So tonight I ended up going out for my first major paddle with the Big Stick. I ended up heading out and going in a big circle that I had originally planned as being a good 3 mile bicycle ride.
The Stick preformed admirably. On the flat ground it works really well and allows me to maintain some pretty good speed. On the hills it allows me to effectively push myself faster. Going downhill I'm not really comfortable (or able to) push with my foot, so I'm basically limited to how fast gravity will allow me to go. But with the Big Stick I can continue to push, and thus make myself go even faster. It also allows me to brake a bit on hills, which is nice. Especially when I was coming up to some railroad tracks at a fairly decent speed. The only part that the Stick doesn't do well is going up hills. I found that most of the time going up I needed to start to push with my foot, or a few times I even just got off of the board and walked.
When I got back, my arms were burning and felt like they were going to fall off. So I take it that's a sign that it was a fairly good workout. My shoulders and chest felt a little painful as well, so I'm thinking that I got a pretty awesome upper body workout. My paddling technique needs some work, so I'm sure that as I get more practice I'll get an even better workout.
The three mile trip was a good mix of up hills, down hills, and flat travelling. I did it all in probably about 40 minutes, which isn't too bad. One thing that I found was that it's a bit of a pain to carry the board AND the stick at the same time, so I may start trying to find some way to carry the board more easily. I have a strap system in mind that will allow me to carry the board like a bit of a duffel bag.
All in all, I'm seriously happy with the Stick. It works great, is fun, and seems to be a great workout. Now I just need to start looking for a longer board that soaks up the bumps a bit better!!!