Luxury Leisure: New Zealander Roy Stewart has elevated the surfboard into the realm of luxury wooden watersports equipment for the elite enthusiast with his latest creation, the $20,000 Makaha. More than 400 individually crafted pieces of empress wood (Paulownia), the carving of which is an art form of longstanding in China and Japan, where it is used for traditional string instruments, make up the handmade, limited edition, museum quality board. Its not merely eye candy, however; Stewart promises exhilarating performance as well.
The 129 Makaha is modeled on the olo boards once reserved for royalty among Polynesian natives. Its incredible flexibility is due to the fact that the whole board is pre-tensioned like a drum. That makes for amazing acceleration in the water as the twang drives the board forward via the Vort-X tunnel fin, yet, Stewart notes, it is extremely forgiving and easy to ride, just as comfortable cruising small waves as it is racing large ones. Of course for $20,000 these boards are made to order, so expect to wait at least three months for delivery. The price also includes a custom travel bag.
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