Monday, December 8, 2014

Craft Feature: Sole Handplanes of Ocean Beach-San Diego, California

Aloha! Tonights Craft Feature comes to us from just down the street in Ocean Beach-San Diego. The story of Sole Handplanes...where Artistry, Design, and the Love of Surf comes together with Sole. My friends of the Stoke...

Craft Feature No. 8
Sole Handplanes
Ocean Beach, San Diego 

1.Tell me a little bit about yourself? Where you are from and what company/organization are you with. 
I am an artist, designer, furniture maker and founder of Sole Handplanes, based out of Ocean Beach in San Diego. Over the past 35 years I have made my living in the arts, now with this venture I am blending my passion for surfing with my love of design and art. Sole Handplanes currently is a team of four people: Lee Puffer is our Art Director & Copywriter; Stu Wood handles business development and our online media while Eddie Storer oversees our production and product development, and of course I do all of that and a bunch of other stuff too.

We also have an amazing team of riders: @itsbetterinbronze @sk8thestateca @samlopez87 @corbin138 @dwizer, who bring a great deal to the business and an overall great vibe.

2. What Surf Craft(s) do you make/offer?

We make performance minded hand boards for body surfing, with a focus on planes made for hollow waves. Our boards take a fresh approach in terms of construction and design. They are much thinner and more concave than others on the market. This maximizes bite and lift. We also believe that the strap or binding is just as important as the plane itself, just as it is on a snowboard or pair of skis. Therefore we don’t skimp on our straps, nor how they attach.
3. When and How did you get into Surfing?

I was probably 15 or 16 before I began surfing, this was back in the mid-seventies. Prior to that I was a skate rat, hunting down pools and canals with my buddies. Surfing was just a natural progression. I did both until surfing took over. As a kid I body surfed, but really I didn’t become enamored with body surfing until about ten or 12 years ago. Now I’m about 50/50 body surfing and board surfing.
 4. What is your favorite form of Stoke (SurfCraft)? Why?
I think the older I get the more I’m enjoying bodysurfing. It’s just a more all around rewarding experience. There are still plenty of good times to be had board surfing for sure, but hassling for waves is getting less and less fun. The body surfing vibe seems to be more genuine.

 5. Any specials projects or events you'd like to share or start?

Right now we are focused on getting product into the hands of bodysurfers all over the world. We’ve got a bunch of projects in development, including limited edition collaborations with artists and a clothing and bag line. Stay tuned.

 6. Where do you see the Culture heading in the near Future?

The interest in body surfing and alternative surf craft will continue to increase. I think right now people are interested in trying something new. There is always going to be the ASP and it’s great to see the Big Wave guys starting to get their due. It’s time also for people to see the body and boogie boarders charging. But when all is said and done it’s about our relationship with the ocean and that interest will only increase.

RIDER FEATURE #1- Patrick Dolan

Rider Feature #1: Who the Hell are you Folks!!! Seriously! So here is a new feature highlighting the Dudes and Dudettes that float, bob, and Yeeeeeeoooowww with the rest of us in the Line-up. You're the Stoked out of your mind humanoids that have to spend most of your days upright on two feet  hankering for the Ocean and some Slide! On a board of some sort or a just a set of fins...This is all about YOU!!! Enjoy! 

THE Real Patrick Dolan 

1. Who are you and where are you from? 

My name is Patrick, I am originally from Ventura CA. I got stuck behind the "Orange curtain" during college and now living in Huntington Beach CA. 

2. What is your favorite form of stoke? Why?

My favorite form of stoke is bodysurfing. There is something special and pure about the feeling of riding a wave with your body. It gives you that old feeling you had when you were playing in the waves as a little kid. Even the smallest barrel can be the highlight of your week. 

3.How did you get into it?

Any time the waves are not ideal for surfing or boogie there is always bodysurfing in the back of my mind. I grew up on the beach and for as long as I remember I have been bodysurfing. 

4. What other surf craft do you enjoy?

I can often be see with my trust Toobs bodyboards and a home made Paulowina Paipo in my board bag. There is always a handplane and a pair Viper fins in the back seat of my truck. 

