Hybrid Surfboard, Sailboat and Rescue Platform Launched by Los Angeles Firm

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A new surfboard-boat-rescue platform has emerged on the market, stirring great interest on Los Angeles beaches. The inventor and company president, Leon Halfon,is a 62-year-old raconteur and life-long surfer who carried the dream of this product for four decades.

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) March 25, 2004 – Leon Halfon, a surfer extraordinaire for five decades, today introduced an experimental watercraft that is as unique as the inventor himself. The new hybrid surfboard-kayak platform is designed for recreational use and water rescue with unparalleled stability. Christened the “Multi Banana Boat” for its versatility, unique shape, and bright lifejacket yellow color, the 12-foot long, flat-topped craft is constructed in a seamless sandwich structure of rotomolded Super Linear Polyethylene foam, a lightweight, durable and virtually unsinkable material.

The boat’s inventor and company president, Halfon, says it is highly maneuverable, safe for all ages, and the most versatile personal watercraft on the market today. It will sell for $995 through surfboard and kayak retailers and via the Internet at http://www.multibananaboat.com.

The novel boat is as “multi” in its power sources as it is in its uses. With rapid adjustment, the board can be paddled, sailed, surfed, and motored. “You can stand on it like a surfboard and paddle it like a kayak or put up a sail and glide across the water. For fishing, you can add a small outboard motor and scoot across any lake,” Halfon said. For transport on land, the 81-lb. foam boat can be hand-carried, pulled on a two-wheeled dolly or hefted onto a car rack.

A strong supporter of the Multi Banana Boat is Michael Brady, an award-winning Hollywood stuntman and former head lifeguard at Malibu Beach. “As a rescue aid, the boat offers incomparable advantages. Lifeguards can ride the boat to the drowning swimmer faster than they can swim there,” Brady says. The rescuer can pull the victim onto the platform without risking his own life and then perform resuscitation instantly without the usual delay of pulling the victim to shore. “The first 10 minutes in a water rescue can mean the difference between life and death. If you spend that time dragging the individual to shore, you’ve lost precious time performing resuscitation,” Brady added.

A lifeguard in his teens, Halfon envisioned the concept and developed the first model in 1960, built of wood and fiberglass and weighing 300 lbs. With it, records shows he rescued over 275 people. Unlike a surfboard, the boat has no protruding fins or sharp edges. The unsinkable foam has been tested and performed well in storms, as Halfon demonstrates in a free DVD offered at his website.

Now in his 60s, Halfon creates quite a stir at the Santa Monica beach, a site frequently used as a proving ground for the boat’s development over several decades. “When Leon shows up fully dressed in street clothes and launches the board at a beach full of surfers, the reactions are amazing, as he appears to be strolling on the water,” Brady says. On this super stable doublewide surfboard, Halfon seldom gets wet, as he rides the waves standing fully upright.

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