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Surfing is the focus of this blog by the PaddleAir crew.

New: The Rib Cloud by PaddleAir

Rib Cloud by PaddleAir

PaddleAir proudly introduces Rib Cloud, our newest product line specifically designed for women. Like our other products, the Rib Cloud features padding strategically placed exactly where the lower ribs, torso and lower hips come in contact with the surfboard while prone paddling. 

This padding makes the Rib Cloud more than just a rash guard because it not only protects the ribs, but gives you a bit of lift to make the paddling easier. This means less rib, shoulder and back strain. 

The black front panel is made of 2mm thick Neoprene with padded segments designed for functionality that nicely accent a woman’s form while providing excellent rib, hip and torso protection. The elbow-length sleeves and back are created with smooth Lycra offering UPF 50+ sun protection. 

The tropic blue background features a floral-themed Lycra print on the back in peach, aqua and blue shades. The print is repeated on the upper front. The Rib Cloud logo adorns a sleeve and the lower front. 

The smooth interior of the Rib Cloud is designed to be worn on bare skin over a swimsuit or wetsuit. Or, it works just as great when worn under a wetsuit. The choice is yours depending on conditions.

Care is easy: Rinse after use and allow to air dry. The Rib Cloud is available in women’s sizes X-Small, Small, Medium, Large, X-Large. Refer to the size chart to determine your correct size. Get it today.

The Rib Cloud by PaddleAir

The Rib Cloud by PaddleAir

The Rib Cloud by PaddleAir

The Rib Cloud by PaddleAir

The Rib Cloud by PaddleAir

The Rib Cloud by PaddleAir


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Rocking a Rib Rocket in Mexico: A Testimonial

PaddleAir knows that if you paddle stronger,  you can surf longer.  This is especially true when you go on a surf vacation.  You want to catch all the waves easily, every day, without the pain and fatigue inherent in constant paddling.  This testimonial from Hunter Joslin highlights how a Rib Rocket by PaddleAir has kept him surfing in Mexico.

Hunter Joslin in a Rib Rocket

I love my Rib Rocket vest since my ziphoid process decided to turn outwards a few years ago. 
The fit and function of the Rib Rocket vest is perfect especially when surfing long, left hand point breaks at Cardon Surf [Adventure] Resort in Mexico!

Hunter calls Melbourne Beach, Florida home. He has been surfing since 1965 and was inducted into the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame Class of 2016.  He is president of Indo Board Balance Trainer -- a great resource for sports fitness. Check them out at

Hunter Joslin at Cardon Adventure Resort, Mexico

Hunter is wearing PaddleAir's Rib Rocket Lycra/Neoprene Tropic White/Gray Vest (#RR-200WH).  The Rib Rocket, with its built-in rib support is available in assorted colors styles and colors at -- and when you order a Rib Rocket or Ergo from our website will include a custom face covering, while supplies last -- check out here.

Rib Rocket Lycra/Neoprene Tropic White/Gray Vest

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Free Custom Face Mask with Ergo or Rib Rocket Purchase

When the surf's up (and beaches open again), get ready to hit the waves with a new Ergo or Rib Rocket by PaddleAir so you can "Paddle Stronger, Surf Longer."  And, while supplies last, we'll include a free custom face mask with every purchase made from our website,

Fortunately, you probably will not be required to wear a face mask while surfing, a naturally social-distancing sport.  However, when land-bound, a face covering is currently mandated in public places in many parts of the world.

So, why settle for a flimsy disposable or make-shift bandana mask, when you can get one that is lightweight, breathable, durable, reusable and rocks an Ergo or Rib Rocket logo along the edge.

Buy an Ergo or Rib Rocket and Get a Free Custom Face Mask

Each mask is responsibly made in California of soft, double-layered material created from recycled plastic bottles -- very eco-friendly and washable.

It should be noted that these are not medical-grade face masks and were not manufactured in a sterile environment, nor are they warranted to protect from any and all airborne aerosols.  But, they do work great when acting as the required face coverings when out and about.

