Something we love most about our customers is seeing just how adventurous, joyful, and creative they are. We love to say that our boards are always so much more than just paddle boards, and Rob Underwood seems to agree. Inspiring people all around him on the coast of Maine, Rob was able to turn his Megalodon paddle board into a motorized boat, and the following story is what he shared with us.
The Story Begins
I got my first Megalodon in July of 2017. I had already bought two other paddle boards from ISLE, and I loved the quality of their craftsmanship, and the price point. When I saw the first email from ISLE for the Megalodon, I was immediately hooked! It was just such an insane idea to me to have a giant paddle board! My mind immediately began to race, thinking of the limitless adventures I could have with friends and family. I wanted something bigger than a paddle board, without the responsibility of an actual boat. Something I could easily get to the beach and back with just one other person helping.
That first summer, the Megalodon was a big hit at my local beach: Cape Neddick, Maine. It was mostly just me and my friends paddling around. Our first idea was to put lawn chairs on it and just have one person stand up and paddle. The tourists would just come right up to us and ask us what it was. They were shocked that it was a giant inflatable paddle board. And we got a lot of laughs from the lawn chair stunt.
Paddling Out With The Mega
It was towards the end of the season when my friend Dino and I got enough courage to paddle out to the bell buoy about a mile out on the ocean. We definitely did not think it through. We paddled out when the tide was going out, so it was an easy paddle. But on the way back, it was a different story. It quickly became a paddle-for-your-life situation.
We arrived onshore exhausted. Lesson learned. It was there at the shoreline, that we began to hatch the idea: we needed a motor! Our first ideas were simple. We initially thought having a cordless power drill with a propeller on it would be a good solution. However, we continued to think it through… We needed a trolling motor.
In the winter of 2018, I began to collect everything I would need to build it out. I decided on making the transom out of PVC pipe because it was lightweight. By February, I was ready for the build. I built the transom out of PVC pipe and a wooden board. I screwed it all together and strapped it to the board using ratchet tie down straps. By February 18th, 2018, it was time for the Meg’s maiden voyage.
In July of 2018, the Meg made its debut at the beach. It was an instant hit! Everyone at the beach was impressed by my “Yankee ingenuity.” We got many thumbs up that summer for having a motor on the Megalodon. I even had a lady from MIT come up to me and congratulate me on the creation! I even met my new beach friend Fernando in 2018. He just walked right up to me as I was brining it onshore and said to me “This thing is pretty cool, we need to be friends.” And we have been hanging out ever since.
The bottom line... It was much easier than paddling. And we could just cruise along our little patch of ocean.
A Series Of Mega Summers
The summers of 2019, 2020 and 2021 were also a lot of fun! I took my friend and his whole family out for rides. I even took people from work out on it, and my favorite was using it as a table to eat lunch on in between rides. During the COVID pandemic, it worked out especially well. When people were on the beach wearing masks and distancing, we were just out on the ocean in front of them, with all the social distancing space we needed.
We have had countless adventures! I’ve had the transom snap, run out of battery power, taken a wave or two from the side and the stern, but never flipped it over (fingers crossed). Even when things go wrong, it just adds to the adventure of it all!
Time For A Mega Upgrade
Fast forward to 2022... I knew it was time for an upgrade. And I also knew I wanted it to be completely legal. In the state of Maine, anything with a motor needs to be registered. So, this winter I took a boating course and these are the two things I learned:
1. I never want a boat.
2. It’s very easy to make a Megalodon legal.
I registered it for less than $20 in the state of Maine. I have a tote on board with a fire extinguisher, a horn, and life jackets for everyone on board. Oddly enough, an anchor is not a requirement for a boat, but I do have one of those too!
It Started With A Drawing
Of course, I wanted to get a motor on my new Meg, so I drew out an idea with a few changes from the last build. My friend Fernando and I did the initial unboxing at his house, as I had given him the old Megalodon (and he actually just purchased a new one very recently!)
The two major things I wanted to change was the transom design, and the seating. For the transom, I wanted it under the boat. Because when not in motion, I like to lay out in the sun. Laying on top of PCV pipes was no fun for the captain. My new transom design is lighter. I used ¼ inch PVC instead of ½ inch. The back of the transom is now a skateboard deck!
With this new build, I decided to put the PVC of the transom under the Meg, instead of on top of it. This gave me more space to freely move around.
Lastly, with the lawn chair, my back was either to the ocean or the beach. That gave me blind spots. And I always need my eye on the waves so we don’t take a wave broadside. So I now use a drummers swivel chair when we are traversing.
This past weekend, we took it out for its maiden voyage! So much fun! To up the ante, we had to do something that’s never been done before with a Meg, at this beach. I bought my 12 inch propane griddle, and we ate sausage, pepper, and onion subs right on the ocean! It was as amazing as it sounds. I can still hear the sizzle!
The Start Of Many More Adventures
Something about this grown-up toy just sparks the imagination in me! I still have a lot of other ideas of things I’d love to do with it, such as:
- Build a sail for it
- Ride a wave with 3 other people on it
- Put a table and chairs on it and have a Mad Hatter Tea Party all dressed up
- Bury a chest in the sand at night, come around the corner on the ocean dressed as pirates in the daytime, pull up to the beach, dig out said chest, then drive away on the Megalodon
All I can say is that this one crazy idea that ISLE had, has brought hours and hours of joy into my life, and into the lives of my friends and family. Here’s to more adventures with the Megalodon! Thank you ISLE! I Heart Meg!