Hamboards Classic: Get Out and Meet Your Neighbors


Cruising the neighborhood on a Hamboards Classic

Living in Los Angeles, one gets used to seeing a colorful and eclectic mix of people, culture and conveyances. I live in a relatively quiet residential neighborhood where it is common to see walkers and joggers of all ages, in addition to our resident “Parrot Man” – an older guy who peddles his beach cruiser with a giant blue macaw on his shoulder. I have routinely gone for numerous walks and bike rides winding my way around the streets and met all sorts of people. Even so, nothing compares to the attention I receive when I’m out cruising on my Classic Hamboards land paddling board.

Hamboards, land paddling, sup examiner
One of the kids in the neighborhood.

There is something unique about skating on 6’6” bamboo board with a land paddle that makes you stand out and appear approachable. The former is understandable. A 6’6” board is large by any standard. Add the land paddle and I’m instantly doing something that most people have never seen. It literally stops people in their tracks and causes them to smile and stare. More often than not, they call out with a comment about how much fun it looks or ask how well it turns. I always circle back to show them the board and offer them the chance to try it out. Some do and some don’t. It usually depends on their age. Younger people, especially those who have ridden a skateboard, give it a try without hesitation.

The city recently resurfaced a number of the streets, including my own. As a result, I’m now able to quickly pop out for a land paddling session right out my front door and carve figure eights in front of my house. I also have developed a few regular “visits” with folks as I carve back and forth along the fresh pavement. I’ll cruise down to the end of the cul-de-sac and catch up with Eric and his wife, both of whom are nurses and maintain non-traditional work schedules. There is also the guy down the street in the opposite direction who I regularly find out skating with his son on a pair of traditional skateboards. They have a little route near their house where a T-intersection provides a wide expanse to carve up the street on the boards. I often join them for a few minutes when passing by. Another great way to get out and meet your neighbors!

Matt Chebatoris
Matt is a former national security professional and lifelong adventurer. He has published material on a variety of topics in the foreign policy arena and created PaddleXaminer™ as a platform to share his enjoyment of paddling with others. When not on the water, Matt can be found hiking along rugged mountain trails in the California wilderness. Matt resides in Los Angeles and is a member of the Lanakila Outrigger Canoe Club in Redondo Beach, California.


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