So, score a free face mask when you buy any style of Ergo or Rib Rocket from

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Surf Masters Peru Welcomes PaddleAir to South America

PaddleAir is excited to announce that Surf Masters Peru joins our ever-growing list of surf shops that carries the Ergo and Rib Rocket.  Located in the San Isidro area of Lima Peru, the shop is nearby the fabulous surf of the South American Pacific.

Surf Masters PeruSurf Masters Peru's emphasis is on the master surfer and with a focus on experience and living life to its fullest. Their mission, as translated from their website:

SURF MASTERS PERÚ offers a different alternative, especially aimed at the adult tablista, fond of a surfing life, entertaining and stylish. A 'Soul Surfer' lover of relaxation with nature, that seeks to moderate physical wear and enjoy the waves, and who appreciates the unique features of shaping, handling, drive and control that only can offer a true class surf board world.
Their surf shop at Avenida Petit Thouars 3991, San Isidro, Lima 15046 Peru (view on map) features a full complement of top-name surfboards, clothing and accessories.  The addition of PaddleAir is a perfect fit for master surfers who want to "paddle stronger, surf longer."

In addition to the Surf Masters Peru website they can be found on Facebook, InstagramSpotify and,  for a history of founder, Héctor Llosa (in Spanish) see YouTube.

Surf Masters Peru Surf Shop
Surf Masters Peru Surf Shop Shop Accessories
Surf Masters Peru Surf Shop Surfboards
Surf Masters Peru Surf Shop Clothes

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PaddleAir in Lanzarote and Sri Lanka: A Testimonial

PaddleAir has helped surfers around the globe to overcome the pains of paddling a surfboard, no matter which ocean generates the waves. This testimonial from an Internal Surfing Association (I.S.A.) instructor shows how PaddleAir has helped surfers in both the Indian and Atlantic oceans.

Tim Jones doing a hand Drag in an Ergo
Tim Jones doing a hand drag in an Ergo (click to enlarge)
Hi PaddleAir,

Just a note to say how impressed I have been with the Ergo Vest I’ve been using over the last few years. Suffering as many of us do with disc issues in the lower back and neck it’s been a really great aid to me when things get painful and paddling is hard to handle. In fact my surfing is not the regular occasional session...I’m 61 now but I’ve been coaching surfing from beginner to WQS level for 37 year now and although I have great instructors at both my schools Surf School Sri Lanka and Surf School , Canary Islands [Spain]. I still coach a’s fun and I get to coach my coaches too.

So on some weeks, especially in the tropical waters of Sri Lanka I might get a solid 13 or 14 hours in the water. I don’t have to use my Ergo Indo model ..and old model I think ..all the time but I’m so glad it’s there when I need it. So now I’m going to get a Rib Rocket as with good physio the back is kind of under control but the ribs are shot with some kind of a bursa on one side. The least of my worries at 61 years of age and 52 years behind me.

But for me the coolest thing is to introduce the PaddleAir to other surfers on our courses. We do lots of intermediate coaching and often with older surfers whose spines are creaking a bit and I can even get the chance to loan it to them if their size is right. I’m sure I will be doing the same with the Rib Rocket.

So a super cool and well made piece of equipment and please keep up the great work and development.

Ciao Tim

Tim Jones... Director.

I.S.A Course Presenter Sri Lanka.
tel: 0094 764 791 638
0094 754 726 844 (WhatsApp only)

Lanzarote Sri Lanka YouTube Trip Advisor Facebook Instagram

You can learn more about the PaddleAir Ergo and Rib Rocket and their assorted benefits and styles on
PaddleAir is also available on Amazon

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Thank You for Rib Rocket! A Testimonial

At PaddleAir, we can we can detail the benefits of paddling with a Rib Rocket, but nothing beats an unsolicited testimonial from a surfer who has experienced the Rib Rocket first hand! Below is an email, that PaddleAir founder, Dave Hilts received last week:

Subject: Thank You!

Message: Dave,

After dealing with rib soreness for years after each bodyboarding session, I bought the Rib Rocket last year, and have been using it this season.

