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McConks: a more progressive and innovative watersports company than you’d imagine.

If you’ve discovered McConks’ range of premium inflatable stand up paddle boards then welcome! Perhaps you’re one of the many getting into SUP for the first time. Maybe you’ve just purchased a brand new McConks inflatable all round stand up paddle board or possibly, as an advancing rider, there’s a step up iSUP board head your way soon. Whatever your paddling circumstances then great! Here’s to many hours of fun and frolics on the water for you, your family and friends.

Whilst McConks’ core business remains (and will always remain) about SUP for everyone we’re not averse to spreading our wings, trying new things and diversifying our product range. For instance, did you know McConks has a range of hard shell stand up paddle boards? You could’ve missed the fact that recently we’ve gotten into the discipline of flight with our Fly McConks range of hydrofoiling products. We appreciate when you’re in a certain frame of mind, with a specific focus and goal (i.e. recreational stand up paddle boarding) these other elements may get missed. Here at McConks we also appreciate that an audience looking at our premium inflatable boards isn’t necessarily going to be searching for land based one wheel hoverboards! So allow us to enlighten you with this article. Let us draw your attention to some of the innovative and progressive products that McConks peddles. If you’re looking for additional ways to unlock your freedom this season then maybe some of this kit will tickle your taste buds and deliver further ways to enjoy the outdoors.

McConks white water stand up paddle boards

Sticking with familiar territory to begin McConks has a choice range of inflatable SUPs aimed at all you white water river rats. Actually, more than that, some of these boards have additional versatility giving them broader appeal. Take for instance the McConks Go Skate 7’2. Designed initially for river waves and manoeuvrability in water with flow it actually doubles as a nimble and fun inflatable surf SUP. The almost twin tip, parallel rail design allows for new school riding (for those that can) but doesn’t do away with accessibility. So much so that we’ve seen it used quite happily on flat water by heavier riders.

McConks’ Go Skate 7’2 – happy to wet, wherever the water lies.

Of course, if you want a flat water SUP then there are more efficient available. But you can’t argue that the SUP Skate (for those with a little more skill) can be piloted in flatty mode no issue. And if you’re kids are looking for a short, turny iSUP then don’t discount it, the Go Skate 7’2 being able to accommodate here also.

For those newbie river paddlers fear not! We haven’t passed you by. If you’re a river SUPer, looking for a beginner friendly white water inflatable then check out the Go Wild 9’8. This’ll allow you to learn all those WW moves but be equally at home messing about at open water, tidal venues. (Just because it says ‘beginner white water SUP’ on the tin doesn’t mean it has to stay in the river!

Finally, are you a speed nut who loves a bit of hammer down action, but one which slays river runs? If so, check out the Go X Wild 11′, optimised for powering through all manner of flotsam and froth, yet just as happy in mellower SUP environments.

It’s even possible to have a dabble in smaller surf with the Go X Wild and plenty happy on flat water in recreational/touring SUP mode – versatility never looked so good!

Race SUPs

The term ‘race’ may instantly be off putting for those not of a competitive bent. We appreciate that most paddlers couldn’t care less about podium finishes and whipping the opposition. Race SUPs, however, aren’t just for smashing it down the straits. Design traits that make them efficient on a SUP race course can also be leant to flatter water stand up paddle boarding scenarios where riders want a more efficient and engaging ride. Being a tad more technical to pilot certainly encourages paddlers to up their game.

The McConks Go Race V 14′ piloted by Mrs McConks.

This type of board can also be great at catching small bumps and nailing downwind runs. The additional length encourages glide whilst a reduction in board width delivers a more nimble experience – even with inflatables race SUPs. A case in point being the McConks Go Race V 14′

Now, there’s much more than meets the eye with the Go Race V 14′. First of is the carbon stringer that runs along the board’s centreline adding more rigidity when fully inflated. It’s light as well for its size meaning any portages can be completed swiftly if needs be. But have a look closer at the Go Race V’s fin box. This is a real nifty design innovation. Fully removable the box utilises air pressure to remains in place with the additional security of a Velcro strap. equating to less ‘play’ in the fin area delivers even more efficiency. Combined with the board’s rubber release edge ensures elongated glide, bang on tracking more rapid ground covering. Who wouldn’t want this from a SUP let alone a race sled. And that’s just it, you don’t need to be racing to get maximum benefit from an innovative and progressive inflatable SUP like the Go Race V 14′.

Hard shell stand up paddle boards

But it isn’t just inflatable race machines McConks supplies. Did you know we offer a (pre-order only) custom carbon race board? Yep! If you’re dead set on taking top honours in elite class events then this is the SUP for you. But likewise, the McConks Carbon Sport 14′ makes a great case for flat water touring as well as being able to nab a few bumps should you wish. being hand built, with an 8-12 week lead time makes it all the more tantalising a prospect owning one. after all, nothing like a one of a kind original!

For those of you searching for a SUP with the ability to cope with wind and surf, but not fancying an inflatable then the McConks Freedom 10’6 may flick your switch. The Freedom’s a sexy looking stand up paddle board – even if we do say so ourselves. With a hull designed to maximise performance in waves and with a sail attached (ala windSUP) it’s one that’ll appeal to surf SUP and windsurf wave heads alike.

But as with all McConks’ innovative products there’re other performance traits to be found with the Freedom 10’6 such as being perfectly applicable to flat water, recreational SUP shenanigans.

Inflatable wings and sails

Many of you maybe asking what on Earth these things called wings are, and how do they fit your watery lifestyle? It’s a good question as inflatable wings, such as the McConks Go Fly wing is a fairly new concept to many – even though using a wing shaped ‘sail’ (for want of a better description) has been around since the early 80s. In fact, as soon as windsurfing took off back in the day innovators began tinkering with different methods of propulsion, such as wings. Unfortunately, they were deemed inefficient and cumbersome to use, mainly because unlike wings of today back then they were rigid structures that didn’t float and were quite heavy.

