The lightest and sleekest we tested, this 12-foot-6-inch long-distance board, also known as a displacement-hull board,is very responsive and accelerates quickly with just a couple of strokes. Though not as fast as true race boards (which often cost $1,000 more), the 32-pound Switchblade is ideal for long-distance coastal cruising and recreational racing. At just 28 inches wide, with a small roll in the hull, it's slightly less stable than other boards, but our testers adjusted quickly and enjoyed harnessing the extra speed to drop fellow paddlers. [$1,425; c4waterman.com]
The 2014 Adventure Issue
From Iceland's Highway 1 to Utah's Canyonlands, an epic itinerary for modern explorers.
Plus: Building a Bigger Action Hero
ON NEWSSTANDS NOW
Duke Lacrosse and the Fog of Scandal
How Thailand's Most Notorious Prison Became a Fight Club
Sign up to receive the Men’s Journal newsletter and special offers from MJ and its marketing partners.