5. What is your favorite session story?

One of my favorite sessions was at a popular LA county beach break. 3 of my friends and I were the  only ones out for hours getting stoked on prefect 4 foot barrels. It was truly a dream session, warm water, super clear, and no one else around. The only reason to get out of the water was because our legs were cramping. It's not always about riding the biggest wave that can be a memorable session. All the Handplane Hoedowns are pretty high on my list of fun too. 

6. Shout outs and good Vibes to anyone?

Shout out to KNEKT for helping me photograph my passion of bodysurfing.
Good Vibes to Westside Boards and California Surfcraft who are two of the leaders in eco friendly handplanes. They are always thinking outside the box and are never too busy to give some words of advise to home builders like myself. Their creativity is mind-blowing. I think one of the best parts of the bodysurfing community is the support from each other. Bodysurfing is like a big family rather than a competition to be the "coolest". 

Thanks Patrick!!! If you guys and gals are looking for a Great Instagram to follow, check out Therealpatrickdolan, and give him a follow! From POV Swell shots, wood working, and one of the most stout beards I have seen...its worth a gander! 

Good Vibes and Stay Stoked!!! 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Craft Feature: Westside Boards of Ventura, California

The last feature for tonight is another Ventura purveyor of Stoke! Westside Boards! An EcoMinded Surfcraft company from start to finish...seriously! If the ocean knew how Adam builds his craft, I believe she'd reward him with Perfect Days every time he stepped into the water! Enjoy!!!

Craft Feature No. 7 
Westside Boards 
Ventura, California 

DSDF: Tell me a little bit about yourself? Where you are from and what company/organization are you with? (Web sites address please):

My name is Adam West and I make Westside Boards in Ventura, CA. 
insta & twitter: @westsideboards

DSDF: What Surf Craft(s) do you make/offer?

Westside Boards handcrafts high performance, eco-friendly bodysurf handplanes and alternative surfcraft.  What began as a woodworking hobby 7 years ago quickly became a passion to build quality sustainable products with less impact on the environment.  All of our boards are made from wood that comes from a sustainably managed forest or wood that is reclaimed/recycled and then sealed with a clear coat derived from whey, a natural and renewable resource.  We currently offer 4 different models of handplanes and 2 models of Paipos.

DSDF: When and How did you get into Surfing? 

I wish I had a cool Johnny Utah type of story to tell you.  The reality is I bought my first surfboard roughly 20 years ago.  I grew up in a small coastal town in Maine and the ocean was always a part of my life.  I remember how surfing was made to look easy by those who were good at it. I quickly found out there is a heck of a learning curve.  The surf where I grew up was very inconsistent and the water was usually very cold.  It wasn’t until I moved to California 14 years ago that I was able to enjoy surfing on a consistent basis.

DSDF: What is your favorite form of Stoke (SurfCraft)? Why?

I’m not sure I can define exactly what my favorite form of “Stoke” is because there are so many different ways to achieve it.  Whether I’m on a surfboard, handplane or paipo, there’s just a peacefulness and tranquility that emerges as you mentally leave everything behind and it’s just you and the ocean.  “Stoke” to me is the ability to be able to live in the moment and enjoy the now, and it’s those moments that really help keep me balanced as a person.

DSDF: Any specials projects or events you'd like to share or start?

Well, summer is coming to an end and that’s typically our busy season as far as our surfcraft goes.  We typically do a few large events every year.  We’ll be running more demo days in the upcoming year and are looking forward to expanding our market outside of Central/ Southern California.

DSDF: Where do you see the Culture heading in the near Future?

That’s a good question.  I think the culture of alternative surfcraft and the search for stoke has grown beyond the “fad” stage.  Bodysurfing seems to have gotten it’s legs and continues to grow.  The fact that the internet allows us all to connect and share our versions of the culture only helps move it forward.  I think the DIY aspect of bodysurfing is another reason why it continues to grow.  Building your own surfcraft whether it’s surfboards or handplanes has become popular among the die-hard surf fans, which is understandable as it a very rewarding process. There’s a tremendous feeling of using something you’ve hand made no matter how it looks instead of purchasing a similar product that was cut from machines in a factory with no personal connection.

