Laird Hamilton to Design New Board With Puma
PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG Propulsion today introduced Laird Hamilton, big wave surfer and father of modern standup paddleboarding, as the honorary 12th crew member of the PUMA Ocean Racing team. Through this unprecedented partnership, PUMA and Hamilton will join forces in two arenas: 1) to search for the world’s biggest, ride-able waves and 2) to launch a line of innovative standup paddleboards. Additionally, PUMA revealed an ocean preservation campaign, spearheaded by new mascot, educator and honorary 13th crew member, Marmo.
The Search for the Monster Waves
Hamilton, together with the PUMA Ocean Racing Crew, will commence a search for the world's monster waves during the upcoming Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012. Skipper Ken Read and the crew aboard PUMA's Mar Mostro ('The Monster of the Sea' in Italian) will help track the world's biggest rogue waves which Hamilton will attempt to conquer, getting him one step closer to achieving his life-long ambition of "riding giants." Using the weather and navigational teams onshore and onboard PUMA's Mar Mostro, the crew will track wave patterns while sailing through the remotest reaches of the world's oceans. As monster waves are found, Hamilton will fly in, prepared to surf them.
"PUMA has a history of unexpected collaborations that change the playing field of the sports we engage in," said Antonio Bertone, Chief Marketing Officer for PUMA AG. "The introduction of Laird Hamilton as the honorary 12th crew member on our PUMA Ocean Racing team represents an epic clash of prowess on the ocean. We're bringing together the world's most elite sailors with their counterpart in the surf and paddleboard sector to serve as a key fixture of our Volvo Ocean Race campaign."
The key to Hamilton's success in riding the world's wildest waves rests on an innovative new "concept" surfboard by the same design team that brought PUMA's Mar Mostro to life. Juan Kouyoumdjian (Juan K), the mastermind behind PUMA's Mar Mostro Volvo 70, as well as the boat designer for two previous winning Volvo Open 70 boats, ABM-AMRO ONE and Ericsson 4, will collaborate with Hamilton on the surfboard development.
SUPs of Tomorrow
Laird's latest passion is paddle surfing, a sport he's helped make popular worldwide with water sports enthusiasts of all ages and abilities. PUMA saw an opportunity to extend the Juan K – Laird Hamilton design partnership beyond a concept surfboard and into a range of stand-up paddleboards for consumer use. These limited edition carbon fiber stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) will take inspiration from the Mar Mostro Volvo 70 hull design, both ergonomically and through the use of the same ultra-lightweight carbon fiber materials. Made in the United States, the boards feature the bright red tentacle design, matching PUMA's Mar Mostro. This marks the first time that boat hull design innovation will be applied to paddleboards.
The PUMA/LAIRD SUPs are set to debut to the trade at Outdoor Retailer this August in Park City, Utah (USA), with broader consumer availability in time for the Volvo Ocean Race Start this November.
"It's been a life-long goal to push the boundaries and find these rogue waves at sea to ride, said Hamilton. "When PUMA and the PUMA Ocean Racing crew approached me with ideas for how we might collectively make this happen during the Volvo Ocean Race, I was thrilled. To then have the opportunity to co-design revolutionary new carbon fiber SUPs with them, I knew I couldn't pass it up. We're bringing the ultimate innovation to action water sports. It's going to be a game-changer."