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Is Lacrosse on Paddleboard Reston’s Next Sport?

by Karen Goff — May 21, 2015 at 3:00 pm 5 Comments

Paddle Polo on Lake Audubon/Courtesy Paddle Polo

First, there was standup paddleboarding on Reston’s lakes. Then came yoga on said paddleboards. Now, Steve Gurney, the owner of Surf Reston Stand Up Paddleboarding, has come up with a new way for fun on the lake.

Two summers ago, Gurney attached a lacrosse stick to a paddle and got the idea for Paddle Polo. Players can use the paddle to pass the ball back and forth as the cruise around on water — or engage in a fast-paced polo, lacrosse, even golf or baseball games.

About a dozen design changes later, Gurney has a provisional patent, a Reston-based (albeit small) manufacturing operation and an e-commerce site.

“I was lifeguarding via SUP at the lake swim [on Lake Audubon], and I had a couple of lifeguards talking about lacrosse,” said Gurney.

Paddle Polo stick/Courtesy Paddle PoloGurney shared his idea with his father, Jack, a retired engineer. Jack Gurney tweaked the design and used the 3D printer at Langston Hughes Middle School, where he is a volunteer, to make the second prototype, said Gurney.

The Gurneys then moved the design test to Reston’s Nova Labs, a makerspace, where the design went through further changes.

“My dad and I presented at the Nova Mini Maker Faire this spring to show people how you can execute on an idea using community resources,” said Gurney. “Our current model is manufactured from several sources but assembled in my garage. Things are heating up with the sales we are doing really well with youth camps and lacrosse camps leagues and tournaments.”

The paddles retail for $32.95 on Paddlepolo.com. The site also sells Paddle Polo floating balls and offers volume discounts (in case you want to outfit a team).

Interested in trying before buying? You can test out Paddle Polo at a Surf Reston session on Lake Anne or Lake Audubon.

Photos courtesy Paddle Polo

  • meh

    I bet these things are labeled as being crabbing gear down in the pawnshops of PG county.

  • Rick Dotsalt

    I am sure there is more to the story but not sure I would have used the printer at a public school for a prototype for my private business.

    • Rick – at that point we had no idea it was going to be a legitimate product. The school was simply using the printers to make useless items. My dads goal was to show the kids that you could use a 3D printer to test an idea. The teachers were grateful to demonstrate a real world application to the tool. We only did a few there and moved to Nova Labs.

      • Rick Dotsalt

        Fair enough, I am sure the intentions were good and the class benefited from the experience. I wasn’t questioning the academic value of the experience.

    • Ming the Merciless

      Heaven forbid anything actually useful in the real world should happen at school!

      This is exactly the kind entrepreneurship that schools should teach, encourage, and facilitate.

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