Made in the South Awards 2017

Ian Balding

Outdoors runner-up Ian Balding’s Paddle Bateau is a cross between a stand-up paddleboard and a creek pirogue


The Paddle Bateau from Ian Balding.

Paddleboards have sprouted like new spartina across the South, but even the most stable can’t handle a bunch of topside hoopla. Ian Balding’s Paddle Bateau—a sixteen-foot-long cross between a stand-up paddleboard and a creek pirogue—is steady enough for a deck party. Balding admits he designed it for selfish reasons. He frequented barrier islands near his Wilmington surfboard shop, but paddling a SUP weighed down with gear was a challenge, even for a board maker. Then he made the Paddle Bateau. “I was surprised,” Balding says. “I could fly cast from the top of the cooler. I could walk to the front and toss an anchor off.” Balding builds one at a time, cutting billets of foam just as he would for a surfboard, glassing each in his shop. He lays down a decking of bamboo veneer and rigs each with GPS, rod holders, cooler tie-downs, and bungee webbing. (He also offers a fourteen-footer for easier storage.)

>Paddle Bateau, $4,950 from 


>Outdoors winner: Modus Studio
>Outdoors runner-up: Ian Balding
>Outdoors runner-up: Tom Beckbe
>Outdoors runner-up: Colter Atelier

See all winners and runners-up