Recently, there has been some push back against some of the larger surf manufacturers to become more sustainable. The tide has certainly changed in social and environmental responsibility within the industry and that is something we stride to push the boundaries on. We could easily make our products cheaper and less environmentally friendly, but instead we look for solutions rather than adding to the problem. Sustainability is at the core of our products. We take pride in using sustainable materials in the production of our products and that seems to be a common thread among most of the handplane companies out there.

DSDF: Any shout outs, Thank you's, or comments?

Most important my loving Wife and 3 kids for putting up with my obsession.
Also a very sincere thank you to all of the great surf shops that carry our products.   They believed in our message and took a chance on us.  Their support will never be forgotten.  

Of course a huge shout out to everyone who has ever bought one of our boards.  There are so many different handplanes and alternative surfcraft out there and it’s always humbling to have someone choose your product.

Thank You Adam for sharing your story and doing an awesome job helping Mother Earth! Seriously! In the end...That's why we enjoy being in the water!!! 
Stay Stoked!!! Good Vibes!!!

Craft Feature: Flyboards of Ventura County, California

Aloha! It's been a few weeks since I last posted...Sorry about that! So tonight I am sharing two awesome stories with everyone!!! First off is Flyboards, two young Stoked Folk from Ventura County that pour their hearts into the Stoke!!! These young ladies do their own shaping, paint, and stain...I met the two of them at the last Handplane Hoedown, and it was Awesome to meet two young Folk that are so dedicated to the Craft!!! Enjoy!!!

Craft Feature No.  6
Ventura County, California 

DSDF: Tell me a little bit about yourself? Where you are from and what company/organization are you with? (Web sites address please):

My name Is Savannah and I am half of the brains behind Flyyboards, from Ventura County California. Im 18 and fresh out of high school. I have been surfing for about 5 years, and loving every minute. I started Flyyboards with my best friend Jacque and together we are working at making an awesome company. Making handplanes, surf-crafts, and other awesome things! From the time I was little Ive always loved to build things of my own, and that’s kind of where I started. I wanted to build my own surf craft of some type. I originally wanted to shape surfboards but.. That is a little difficult to start out with. Then at some point I came across handplanes and that’s where I started! I have almost 2 years under my belt and boy have I made some changes. It’s always funny to see the first thing you shaped compared to what you are currently shaping. I have taught everything to myself.. Well maybe a few youtube videos, and a couple online forums! Haha. Today Im shaping mostly handplanes, and a few surfboards. Im hoping to get into all types of surf-crafts because I just want to try absolutely everything!!!

DSDF: What Surf Craft(s) do you make/offer?

Here at Flyyboards we specialize in Handplanes. I want to be able to produce the best I possibly can. When I shape a handplane I really try to think about what the rider is going to go through, thinking about how much rocker, concave, down to the strapping. I want to create something that will have you itching for your next session. With our left over scraps from shaping, we like to upcycle into cutting boards, cup coasters, and cheeseboards. This is something I love because I can bring my personal quiver into the kitchen and put it to good use. We are working on adding custom surfboards, paipos, and alaias!

DSDF: When and How did you get into Surfing?

I got into surfing about 5 years ago. My dad used to surf when he was a teenager and decided he wanted to get back into it. I jumped in with him and just loved every second of it.

DSDF: What is your favorite form of Stoke (SurfCraft)? Why?

My personal favorite form of surf craft so far is little surfboards with lots of foam. My board of choice when the waves are smaller (or even when it’s overhead) is a 4’8 x 20” x 2 ¼” quad. I love this board because of how fast, fluid, and skatey it is. I can whip it around and always have a blast. Of course I love handplanes as well, I love the feeling of being in the wave, just me on the water. It is that type of thing where I can’t really explain what happens, it just does!

DSDF: Any specials projects or events you'd like to share or start?

Hopefully in the next little bit we will be branching into foam handplanes along with our wood. Just to keep things diverse and exciting.

DSDF: Where do you see the Culture heading in the near Future?

I think that the surf industry, especially the bodysurfing industry is growing rapidly. (Which let’s be honest.. surfing sucks don’t try it!! Haha). I am excited to see what happens with all the innovators these days, anything is possible. And we would love your support in the near future to help fund a kickstarter project we are working on!!