What a difference! No soreness whatsoever. I cannot thank you enough for this amazing product, and I just ordered a second one (sleeveless, to wear over a wetsuit top in chillier water).

I am a customer for life.

The Rib Rocket by PaddleAir

You can checkout Rib Rocket styles on our website.

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Pure Rib Pleasure with Two New Rib Rocket Styles

Rib Rocket By PaddleAirJust in time for summer surf, PaddleAir launches two new Rib Rocket styles that sport a gray logo: The Rib Rocket Lycra/Neoprene Black Vest and The Rib Rocket Short Sleeve Lycra/Neoprene Black/Gray.

The Rib Rocket Lycra/Neoprene Black Vest, FrontThe Rib Rocket Lycra/Neoprene Black Vest, SideThe Rib Rocket Lycra/Neoprene Black Vest, Back

The Rib Rocket Short Sleeve Lycra/Neoprene Black/Gray, FrontThe Rib Rocket Short Sleeve Lycra/Neoprene Black/Gray, SideThe Rib Rocket Short Sleeve Lycra/Neoprene Black/Gray, Back

All Rib Rockets, no matter what the style or color are:
  • Essential surf wear for surf travel and out-of-wetsuit surf sessions
  • Added impact protection for upper torso
  • Tread-like design provides positive gripping contact for stable takeoffs from surfboard
  • Helps relieve rib pain for "Pure Rib Pleasure"
  • Light weight, keeps you cool and easy to use

Learn more at!

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A Testimonial: Rocking a Rib Rocket Around the Globe

PaddleAir is a California based company, but its lines of the Ergo and Rib Rockets are used around the globe by surfers who want to paddle stronger and surf longer. Below is a testimonial from one such surfer, along with a reply to his suggestions from PaddleAir founder, Dave Hilts.

Hi Dave,

Thanks once again for a great product in the Rib Rocket...

I again went surfing for most of this year from Indo, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Philippines and had many guys ask me about the vest.

You might recall that I had the PaddleAir [Ergo] last year but I do find the Rib Rocket more comfortable in bigger surf as it doesn’t move around so much and the air tube can sometimes be annoying!!!!

Can you make a “short sleeve” rib rocket??? The vest gave me a severe rash under the arms, so I would often wear a short sleeve rashy and then wear the RR over the top, tho I do regularly surf 6/8 hour sessions straight.

The long sleeve can be good but also can be a bit hot in the tropics and after surfing for 16 plus months in two years, surfing most days, I get plenty of time to think about my equipment and offer this feed back . I hope you don’t mind?
Anyway let me know and thanks once again.


Todd - Blinky
Todd 'Blinky' Surfing in a Rib Rocket by PaddleAir

Hi Todd,
Thanks for sending the great shot. You are living the dream surfing some of the best spots on the planet and by the looks of the photo doing it really well. I am aware of the arm rashing and we did make the latest batch with a bit bigger arm hole but have not got any feedback on if it was an improvement. We now have Rib Rockets in white in a vest and a long sleeve, the later may be a good call for you. Thanks again for the comments and photo.

Keep Charging!

Dave Hilts

Editor Note: The Long Sleeve Rib Rocket in Tropic White/Gray may be a cooler solution for the hot sun of summer and the tropics than a short sleeve because the white sleeves and back reflect the sunlight and provide U.V.B. 50+ protection. No need to wear sun screen!

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Free and Fast USPS Priority Mail Shipping to USA on PaddleAir

If you place your order on you can get your Ergo or Rib Rocket delivered to any address in the United States within 1-3 days via USPS Priority Mail for FREE!

No need for one of those Prime accounts. Shipping is free, fast and easy from our website and you can pay securely with PayPal or any major credit card.

Free and Fast Shipping to USA on

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Ergo by PaddleAir Testing Results Published in Journal of Applied Biomechanics

Surfers have long realized that prone paddling to catch the next wave is hard work. It strains the back, shoulders, ribs.  Muscles get weak and sore.  It can get painful and curtail a great surfing session and ruin your surf vacation.