Fast forward a couple of decades and wingsurfing (or wing foiling) has literally taken off. Mostly because of the rise (all the puns here!) of accessible hydrofoils and hydrofoil performance. Inflatable technology has also contributed and wings are easy to use for almost everyone. The don’t weigh much, can be pumped up quickly and you don’t need much (if any) prior experience to get on the water with one – in SUP mode at least. Where wings do come into their own is when paired with a foil board and foil. Once flying inflatable wings become much more efficient, as does the whole combo, riding frictionless off the hydrofoil’s wings alone. Wing foiling isn’t difficult per se but as with any new skill requires a little bit of time and dedication to get off the ground (there’s another pun!). Paired with conventional stand up paddle boarding wingin’ is a way to make better use of breezy days. In 2021 there’s considerable interest in wingsurfing and foiling, although numbers of actual participants have yet to eclipse standard windsurfing and stand up paddle boarding. We should also say that wings can be used in a variety of other scenarios, such as on land with a skateboard or a mountain adding yet more versatility.

If you’re more traditional, but don’t fancy stumping up for a whole windsurfing rig – windsurf sail, mast, boom, universal joint and mast foot – then perhaps an inflatable McConks Go Sail windsurf sail would be preferable. It was actually off the back of design these a few years ago that wings were revisited. The benefits of a blow up sail are they’re super light, float on top of the water (and don’t require strenuous uphauling as a rigid rig would) and aren’t as critical to things like sheeting angles. That means, as with wings, inflatable windsurf sails are ripe for helping you make best use of blowy session as well as learning something new. Seasoned windsurfers will also find favour with McConks’ Go Sail iSail as it’s a great tool for helping riders learn and a bit of fun in its own right.

Inflatable SUP/wing foil boards

As much as McConks can be traditional in our approach to watersports we’re also as new school and innovative as some progressive brands. We’ve already mentioned wings above, and their fit with foiling. At time of writing, however, we don’t stock a specific wing/SUP foil board, although we do sell the crossover Go Free SUP/wingSUP board which is aimed at stuck to water paddling and winging. But that may be about to change as imminently we’ll be testing (fingers crossed) an inflatable version that’s winging (groan) its way to us.

Fly McConks prototype inflatable wing/SUP foil board.

We’ll be putting this through its paces to see if an iFoil board is something we’d like to stock and sell. Now we appreciate that on the face of it an inflatable foil board may sound bonkers but they’re already a thing with some other watersports selling their own versions. Manufacturing technology within the inflatable market has advanced to such a level that we’re able to confidently offer products like this whereas a few years back it wouldn’t have been possible. Utilising similar production methods and materials found in McConks iSUP range a few tweaks means an air board can now be ready for flight… Stay tuned on this as we progress with the concept. In the meantime check out the sneak preview pic below.

Electric hydrofoil surfboards

Whilst McConks doesn’t offer a SUP/wing foil board (yet) we do sell, via our sister brand Fly McConks, an electric hydrofoil surfboard. Borrowing elements straight out of Back to the Future these electrical powered assist flight machines rise above the water using a LiOn battery driven propulsion system, controlled by a wireless Bluetooth throttle trigger held by the rider. To some onlooker eFoiling has been described as voodoo but there’s no question it’s a discipline at the very cutting edge or watersports – progressive innovation guarantee.

The Fly McConks eSkate eFoil isn’t the cheapest but what it does do is guarantee an adrenaline fuelled session any time you launch. And (in theory) you can launch anywhere there’s water. Some people buy a boat, but unlike an eFoil boats need a lot of maintenance, require a trailer for transport, space for storage and more logistical planning for transport and use. Meanwhile, an eFoil can be packed down and transported in the boot of your car. Upon arrival at your chosen venue, it can then be carried to the water’s edge. EFoiling is also the easiest foiling discipline to learn. All a rider has to do is learn to control the throttle accordingly and his/her ride height once up on foil. Having power on tap, to repeat the process over and over and not rly on the weather/elements, ensure rapid progress. Plus, eFoiling’s so much fun to boot!

Land based board riding fun

For a watersports company ‘land board riding’ fun sounds a bit odd. But there’s synergy – stick with us. Alongside our Fly McConks foiling products we also started to playing with, and now ultimately stock, one wheel Skatewheel, electrically powered all terrain, gyroscopic hoverboards. Why do we call these hoverboards? Well, because of their one wheel design, and ability to move forwards or back using body weight adjustments it feels as close to Marty McFly’s hoverboard as you’re going to get for the time being (on land at least). Fly McConks Skatewheels are also good practise for anyone looking to get involved with foiling as the body movements are similar. If you think in terms of the broader description of skateboards then the Skatewheel is as cutting edge and progressive as it gets.

So what’s next?

We certainly don’t rest on our laurels at McConks – we’d get bored if we did. As such the team are always tinkering, fiddling, thinking and coming up with new ideas and discussing potential ideas for which direction to take the McConks product line and, ultimately, brand in general. You may have seen a funky looking race style stand up paddle board that Chris Jones has been testing over in Sweden. The board’s contours and lines are way ahead of its time, suffice to say this backs up the aforementioned statement of us continually testing, prototyping and developing ideas. But there’s more…You’ll just have to wait and see what comes up for now.

If you want to keep abreast of all McConks happenings – product related or otherwise – then check in to the Knowledge Hub regularly and don’t forget to follow our social media feeds.

McConks Knowledge Hub.

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McConks Instagram feed.

Fly McConks foiling.

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