By Debbie Gregory.
Army Ranger Alex Cabral has found his calling, handcrafting custom Heavy Eddy paddleboards, one at a time. What set his boards apart from any others is that each one is dedicated to a soldier killed in the Global War on Terror.
Each paddleboard has a fallen soldier’s name and rank on the edge.
As is explained on the website, the KIA boards are an effort to provide a legacy of sorts, another chance to honor a fallen comrade, and to perhaps spark interest in this individual. Interest enough to look this person up and find out their story, because it’s worth telling at least one more time.
Cabral is open to who is honored, after talking it over with each client.
“All my boards are custom made, so I talk to them about what they want — what colors, what materials, what size. So part of those questions is, ‘Do you know anybody who died in the War on Terror, and would you like to honor them?’ And if they didn’t know anyone, then I’ll make a suggestion or I’ll pick someone who I think it would be good to remember.”
Cabral’s journey from Ranger to paddleboard-shaper began in California. After he made his first board, he realized he had a skill.
To participate in the World Paddle Association championship, Cabral built a racing paddleboard from scratch to compete.
The homemade board garnered a lot of attention, and people began asking Cabral if he could build one for them.
Currently priced under $1,000, most of the materials Cabral uses are sustainably sourced from around the region.
The paddleboards are built from a core of polystyrene foam, which is then wrapped in fiberglass and an epoxy resin. Each board is custom-made for a client’s needs. Each board can take between three days and a week to make.
Those looking for more information can visit Heavy Eddy’s website at http://heavyeddy.com.