The Waterman’s Pack: Paddle Swag for You and Me

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Waterman’s Pack
I’ve been aware of the tempting phenomena of “loot boxes” for a couple of years. This is the service where you subscribe to receive a box of items from a business at far lower than the cost of purchasing these items separately. There were ones that specialized in fan items like tee shirts or licensed figures, bobblehead dolls, or gaming gear. Cool stuff, especially if you’re of the geeky sort. So when Matt Chebatoris offered me a Waterman’s Pack, I was pretty excited. Instead of a box of doodads that would sit on my bookshelf (already crowded enough), these were items that you could actually use!
When the box arrived, it contained:
  • a black 404 rash guard
  • a pair of Surreal Bamboo Polarized Floating Sunglasses
  • two Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Carvebars
  • a brick of OnIt Deck Wax
Waterman's Pack, Ian Berger, 404 SUP
Your’s truly, sporting my new 404 rash guard.

A nice box of goodies, wouldn’t you say? My wife immediately wanted the 404 rash guard, and I couldn’t blame her. It’s a nice color, and the logo is subtly printed on the shirt. The material felt a little softer than the average rash guard. The only problem (for her) was that it’s sized extra-large (for me). My rash guards tend to be gaudy (lionfish pattern anyone?), so it was nice to have something a little classy, not out-of-place in a Cape Cod restaurant or beach bar.

As someone who’s pretty myopic, my sunglasses collection is limited to dorky clip-ons for my coke-bottle glasses. And like many nearsighted people, I wear contact lenses on the water. With all the money I spend on eyewear ($500+ per pair!), a sunglasses purchase felt extravagant. That said, I was glad to try on the Surreal Bamboo sunglasses. My wife thought they were pretty stylish, in a 1980s kind of way. I found them surprisingly light and floated well. The glasses also gripped my head without creating a lot of pressure around my temples; I think that had to do with the bamboo frame, and that worked better than any other frames I’ve worn. It was nice to see a renewable resource doing a better job than metal or plastic.

I was a little hesitant about the Carvebars. Not that I’m not squeamish about food, and the chocolate chip flavor was tempting. However, I’ve learned from experience that energy bars have the tendency to create, shall we say, a little gastric distress? These Carvebars boast of having very few ingredients, which meant no preservatives or yucky additives to hurt my tummy. They were pretty tasty too, and probably the densest bar I’ve ever bitten into. The main taste was of cashew butter, but the chocolate chips gave it some silky, chocolate moments. No stomach pains so, I’m giving these a thumbs up. You can also bake these and make cookies out of them, but I didn’t try that.

The OnIt Deck wax I had to find a use for. All my SUPs have deck pads, so they don’t need waxing. It is also suggested that they can be used for paddles, but normally I wear paddle gloves. However, I surf bare handed, and sometimes my wet paddle slips from my grip, especially when paddling hard for a wave! So maybe the wax might help? As soon as I get to the beach, I’ll try this out. (I’m going to stop now, because I have too many “waxing my shaft” jokes in my mind.)

I have to say, if this is an example of the average Waterman’s Pack, it’s pretty good deal. A good rash guard runs between twenty and forty dollars. The sunglasses are about $70. The wax, according to the OnIt website, is four bucks a brick. The bars are about three dollars each. So you have about $110 worth of stuff in a box that costs $43 plus shipping.

Waterman’s Pack ships a box every two months, so if you subscribe, it ends up being close to $300 a year if you include the shipping charges. Still a good deal, especially if you’re a fan of swag.  Even if you don’t subscribe, I can see these as a great gift for a waterman who has almost everything. And that reminds me, isn’t Father’s Day right around the corner?

Waterman’s Pack Photo Gallery

Visit www.watermanspack.com to register for your very own Waterman’s Pack.

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