Since 2004, Dave Hilts, founder of PaddleAir, Inc. has invented the solutions to solve these problems.  First, with the PaddleAir Insider and Outsider and today with the Ergo by PaddleAir, which comes in a variety of styles.

With an Ergo, surfers can indeed "Paddle Stronger and Surf Longer."  But the evidence of this is not just empirical, it has now been scientifically tested. (Read: Surfers Get the Scientific Data Treatment at CSUSM) The original research results have been formally published in The Journal of Applied Biomechanics (Volume 44, Issue 4, August 2017):

Wearing an Inflatable Vest Alters Muscle Activation and Trunk Angle While Paddling a Surfboard
Authors: Jeff A. Nessler, Ph.D. Associate Professor and Chair, Dept. of Kinesiology California State University, San Marcos, Thomas Hastings, Kevin Greer and Sean C. Newcomer.
Volume:0 Issue: 0 Pages:1-21 doi: 10.1123/jab.2016-0248

Low back pain is a commonly reported problem among recreational surfers. Some individuals report that wearing a vest with an inflatable bladder that alters trunk angle may help to alleviate pain. The purpose of this study was to determine whether such a vest has an effect on muscle activation and extension of the lower back. Twelve recreational surfers completed 12 paddling trials at 1.1 m/s in a swim flume on both a shortboard and a longboard on two separate days. Three conditions of no vest, vest uninflated, and vest inflated were presented to participants in random order. Surface EMG and trunk angle were acquired via wireless sensors placed over the right erector spinae, mid-trapezius, upper trapezius, and latissimus dorsi. Wearing the inflated vest affected muscle activation: erector spinae and mid-trapezius demonstrated a significant decrease in activation relative to wearing no vest (12 and 18% respectively, p<0.05). Trunk extension was also significantly reduced when the vest was inflated (18% reduction, p<0.05). Results were similar for both the short and longboard, though this effect was greater while paddling the larger board. These results suggest that a properly inflated vest can alter trunk extension and muscle activity while paddling a surfboard in water.
Below is the graphic illustrating the results:

Click image to enlarge.

You can also view the original PowerPoint slide here.

PaddleAir published a YouTube video describing the original testing at California State University San Marcos in 2016:

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Get a PaddleAir at Sunrise Surf Shop in Jacksonville Beach, Florida

Sunrise Surf Shop, Jacksonville, Florida
PaddleAir is stoked to announce our latest Ergo dealer: Sunrise Surf Shop by the sunny shores of Jacksonville, Florida. Established in 1976, Sunrise Surf Shop has a reputation as a premier East Coast surf resource.

The Sunrise Surf Shop is located conveniently at 834 Beach Blvd., Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250 (view on map). You can call them at 904-241-0822.
Sunrise Surf Shop Exterior

Not only does Sunrise cater to surfers of all ages, but also it also highlights skate gear. In their words:
With hard work and dedication through the years, Sunrise has become North Florida’s favorite core surf and skate shop. Voted BEST “Surf & Skate Shop” by Folio Weekly and Void Magazine time and time again. Sunrise has been owned and operated as a small family business since day one and has provided North Florida surfers and skaters with a place where they can go and find everything they need.

Sunrise Surf Shop BoardsSunrise Surf Shop SkateboardsSunrise Surf Shop WetsuitsSunrise Surf Shop AccessoriesSunrise Surf Shop KidsSunrise Surf Shop Clothes
Views of store interior and some of the departments.
(click on image for larger view)

Sunrise can also be found on the following social sites: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

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The Surf Guru: Australian Online Surf Shop for PaddleAir

Australia is a haven for surfers with waves surrounding the continent. And, like surfers around the world, Australians suffer from paddling pains--sore ribs, back pain, shoulder strain, chest rashes, etc. An Ergo from PaddleAir can help.  PaddleAir is pleased to announce that The Surf Guru has the Ergo available online with free shipping in Australia.

