The result of this special collaboration between No. 4 St. James and Jarvis Boards is a beautiful tribute to exploring the many waterways of Texas.

Product Story: The Lone Star Edition Paddle Board

As soon as we met Tony Smith, founder of Austin-based Jarvis Boards, we wanted to work with him. Tony represents everything we love to discover in our fellow Texans: industriousness, friendliness, and eagerness to take on new challenges. 

We already knew, by reputation, the products of his craft. For the past few years, just down the road from our studio here at No. 4 St. James, Tony’s been in his workshop—usually late at night—perfecting the construction and shaping of wooden paddle boards, eschewing the plastics and composites that typify so many mass-produced boards that originate overseas. We observed a while ago that Tony was making boards that were different—indeed, special.

And just as Tony was dismayed by the predominance of plastic-only paddle boards on the market, we were equally dismayed by the lack of boards that were patently expressive of Texas exploration. So many other paddle board brands originate from the west coast, or Florida, and consequently celebrate themes like ocean waves and dolphins and Polynesian art, or Lake Tahoe trees. 

And those are all well and good. But we’re in Texas, and we know that there are more than 80,000 miles of rivers and streams across the state that are as distinctive and beautiful as any waterscapes abroad. Not all of them are practically navigable by paddle board, of course, but the ones that are, well, they’re worth discovering, and we wanted to make a paddle board to help inspire that achievement.

The Lone Star Edition stand up paddle board is based on the fast, lightweight and stable “Rio Grande” fitness board developed by Jarvis Boards. Over the course of six months, we worked with Tony to perfect the right look for this special edition of the Rio Grande board. Ultimately, it wasn’t difficult to settle on a lone star as the distinguishing mark: it’s so unmistakably iconic of Texas, and adorning the foredeck, it aptly portrays adventure, and boldness. To further the Texas connection, we drew, with contrasting wood stain, a thin bar down the middle of the board. When viewed together with the lone star, the effect is the subtle imagery of the Texas flag.

On the bottom of the board, we relied on another iconic image for Texas: the shape of the state itself. But we weren't content with the usual shape as defined by its borders. Instead, we made a Texas out of its major waterways, the natural arteries at its edges, and everywhere in between.

We think that the Lone Star Edition stand up paddle board is uniquely beautiful. And we know it's a great paddle board, to boot: it's fast, unusually stable, and surprisingly lightweight. Under all that wood is a foam core, so the board represents a nice marriage between the traditional maritime look of wood and contemporary methods of construction.

You can order your own Rio Grande - Lone Star Edition stand up paddle board; see our product page for more information and specs. Production takes about 5-6 weeks, but it's worth the wait, and all the compliments you'll receive out on the water. We know, because we've heard them first-hand. 


- N4SJ



Awesome job! Thanks for the pics. Very inspired.

Feb 26, 2017

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