My advice to everyone, if you have never picked up a handplane, DO NOT BE AFRAID! You will have the most incredible fun you can imagine.

If you have any questions, comments, or want to check us out:, Insta/twitter @flyyboards

 Thank You Savannah and Jacque!!! We look forward to seeing new shapes and materials!!! Please let me know when you kick off the Kickstarter Project, and DSDF will do whatever we can to help promote your Project!!! 

Stay Stoked!!! Good Vibes!!!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Craft Feature: Shelter Handboards of Santa Cruz, California

Aloha! This weeks Craft Feature comes from Santa Cruz, California! Please check out Matt's story of the Stoke and how the name of his company reflects the reason we do what we do! The more and more I share these stories, the more I realize we are all truly Different Folk in pursuit of that indescribable feeling of Freedom and Serenity. Enjoy! 

Matt, congratulations on your little one!!  

Craft Feature No. 5 
Shelter Handboards 
Santa Cruz, California 

DSDF: Tell me a little bit about yourself? Where you are from and what company/organization are you with?

My name is Matt Evarts and I live in Santa Cruz, Ca, but have called many places in California home.  I grew up in the small mountain community of Oakhurst, Ca., but was so lucky to have a set of grandparents in La Jolla and another with house near Carmel Beach.   I am married with a 3yr old daughter and son about to be born on Aug 20th!  My main job is working for the City of Salinas Fire Department, currently Fire Captain on Engine 3.

DSDF: What Surf Craft(s) do you make/offer?

My little project is called Shelter Handboards ( and Surf Co. specializing in hand shaped, custom Santa Cruz mountain redwood body surfing handplanes.  I strive to make unique, eco friendly, recycled custom hand shaped alternative surf craft that is responsibly built.  We believe in the concept of finding shelter from our busy lives, that quiet place where we can re-connect with the stoke.  Its more than handplanes and bodysurfing, but that is where Shelter came from.

DSDF: When and How did you get into Surfing?

I started on a surf mat at La Jolla Shores in 1975 with my grandfather, Hal.  He would also take me body whomping and swimming at Marine St and Windansea.  I first rode a surfboard in 1982 at 11 yrs old and have never stopped.  I have spent many years away from the ocean, climbing, skiing snow boarding, back packing, whitewater kayaking and mountain biking, but surfing was never far away.  Finally I had opportunity to live and work on the Monterey Bay everyday and I chose the ocean life permanently.

DSDF: What is your favorite form of Stoke (Surfcraft)? Why? 

Well, when its time to surf, it's time to surf.  I love traditional surfing and prefer to be on my short board.  However, I have SUP surf boards, long boards, boogie boards, race SUPS, downwinders and of course, hand planes and fins. I love them all, because each gives you a new approach to riding swells and a different kind of stoke.  But, unless you live in Indo or some other barreling wave destination, most surfers don't get barreled every time out.  That's why body surfing is so kick ass.  Almost every wave is opportunity get the view.  Every wave is overhead.

DSDF: Do you have any specials projects or events you'd like to share or start? 

Shelter has no special projects right now.  I have only been doing this for about 8 months and trying to dial in the product itself, however one of the missions of Shelter is to give back.  We donate a portion of sales to local charities here in Santa Cruz that support kids and the Ocean.  We also like to donate hand planes for charity events as prizes, raffles, auctions to raise money, etc.

DSDF: Where do you see the Culture heading in the near future?

Not sure.  What we do know is, more and more humans are entering the ocean and caring for it has become more important.  Keep it simple, leave no trace, leave it better than you found it and share it with a kid.  Vote with your wallet if you want to see change in the world.

Any shout out, Thank you's, or comments? 

My shoutout is to my Grandfather and Father who dumped me in the Ocean so many years ago and drove me back and forth everyday, every summer to the beach as a kid,a  kid from the mountains who was lucky enough to have family close the water.

Finally a HUGE MAHALO to my amazing wife, Morgan, the love of my life!



Thaank You Matt for Supporting the Different Stoke!!! Again, Congratulations on your new addition to the Family. I look forward to meeting up with you and the rest of the NorCal folk someday! 
Good Vibes!

