Brandon (Hank) Henrie
T-Shirt for your thoughts!
Updated: Aug 29, 2019
Hank, Zenxtenic, and Braap Stik, Here’s a testimonial to the Braap Stick. I’ll try to be concise and to the point, however I tend to get wordy at times with descriptions, so feel free to edit or slice up this testimonial anyway you see fit for your purposes. I have closet full of shirts, very few make a statement of something that has transformed my life, so here goes, for a shirt, XXL - Orange or Charcol, or Both - yeah always pushing it… My Testimonial: I’m in my mid 50’s, an Office Worker chained to a desk working a high stress job…. SIDE NOTE: ( Supplying Just-In-Time Steel to an Automotive OEM - Turning Iron Ore, Coal, and Limestone with Massive Amounts of Heat, Energy, and Processes, into a shiny coil of Steel ready to be stamped into an Auto Part. These coils weigh 24 tons, move about during the manufacturing process, to added outside processors, and ultimately to the Part Stamper by truck, rail and even barge. An exact quantity needs to be at an exact facility at an exact time. All this coordinated, and with the responsibility fully all on me to make this happen. So much can, and does go wrong that jeopardizes automotive assembly, which in turn affects the manufacturer’s forecast and sales, that well.. it’s stressful, an as you can see, like I said, I get wordy, but try be to be concise. ) Back to the Testimonial. To relieve stress on the job, i eat, as a result, I’m a heavier than average old dude. As a teen, and in my early twenties I skateboarded for fun and for transportation when and where a car couldn’t go. Places like crowded Chicago streets to the Lakefront, and from remote parking areas to the Indiana Dune’s Beaches. As I got older, the skateboard just gathered dust; one gets busy with work, raising a kid, home maintenance, etc. Now as the kid is self sufficient, it leaves a bit of free time. Bike riding is OK, but let’s face it, it’s not the same as skateboarding, not every old guy can still balance on board, make it go fast, and continue to kick push it for long distances or long periods of time. Doing some internet surfing on skateboard set ups for older skaters, I stumbled upon one of the land paddle sites. In the midwest, and Chicago, you never see a skateboarder paddling, ever. I decided to give this land paddle thing a try. I’m cheap and always try to get the most bang for the buck. I wanted something that would easily fit in a car and was low priced. I bought the Sk8Pole. $50 bucks. Wow.. This thing actually enabled me to keep both feet firmly planted on the board, and with some pushing, propel me along. I became more and more active on the board. I began land paddling on my lunch break, and every chance I could get. I took the skateboard and pole on vacations and spent hours cruising new spots, parking garages when it rained, and found my upper body setting stronger, with each and every session. The Sk8pole is light, has a small ball handle, and a pogo stick bottom. It telescopes into itself and is made of two sections, As I cranked up the intensity of sessions and distances traveled on the board, that pogo stick bottom just seemed like it could work better, and give me more feedback for each push. The telescoping twist on the Sk8Pole has a tendency to loosen up after a few minutes too, so you're constantly retightening the pole, so back to the internet. The Kahuna Big Stick, was my next purchase. They seem to have a monopoly on the search engines, as they pop up most. Their curved boot bottom and “T" handle seemed like it might work better than the Sk8pole, which looks like a shower curtain rod, compared to the more paddle appearing Kahuna. So, again, not wanting to spend a bunch money, $69 bucks I got the Kahuna. What a major disappointment the Kahuna was. It was heavy, the pole itself - I swear is a Patio Umbrella Pole. The curved boot didn’t really make contact any better than the Sk8Pole’s pogo stick bottom, in fact it performed worse in that regard. The curved boot frayed quickly, and the sounds the Kahuna made are it’s most shocking feature. With every contact to the ground, it makes a Tap Tap Tap sound as loud a cap gun in your ear. This sound freaked out bystanders and nearby pedestrians on the streets, trails, and beach fronts. The wind howling through the Umbrella Pole was eerie sounding as well, and lastly, you feel the shock in your hands from each noisy Tap Tap Tap as you startle on lookers. I wanted to return it, but the Kahunas said, nope, I had to pay shipping for credit towards the longer wood pole. So back to the internet for some more research. I had seen the Braap Stik before on the net, and because it’s a little bit pricer than the Sk8Pole and Kahuna, I didn’t investigate it as fully as I should have. Also, I thought that the Fiberglass Spring looked like that Pistoris guy’s prosthetic jogging legs and that sort of freaked me out. So after a few more videos online, it became clear that this spring with it’ s large angled contact pad did appear to give back all the energy you put into and then some. I like that the spring varied based on the rider’s weight, that makes good sense, and I had the multiple color option on the graphics, that’s a great touch. The Brapp also collapsed down in size the smallest for portability and ease when transporting the paddle. I spent the extra little bit of money and went for Land Paddle number 3. When it arrived, it looked really so much more professional, sturdy, and really looked like an actual paddle with the fiberglass spring at the bottom compared to the Shower Rod and Umbrella Pole of the Sk8Pole and Kahuna. The Ball handle was larger and fit in the hand perfectly. On the first push off with the Braap, WOW ! - there it was, that added propulsion that the the others lacked. I found myself hooked on land paddling. Thankfully we had a lower than average snow fall this winter. If there was a clear patch of concrete or asphalt I was on it all winter long despite the freezing temperatures. I was paddling down Chicago’s Michigan Avenue wearing a Dicken’s stove pipe hat cruising among the Christmas Shoppers putting a smile on their faces to see an old guy skateboarding with a paddle, and with the greatest of ease in winter along the decorated and lighted streetscape. As Spring arrived, daily on my lunch I’m land paddling at the Indiana Dunes to the wonderment of locals and tourist visiting this Duneland Lakeshore on Lake Michigan’s south end. Some old adages are true in my rediscovered passion for skateboarding. “ You get what you pay for “ “ Third time is a charm “ I’m out, I’m active, I’m taking in nature, sights, and sounds, as I effortlessly roll on by with a few pushes of the Braap Stik. Needless to say, I’m a fan, and whenever anyones asks, and so many people do comment and ask, I give them this version of the story. Thanks for a great product I dig stickers too ! I experiment with different decks, trucks, and wheels… I know a drop down LDP sort of thing is in the distant future for me, but years away. I like decks that look like a surf board, pointed nose, and with a functional high kicktail, late 70’s early 80’s era looking planks. The Gullwing Sidewinder II is my favorite truck, with the Bennett Vector a close second. Will one day try the Carver type trucks, as well as any others that look like they might function well. As a traditionalist with the appearance of the overall board, Orangatang In Heats 75mm are the present wheel of choice, bit the again, I’ll still experiment with other wheel options as time goes by. What else is in my future ? A Carbon Fiber Braap Stik FOR SURE. Got a demo ? A Blem ? Yeah, I know, this was a long read, but hopefully this helps to promote the Best Land Paddle there is out there ! Your Chicago Area Braap Stik Ambassador and unofficial Sales Rep, Lar ( Old Sk8 Dude Dunes ) P.S. too long of a message to re-read and see it it makes sense, or if I skipped or added too much. It’s nice outside, I gotta go Land Paddle some Skate Boards now, so, later, look forward to wearing the Shirt(s) ! I’ll continue to keep a positive genuine dialog and cool pics going on Instagram !
Larry always a pleasure.. I appreciate your kind words and glad you can appreciate a product that was built not be the same ol same ol paddle but a land paddle in a league of its own. Some t-shirts are on their way..