The Surf Guru: for serious fun in the surf

In addition to the Ergo, The Surf Guru offers an array of surf boards, surfing gear and accessories for adults and kids from their website at Their telephone number is 0414 681 889 and e-mail: You can also connect with The Surf Guru on Facebook.

Check out this YouTube video that The Surf Guru produced in 2012 about the Ergo by PaddleAir!

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Testimonial: Surfing with Rib Rocket in Indonesia

At PaddleAir we don't just say, "Paddle Longer, Surf Stronger," but we get letters proving the slogan. Here's a recent sample:

Hi Dave,

Just got back from Indonesia and had a fantastic week of overhead surf every day. The Rib Rocket was great as it kept my ribs and solar plexus from getting sore from two surf sessions per day for 7 straight days. In the past, by the 2nd day, I dreaded paddling due to bruised and sore ribs with just a rash guard. But with the Rib Rocket, I had no problems with sore ribs.

The only issue I had was the first day where I wore the Rib Rocket underneath my rash guard and got armpit rashes. So I switched it around and wore the Rib Rocket over my long sleeve rash guard and that solved the pit rash problem, a tip you may want to recommend.

I had several guys ask me what I was wearing and told them about it and they will be ordering one from you. One guy had a rash on his solar plexus and had to bandage it up to keep it from getting an infection but it still hurt him when he paddled. Another guy had sore ribs.

I can't thank you enough for this product because it is a rib saver and ultimately a surf trip saver. I attached a few pics that you may want to use as a reference and endorsement of the Rib Rocket.

By the way, maybe you can come up with something to protect the knee cap from getting chaffed from hitting the deck pad while duck diving or popping up so many times. I know I shouldn't be hitting my knees that much but a lot of us baby boomers get knee rashes. At 58 years old, I don't care much about how it looks just as long as it is functional and avoids an irritation or bad infection.

Best regards,
Kevin Raineri

Moreover, PaddleAir founder, Dave Hilts, listens to suggestions and incorporates them into his inventive designs such as the Rib Rocket.

Hi Kevin, 
Thanks for your feedback. The rash problem has been addressed and we have redesigned the armpit to open it up and eliminate rashing. Great shots! Can only say "wish I was there." We will post your photos and comments. 
Dave Hilts

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Rib Rocket=Zero Rash+Six Days Straight: A Testamonial

Rib Rocket by PaddleAir
The Rib Rocket by PaddleAir gets another enthusiastic review from a happy surfer. Plus, checkout the great photos of the Rib Rocket in action.

Your product is the bomb. I surfed 2-3 ft overhead surf for 6 days straight with zero rash. Totally and completely stoked. Thought you’d appreciate the pics with a decent shot of your product.


James Bach
LightSpeed Consulting
James Bach in a Rib Rocket by PaddleAir

James Bach in a Rib Rocket by PaddleAir

James is rocking a Rib Rocket in Tropic White. It is also available in a black vest. Learn more on

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Get an Ergo at Wave Front Surf Shop in Ventura

Wave Front Surf Shop
Located within walking distance of the surf in Ventura, California is Wave Front Surf Shop where you can now get an Ergo by PaddleAir.

Wave Front not only carries a full line of surf-related clothing, wetsuits and accessories; but features surfboards and SUPs from the top shapers in the industry.

Wave Front Surf Shop Exterior
Wave Front Surf Shop is located at 154 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura, CA 93001. Check out the address on the map.

Wave Front Surf Shop Exterior

Visit Wave Front Surf Shop on their website, on Facebook and on Instagram where they have lots of photos of the interior of the shop and their happy customers.

A Wave Front Surf Shop Tee Shirt Design

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Bird Rocks a Tropic White Rib Rocket

The Tropic White Rib Rocket by PaddleAir is put to great use by Bird on the sunny shores of Southern California in these photos by Michael Sangiolo.

Bird and front of Rib Rocket, photo by Michael SangioloBird and back of Rib Rocket, photo by Michael Sangiolo

Bird in Tropic White Rib Rocket, photo by Michael Sangiolo

Bird in Tropic White Rib Rocket on wave, photo by Michael Sangiolo
Click on any photo for the full view.

