Matt Hughes first connected with the Clark family through standup paddling. Before founding TANDM Surf, the Clarks were big-time standup paddlers and were notorious for paddling with their entire family of four on one board during races. When the standup paddle industry began to dwindle Matt and the Clarks fell out of touch. But when the Clarks founded TANDM Surf in 2020, they reconnected.
“John [Clark] reached out because he knew I had a daughter and was into bodyboarding,” recalls Matt. “He told me he had designed a product where I could take her out on an inflatable bodyboard.”
At the time, Matt’s daughter was about four or five years old. Although she’d been to the beach and played in the water with her dad, she hadn’t done much bodyboarding or wave riding. That was until they got their hands on a TANDM Surf bodyboard.
“It was really great because I could just take her out and she didn’t have to worry about getting through the waves,” says Matt. She didn’t want to go out that far the first time but me being right there really helped her to gain confidence.”
When the Hughes first began tandem bodyboarding, they started off with the TANDM Surf bodyboard. But when the Double Barrel was released, it became their board of choice. They love the fact that the board packs down super small so they can take it everywhere, that it’s available at an affordable price point, and that they don’t need a fancy pump to inflate it (it can be inflated by mouth). Not to mention, it’s incredibly fun to ride!
While Matt and his daughter are in the water, Matt’s wife Cynthia often plays photographer. Although she enjoys riding the Double Barrel with her husband, she often finds herself on the beach, snapping photos of the action. She has quite the eye and as a result, her photo of Matt and their daughter ended up on the Double Barrel box!
“We like to do a lot of adventure stuff together as a family,” says Cynthia. “My husband has taken me out on the tandem board. We caught quite a few waves on it and it’s really fun!”