Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue will be the first lifeguards in the country to use a new rescue paddleboard designed by a local paddleboard startup company, which delivered the first two boards to lifeguards on Monday.
Prone 2 Paddle owner Cliff Ray said the new design would give lifeguards the ability to stand up on the board, giving them a better vantage point to see distressed swimmers.
“We wanted to build a board that had the volume, stability and speed that lifeguards need to quickly reach people in the water,” Ray said. “This is designed to let lifeguards raise their elevation and get a better line-of-sight. They can see so much further ahead.”
Local lifeguards were part of the board’s design process, as Friends of Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue helped Ray modify the board to meet the needs of ocean lifesaving crews. Ray said the board went through 12 design changes before it was ready.
Dave Baker, Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue director, said Ray’s work to make an industry-leading rescue board was evident, adding the board “will assist Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue’s mission in making a difference by having the quality equipment necessary to save lives when called upon.”