Surfer Bird is the owner of Bird's Surf Shed -- a unique surf shop located in an 1,800 square foot Quonset hut at 1091 Morena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92110. In addition to selling surfboards, surf gear and accessories, they also hold a variety of events on the floor of the shed.
Bird and Bird's Surf Shed
Rib Rocket by PaddleAir
The Rib Rocket by PaddleAir comes in two styles:  The Tropic White pictured on Bird and the Rib Rocket Black Vest. Both are essential surf wear for surf travel and out-of-wetsuit surf sessions. 

They provide added impact protection for upper torso and the tread-like design provides positive gripping contact for stable takeoffs from surfboard and help relieve rib pain for "Pure Rib Pleasure." They're light-weight and easy to use. Learn more here.

Tropic White Rib Rocket by PaddleAir

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Get a Rib Rocket at Hanalei Surf Company

PaddleAir sends a big aloha to our latest dealer in Hawaii on the beautiful island of Kauai: The Hanalei Surf Company. Now, locals and visitors alike can get a Rib Rocket without a wait and experience a new boost in paddling and relief from rib pain immediately.

A visit to Hanalei Surf Company is not just a visit to a surf shop, but to part of the historic 1911 Old Hanalei School House (moved to its present location in 1990). In the shop you'll ..."find everything for the surfer and beachgoer, from surfboards to sunscreen and cutting edge surf fashions." They also have rentals and sponsor surf contests.

The main Hanalei Surf Company is located at:
5-5161 Kuhio Highway
Hanalei, HI 96714 (view on map).
tel: 808-826-9000
Visit their Facebook page.

Hanalei Surf Company Exterior

Hanalei Surf Company Interior

In addition, their Backdoor Store is located in the Ching Young Village Shopping Center in Hanalei.  They relate: "Backdoor specializes in cutting edge junior women's fashions, skating equipment, kids clothing and stuff, and men's trunks and aloha shirts."

The Backdoor Store

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NEW: Rib Rocket Tropic White Vest

Rib Rocket by PaddleAir
PaddleAir introduces its latest addition to the popular black Rib Rocket vest -- The Rib Rocket Lycra/Neoprene Tropic White/Gray Vest.

It has all the same great features of the black vest, but in light, tropic-friendly shades. The back is of the vest is white to reflect the sunlight and keep you cooler.  The foam-padded front is a pale gray that also reflects the heat and masks surface dirt.

The Rib Rocket Lycra/Neoprene Tropic White/Gray Vest by PaddleAir

Not surfing in sunny and warm waters?  Then you can easily slip the Rib Rocket Lycra/Neoprene Tropic White/Gray Vest over your wetsuit.  It provides the same rib-protecting benefits and makes you more visible in the water under overcast skies.

Read more about the benefits of a Rib Rocket hereGet your Rib Rocket vest in either color here.

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Visit PaddleAir at The Boardroom in Santa Cruz

It's time again for The Boardroom International Surfboard  Show (formerly Sacred Craft).  This year the show moves to Santa Cruz in Northern California.  And, once again PaddleAir will be there.

Stop by booth #605, meet PaddleAir founder, Dave Hilts ,and check out the latest Ergos and the new Rib Rocket.  Try them on, ask questions and learn how they can help you paddle stronger, surf longer, and experience pure rib pleasure.

The Boardroom and PaddleAir Booth Number
The show is being held on Saturday and Sunday, October 8-9, 2016 at the Kaiser Permanente Arena, located here on the map -- just a few blocks from Santa Cruz Beach.  Once there, find PaddleAir inside the arena as indicated below.PaddleAir Booth at The Boardroom
Learn more about The Boardroom International Surfboard Show here.

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Byron Bay Longboards Now Surf Central Byron Bay

Old Byron Bay Longboards Logo
PaddleAir is stoked to announce that our long-time Australian dealer, Byron Bay Longboards, has updated its name to Surf Central Byron Bay.

