South Bay Board Co. 10’ Big Barco Pro Paddle Board Review
Built to exacting standards, the team at South Bay Board Co. are amongst the top tier of manufacturers when it comes to producing quality high performance paddle boards.
For those that are looking to step it up a notch in the surf, the South Bay Board Co. 10’ Big Barco Pro Paddle Board offers unrivaled quality and paddling performance. A must see if you’re in the market.
Length: 10’ (305 cm)
Width: 32” (81 cm)
Thickness: 4.9” (12.3 cm)
Construction: EPS Foam / Carbon Fibre / Bamboo
Volume: 170 litres
Weight: 30 lbs (13.6 kgs)
Capacity: 275 lbs (125 kgs)
Fins: Detachable Tri-fin / 9” FCS Centre Fin
Leash: Dual Swivel 11’ Coiled SUP Leash
Why Paddle Board
As a recreational activity, paddle boarding offers some tremendous health and fitness benefits ranging from a full body workout engaging many of the core muscles albeit in a low impact way through to improved balance, improvements in endurance and stamina, injury rehabilitation, weight loss and improving our cardiovascular health. Its an exciting way to unwind and decompress whilst at the same time engaging with nature. As one of the fastest growing water sports globally, if you have access to water then its definitely worth giving it a go.
About South Bay Board Co.
Located in the South Bay of Los Angeles, California, South Bay Board Co. is a family owned and operated board, beach brands and accessories company.
SBBC origins initially focused on custom beginner surfboards and inflatable paddle boards and until this day pride themselves on materials quality, custom design and the delivery of unrivaled unique high-value products. With products that are influenced by nature and the ocean as well as a strong community following, South Bay Board Co. have grown into one of the premier surfboard, SUP and beach brands in the world.
Operating out of 2 large separate warehouse locations – HQ in Los Angeles, CA to service the West Coast and Greensboro, NC to service the East Coast, their boards and beach products are sold in most major global online marketplaces including USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia, UAE, Brazil, and other.
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At a Glance
▪️Outstanding design and build quality
▪️Versatile paddling in all conditions
▪️Concave bottom for more speed and control
▪️Plenty of rider weight capacity
▪️Tapered design for more responsive feel
▪️Wider outline for better stability
▪️Double pulled in tail for looser feel
▪️Hard tapered rails for smooth transitions
▪️Suits beginners to advanced paddlers
▪️Detachable tri-fin / FCS Fin Box
▪️EZ Carry SUP Handle
▪️Wax-free textured deck traction pad
▪️Rear arched kick pad for greater agility
▪️Bamboo finish for improved durability
▪️Rubber tail bumper to reduce damage
▪️Includes 11’ coiled SUP leash
CONSTRUCTION – South Bay Board Co. have always had a great reputation when it comes to build quality be it for their entry-level boards, or as is the case here, their top shelf high performance boards.
Specifically designed with performance in mind, the Big Barco, which directly translates to BIG WAVE in Portuguese, is made with a precision cut closed cell EPS foam core with two full length wooden stringers running from nose to tail for additional rigidity. The board is then further reinforced with carbon fibre stringer strips on both decks as well as carbon fibre wrapped rails around the boards perimeter.
Enveloping the core is a layer of fibreglass and resin as well as bamboo sheets on both the top and bottom deck to greatly improve durability and resistance to heat damage. The board is then coated in a clear epoxy laminate for a high gloss finish.
EXTERNAL BOARD FEATURES – its intended purpose considered, the Big Barco is a very clean board with a simplistic although aesthetically brilliant natural looking finish.
Covering a little over half of the boards surface, is the South Bay Board Co. custom wax-free ‘fingerprint’ textured IXPE foam deck traction padding. Soft and comfortable underfoot for reduced fatigue while paddling over longer distances, the padding easily allows water to drain from the surface for greater traction and stability. At the rear of the Big Barco is an arched kick pad to enhance the boards manoeuvrability and responsiveness making it ideal for surfing or performing agile turns.
At the very tail of the Big Barco is a subtle rubber bumper which South Bay have incorporated on a number of their rigid board range. The bumper helps protect the board from chips and damage which is particularly handy for vertical storage when not in use.
The highly durable EZ Carry SUP handle quickly retracts into the boards centre creating a flush finish for a cleaner board surface. It can also double as a tie down point when transporting on roof racks.
Driving the board is a set of detachable FCS fins (includes fin key and plate and screw) for quick and easy seamless connection.
The Big Barco also comes with an 11’ SUP leash. Worn on the ankle or calf muscle, and an important piece of safety kit that should be worn at all times, the leash is coiled to help reduce drag through the water with dual-swivels to stop it from tangling whilst paddling.
Performance / Suitability
While it has been designed with performance in mind, the Big Barco still has all of the characteristics that you would expect to find in a beginner friendly paddle board making it ideal for paddlers of all skill levels.
STABILITY – if you are still finding your feet, stability will be the first board characteristic that you will likely focus on.
While the Big Barco has been designed as a Surf SUP, its sufficiently wide enough at 32” and has plenty of rider weight capacity and volume to comfortably support larger paddlers. Compare its specs to other high performance boards and you’ll be surprised how much stability the Big Barco has to offer.
When not tackling waves or choppier waters, the board has a wider outline offering plenty of stability which is nicely complemented by the comfortable deck traction padding for stationary board exercises or SUP yoga.
MANOEUVRABILITY – the Big Barco comes into its own when it comes to agility and overall board responsiveness. Offering impressive all-round capabilities, the board has specifically been designed with surf in mind and with a shape to match.
With a double pulled in tail to create a looser feel through turns; hard tapered rails for smooth and accurate transitions; a raised kick pad for greater control through turns, and a configurable tri-fin set-up, the light-weight Big Barco is highly manoeuvrable and a ton of fun in the toughest of wave conditions. The tapered nose and aggressive front rocker also helps keep the nose out of the water to prevent pearling as well as enhancing agility when in smaller or messy wave conditions.
SPEED & TRACKING – while not primarily designed for speed, the double concave bottom deck on the Big Barco helps channel the water through to the fins for greater control and improved speed and glide.
On flatter waters, the board takes on more of a traditional all-round SUP feel so offers a nice well-balanced ride. While the fin set-up can be configured to suit personal preferences, the standard tri-fin or thruster configuration is the most common SUP set-up with the large 9” centre fin acting as the main driver behind straight line tracking or desired directional paddling.
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More targeted towards the experienced paddler, the South Bay Board Co. Big Barco is the real deal when it comes to performance Surf SUPs. Made to the highest of standards and with specifically sourced materials, all of the SBBC’s pro-series boards are custom built and designed with performance in mind.
Outstanding build quality, highly durable and aesthetically appealing, the Big Barco is a genuine contender and definitely worth considering if you’re in the market for your next ride.
Have you taken to the surf before on a SUP or are you still building on the basics? Start a conversation and share your thoughts. We’d love to hear from you so please feel free to leave a comment below and we will get back to you.
Until then, stay safe and get wet.