EVENT: The Handplane Hoedown! San Clemente State Beach

Surf Event! 
The Handplane Hoedown 
San Clemente State Beach 
Hosted by Brownfish Handplanes ( ) 

This gathering was awesome! The location is a Great idea, you will have to pay a day use fee, but there is a reward for this. The fact that it's a "controlled" beach means that the parking is there, the beach is a lot less crowded and well maintained. I'll be paying for a year permit myself just for those perks. Anyhow, we arrived around 8:30 (The Hoedown starts around 7am and goes till whenever) and made our way down the trail (below the camp ground) to the beach. Walking under the train tracks and on to the sand...we were graced with the view of 40 or more Folk getting Stoked in the waves!! Bodysurfers, Handplanes, Paipo, Surfmat, and even an Ice Cream Sammich! The waves were decent with a set of nuggets here and there that caused the crowd to start Yeeeeeoooowwww!!! out loud, bringing attention to the line-up. Folk young and old walking around, admiring each other's craft and taking them out for a ride! My wife and I set up our spot, displayed a few surf craft from my personal quiver and just took it all in. Right away I had a young kid walk up and ask if he could ride my Dutch Paipo, with a smile and a "Go for it little dude!", he grabbed it and off he went!

 It was awesome to be able to share the Stoke! Throughout the day every one of my boards got to get wet by either myself or someone else! Quit often, while getting ready to go out at my usual spot, I get a lot of people asking about what ever it is I'm about to ride that day. After explaining what it is and how you ride it, we part ways and I paddle out. Then I think to myself, should I have asked them if they'd like to take it out? Well, the Hoedown quenched that curiosity. After my boards came back in, I was able to meet some Folk and put a face to the name as we made our way around. The sun was beating down, so a dip in the drink was in order. I paddled out and met even more awesome Folk in the Line-up! We talked about each other's craft, where we reside, and everyone did an amazing job calling out Left or Right, or respecting each other's space. You don't see that everyday in the Line-up.

 After getting my fill from hours in and out of the water, we were ready to pack it up. I made one last round and introduced myself to a few more shapers, swapped info and left with a "See ya at the next one!". All in all it was an amazing day, and I look forward to next Hoedown next April! I know some folk up in NorCal are talking about putting together a Hoedown of their own! If so, I'll do my best to make it up there too! It was a pleasure to meet all of those Folk I was able to talk to, and I look forward to meeting more of you next time! Special Thanks to Ryan and Raquel of Dutch handplanes and Surfboards for the Coffee and donuts, and to Brownfish Handplanes for setting up this event and the infamous cookies!!! 

Folk getting Stoked!!! 
Westside Boards
Dutch Handplanes 
Killawava Handplanes 
Seaglass Handplanes
Flyboards Handplanes
Folk shoot'n the Stoke!

Stay Stoked Everyone!!! 
Good Vibes!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Craft Feature: Superbiscuit of Santa Cruz, California

This weeks Craft Feature comes from Santa Cruz, California! Jason, a Purist at heart, has been surfing and bodysurfing since the 80's! He's the one man operation behind an EcoFriendly, Purpose shaped, Innovating company. So feed that hunger for getting pitted with the awesome story of Superbiscuit!!! 

Craft Feature No. 4
Santa Cruz, California 

DSDF: Tell me a little bit about yourself? Where you are from and what company/organization are you with?

My name is Jason Hackforth, and I'm the creator of the Superbiscuit.  I've lived in Santa Cruz since 1979, and have been making handplanes since 1996.  I take broken or otherwise unusable surfboards, cut them up and shape them into handplanes.  I do all the glassing myself, and also hand make the straps and strap plugs.  I'm a one person operation at this point. 

I specifically make handplanes designed to deliver high performance in really hollow waves.  Any flat bottomed handplane will work in little almond shaped barrels, mine are built for holding a high line in square, hollow barrels and not sliding out.  The techniques I use are the result of almost 20 years of testing what works in these conditions, and (more importantly) what doesn't.

DSDF: What Surf Craft(s) do you make/offer?