They are still at the same central Byron Bay location and have the same phone number:
Surf Central Byron Bay
                   1/89 Jonson Street
                   Byron Bay, NSW 2481
                   view on map
                   tel: 02-66855244

With the name change comes a new Surf Central Byron Bay website at and a new e-mail address:

In addition, Surf Central Byron Bay is building their social media following on
Facebook and Twitter.

Although their new website is in the process of being complete, Surf Central Byron Bay promises that they remain a classic surf shop:
Surf Central prides ourself [sic] on retaining a classic surf shop feel and mentality and stay away from the up market trend type shops.
We are surfers and focus on supplying products for surfers first and foremost from the grommet to the older rippers.

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PaddleAir Ergo is Awsome: A Testimonial

Dear David,

Three weeks prior to my trip to Nicaragua I bruised the left side of my ribs pretty seriously. To the point I had them x-rayed to make sure they were not broken. This injury really put my trip in jeopardy. The Ergo works, period!

After I was injured, I was completely stressed I had turned my surf trip into a fishing trip. By doing some research, I came across the Ergo and immediately went to Bird's Surf Shed to buy one. Bird had nothing but great things to say about the Ergo because he had used it on a surf trip with a cracked rib and it saved his trip.

I've had injured ribs in the past and can say even if they feel better, paddling on a surfboard can easily re-injure them setting your healing back weeks. During this recent injury I had to stay out of the water for the three weeks doing hot and cold compresses 5 to 10 times a day, just so I could have a chance at surfing.

It was the moment of truth when I got down there. Without a doubt, had I not had the Ergo, there would have been no way I could have surfed more than 20 minutes without re-injuring myself. Instead, I surfed 2 to 3 times a day for several hours each day. So thank you for your inventiveness and ingenuity. It really saved my trip.

I also have to tell you everyone I ran into was very curious about what I was wearing. Most thought it was for floatation, but once I explained what it was they were really intrigued by it. The surf instructors mentioned how a lot of beginners get sore ribs after day one and need some time out of the water before they can do it again. They were all interested in getting a few for their camps, so people could spend more time in the water. If you haven't already, get in touch with some surf camps and maybe you could move a few more units.

Thanks again your newly satisfied customer.


San Diego, CA

Mike Surfing in an Ergo by PaddleAir

Get your own Ergo from your local surf shop or online at

Discover more about the benefits of the Ergo by PaddleAir in this video highlighting research by the California State University San Marcos Kinesiology Department:

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Corky Carroll Is Rockin' the Rib Rocket

On July 29, 2016, Corky Carroll, surf legend and contributing columnist for the Orange County Register, published this "Corky Carroll: Rockin the Rib Rocket." It is reproduced below:

Many years ago a guy named Dave Hilts got a hold of me because he had invented a surfing vest with a bladder on the front that could be inflated, providing padding for your rib cage where it comes into contact with your board.

I thought this was a killer idea, plus an added benefit was it took a little bit of the arch out of your back when you paddled, which really helped people like me who have surfing-related back problems. I herniated my L5 disc in a horrific wipe out in Hawaii in 1997 and have had problems with my lower back ever since.

His product, called the PaddleAir, was very helpful for my back and I used it for years.

I also have issues with any part of my body that comes into constant contact with the board. When I was young and we knee paddled to old longboards, I had the biggest surf bumps on my knees and feet of anybody known to man. Many of the old surf movies had shots of my knees in them.

When boards went short the bumps moved to my rib cages and today I have huge bumps there. My kids call me the man with four boobs – it can be embarrassing. I had them removed the same year I hurt my back, as I was out of the water for many months anyway. Unfortunately, and to the amazement of the doctor who did the surgery and claimed they would never come back, they came back even bigger.

So, anyway, I had a need for Hilts’ product.

Sore ribs are a constant issue for surfers who don’t surf on a regular basis. Even surfers who do surf all the time, normally wearing wetsuits, have a hard time when they take a surf trip to somewhere warm and they don’t use the wetsuit. A wetsuit provide a nice bit of padding and helps.

