gran Torino from Starsky and Hutch, the A-Team van, the helicopter from Magnum PI and all those epic good times van’s from the 70’s too. My good friend Troy Nebeker (Monster and Sea) asked me if he could do the graphic design for this board. If you could see the private message folders between Troy and me, it’s like two 11 year old boys trading Hot Wheels cars. It’s just full of ’70’s/early ’80’s colors, designs, trucks, vans, Jeeps, motorcycles. After a few fun discussions, Troy came back to me with this design. We didn’t change a thing. It was a one-shot hit. I sent the art down to Joe, then sat back and waited patiently.
Dean Burke, Joe Bark Custom

Concept Board/Mood Board

Dean Burke, Joe Bark Custom

Design via Troy Nebeker

During that time, Joe sent me pics of the foam after initial shaping. Then a few weeks later my friend Karl Kruger (R2AK) was down at Joe’s shop working on his new UL that he will be paddling over the top of the globe when he goes through the NW Passage through the polar melt next summer….and he sent me some pics of my board in the sanding room, before paint. So cool to see it in stages as it came to life.
Dean Burke, Joe Bark Custom Dean Burke, Joe Bark Custom Dean Burke, Joe Bark Custom