I really only just make handplanes, that's my specialty.  Currently I offer three models- the standard Superbiscuit, a slightly larger plane that I've decided to call the Ultrabiscuit (I'm still considering whether I like that name or not...) and my new experimental model, the Picklefork.  The Picklefork works so well though that I'm making it a production model.  It's really the best handplane that I make.

DSDF: When and How did you get into Surfing?

I've been surfing since around 1986, and started bodysurfing around 1989.  Originally it was just about something to do at the beach to avoid boredom and cool off, if we didn't bring our boards or it was too small... but once we started getting barreled it became an addiction.  My friends and I started gravitating to other beaches in town, looking for better barrels and more sophisticated and powerful setups.  Santa Cruz has a lot to offer in that department.

I remember meeting a friend at a place north of town around 1995, a cold and slabby beachbreak.  He had a weird handplane; it looked like a rainbow flipflop and had blue 1/2" straps for the thumb, index finger and two middle fingers.  I scoffed (I was a purist at the time), but still was curious to try it.  I was absolutely blown away at the difference in lift and speed that it provided, I was able to do turns and moves that I never would have been able to with just my hand alone.  I was immediately hooked.

Shortly after that (this would be early 1996, in the winter), I found a broken surfboard in a garbage can at 26th Ave and took it home.  I stripped it, trimmed it down and created my first handplane- which I now call the Protobiscuit.  I had no glassing skills, I was soaking strips of fiberglass in resin and glassing it papier mache style.  Nor did I have any idea how to attach a strap, I just took some velcro and laid fiberglass strips right over it.  It looked terrible, but it worked.

It took me a while to figure out a better way to attach the straps.  I was suiting up for a session at It's Beach around 1997 and I saw a wind surfboard, and took a close look at how its straps were attached.  That was the inspiration I needed to figure out the Strap Dilemma, and shortly after that, I began making my own straps and strap plugs.

Once I had made a few good ones, people started asking me- "What the hell is that?".  In the late 90's, the word 'handplane' only applied to a woodworking tool, there wasn't really a good term to describe this kind of bodysurfing device.  I had a lot of people say to me- "oh, that's a cool little hand gun", but I wasn't really a fan of that term as it applied to what I was doing.  I just started calling them Biscuits for lack of a better word.  The 11th handplane I made was an experimental model, and it performed immensely better that any handplane I had ever made before.  I nicknamed it the "Super Biscuit".  In 2012, my brother convinced me that I should start marketing and selling my handplanes, and I decided that Superbiscuit should be my brand name.

DSDF: What is your favorite form of Stoke (SurfCraft)? Why?

I'm a fan of all surf craft, but I really only participate in a few.  I've never ridden a paipo, or an alaia or a kneeboard, or a SUP.  Mostly just because I've never had access to any of those.  I came up riding shortboards; my current shortboard is a 6'6" M-10, and I have a Taylor 6'10" that I learned to surf on in the 80's.  To be honest, I mostly just bodysurf these days.  Santa Cruz is just too crowded, I have so much more fun and get much better quality waves bodysurfing.  I just want to get barreled, that's the most important thing for me.

DSDF: Any specials projects or events you'd like to share or start?

I wouldn't mind seeing something like a Handplane Hoedown happen in NorCal, I don't know if the bodysurfing scene up here is robust enough for something like that to actually happen, though.

DSDF: Where do you see the Culture heading in the near Future?

I'm noticing more and more people out bodysurfing with handplanes, which I think is good.  There for a while it seemed like I was the only one... I don't know if it's just a trend, or if people are really discovering that bodysurfing is just more fun, but I'm happy to see it either way.

One thing that I would like to say in regards to one element of the culture, I've noticed an explosion of people in the water with GoPros. At my favorite break on the West Side, there's at least a half dozen talented groms out there getting good photos.  But please- let's try to keep secret spots a secret.  If you get a great shot of somewhere unusual, let's try to refrain from blowing the name up all over Instagram. #letsnotnamenames

One other thing I'd like to add- I've noticed a tendency in the PU foam handplane community to create planes without stringers.  I personally think that stringers are extremely important; in my experience, without a stringer the holes drilled to accommodate strap plugs will create a 'weak point' where a handplane will crease or break if put under pressure.  I understand that you can get more handplanes per board if you don't include a stringer, but I've also heard from several people that they've had their handplanes break in precisely that spot without a stringer.  I'd strongly advise anyone who is serious about purchasing a handplane to consider this.