At my getaway house in the tropical part of Mexico we get guests all the time who have this issue. It normally appears on their second day. Once they get sore it takes awhile for that to go away and for people to adjust to the pounding on the boney part of their chests.

Over the years Hilts has produced a couple different versions of his PaddleAir product with great results. And he has probably heard more stories about injuries and whatnot to do with rib cages and backs than any other 20 people in the world combined.

Recently, he decided there were a huge numbers of surfers who didn’t need, or want, the extra back support but really need and want the rib protection. He eliminated the bladder and the breathing tube used to inflate it and replaced them with strategically placed padding in a surfing vest.

Rib Rocket by PaddleAir
He calls it the Rib Rocket.

In short, this thing works great and is very comfortable. Plus it is lightweight and fits easily into a backpack along with other surf gear, making it ideal for surf travel. I don’t very often cover new products unless I feel that they are a really good thing or really unique. This vest is of the really good thing category.

Congratulations to Dave Hilts, I think he has hit a homer with this one. You should be able to find these at your local surf shop, or you can contact Hilts directly at [].
Read more PaddleAir reviews from Corky in 2004 and 2013. Get a Rib Rocket by PaddleAir.

You can check out more from Corky on the OC Register or his website.

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It's New: The Ergo Long Sleeve

Ergo by PaddleAir
PaddleAir users have long been familiar with our second-generation line of rib protection, back stress relief products, the Ergo.  Joining the Ergo lineup of the Classic Short Sleeve, the Black Vest, the Sun Hoodie and the Bali Green Vest, is the Ergo Long Sleeve Neoprene and Lycra in Slate/Black.

The long sleeve Ergo has taken the cutting edge Ergo design and produced a 50+ UV protection garment with a Lycra back and sleeves with a Neoprene front panel. It works great worn with trunks and works equally well when worn under a wetsuit.. For the tropics it offers maximum protection from the sun and great wind protection for spring and fall water climates.
Learn more about the Erg by PaddleAir.
Ergo by PaddleAir Long Sleeve Lycra/Neoprene in Black/Slate

Discover more about the benefits of the Ergo by PaddleAir in this video highlighting research by the California State University San Marcos Kinesiology Department:

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Rib Rocket: New from PaddleAir

Rib Rocket by PaddleAir
Just in time for summer, Dave Hilts, the founder of PaddleAir Products Inc. and the creator of the Ergo, launches his latest invention: The Rib Rocket.

The California-designed Rib Rocket is:

  • Essential surf wear for surf travel and out-of-wetsuit surf sessions
  • Added impact protection for upper torso
  • Tread-like design provides positive gripping contact for stable takeoffs
  • Light weight and easy to use
The Rib Rocket has strategically placed PVC foam padding sewn into areas where the ribs come in contact with the board during prone paddling. The padding is just enough to soften the impact where cartilage bone meets board and glass. We found that more surfers have been suffering rib pain because of the new EPS epoxy boards that are much harder than traditional fiberglass resins. Rib Rocket addresses these problems and offers a comfortable solution for all that suffer from rib pain.

The Rib Rocket features a 2mm Neoprene front panel with sewn-in PVC padding for comfort and stability and a Lycra back for a fine fit and cooler material for warmer climates. Also, a board short loop connects the garment to trunks to prevent ride up and a side draw string to snug the garment around the waist. Additionally, it provides 50+ UFP protection from the sun.

It's "Pure Rib Pleasure." Get it or your local surf shop world-wide.

Discover more about the benefits support for your ribs in the video about testing of the Ergo by PaddleAir by CSUSM Kinesiology Department in this video:

UPDATE: Checkout the latest Rib Rocket Lycra/Neoprene Tropical White/Gray Vest. Or, get one now.

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PaddleAir 2016 Product Catalog Featuring Ergo and Rib Rocket

Just released, PaddleAir's 2016 Product Catalog featuring Ergo and Rib Rocket. You can now view it online and/or print it out from here.

If your interested in featuring Ergo and/or Rib Rocket in your shop or have questions, you can contact PaddleAir via our dealer inquiry page.

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