Any shout outs, Thank you's, or comments?

I'd like to say thank you to my brother, Issac Bonaker for inspiring me to move forward with this thing and to my wife and daughter for putting up with me and my tendency to disappear for long periods of time into my garage (AKA the Biscuit Lab).  I'd like to thank John Mel of Freeline Surf Shop, Braddah Timmy Hunt of Pono Hawaiian Grill and Lyndsey Cook of The Phat Shack in Hong Kong for being early supporters.  A shout out to Masakazu 'Mabo' Shichiri of Mabo Handplanes in Japan as well; he and I are doing very similar things on opposite ends of the planet, and we frequently bounce ideas and techniques off of each other.  Also I'd like to extend a shoutout to Hotline Wetsuits of Santa Cruz; I've used these wetsuits for many, many years and I believe there are none finer.  Hand made, locally produced, long lasting and comfortable- it's the only wetsuit I will buy.  And, of course- thank you to everyone who has ordered a Superbiscuit!

Jason Hackforth

Thank You Jason for Supporting Different Stoke!!! When we get a chance to meet up sometime, I'll be sure to bring my Paipos, so you can ride!!!

Good Vibes!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

EVENT: The Handplane Hoedown!!! Saturday, 9/13

Next Saturday, September 13th at 6am till ya wanna go home!
The Hoedown is described as a "Fish Fry", No Contest, No Competitions, No SWAG or Sales Please! Just a day for Folk of all Stoke to meet up and share the Love of assorted Surf Craft. For Beginners to Watermen and Waterwomen! From personal one off prototypes to production pieces, everyone is encouraged to come out and Have some FUN! Representatives from Brown Fish (Host), Whomp, Enjoy, and Surfcraft Co-Op will be on hand with demos. The organizers are asking for Folk to spread the Word and bring your friends and family! 

The event itself will be held at the base of San Clemente State Beach Day Use...details in the Facebook link here :

I will be there with my wife and my quiver of Surfcraft for everyone to use! Just look for the Dude in red board shorts and most likely a black SurfAid hat! Please feel free to stop me and say "What's Up!", and if you're interested in being featured in my Craft Feature just let me know!!! 

So grab your fins, wetsuit and some snacks and meet up for a day of Spreading the Stoke!!!

Good Vibes!!!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Craft Feature: California Surfcraft of San Francisco, California

Aloha Folk of the Stoke! This weeks Craft Feature comes from San Francisco, California. Dave Hahn from California Surfcraft shares with us an awesome story that is truly...Different Folk! Like my Friend Ryan from Craft Feature No. 1, Dave started out life in the Midwest and eventually found the Stoke in Northern California! Enjoy!

Craft Feature No. 3
California Surfcraft 
San Francisco, California 

DSDF: Tell me a little bit about yourself? Where you are from and what company/organization are you with?

My name is Dave Hahn, and I'm with California Surfcraft ( and @californiasurfcraft on IG).

DSDF: What Surf Craft(s) do you make/offer?

I make cork and fiberglass composite handplanes. They're being tested right now in California, Hawaii and Brazil, and I expect then to be ready for sale online and in Northern California surf shops before the end of the summer.

I'm concentrating right now on a 17x10", deep concave board that cruises through waves with tons of speed and stability. This is a board that you'd take to the outside line-up to pick off the same waves that you'd make with a full-size surfboard. You can see a photo of this board here:

These cork handplanes are make with fiberglass, SuperSap epoxy and composite cork in a vacuum-bagged sandwich construction. They are incredibly light and rigid, as well as ding resistant and rot-proof. My testers are really stoked on the boards, and I'm really excited to get them released.

DSDF: When and How did you get into Surfing?

I grew up in Illinois and started my working life as a jazz pianist in Chicago. I toured a lot and worked overseas before ending up in New York City as a keyboard player for Broadway shows. Not a common story for a surfer, I know, but we all have our own path.

Looking for a change, my wife and I left New York and came to San Francisco, where she's from, and took over the family business. We rented an apartment next to Ocean Beach and I bought my first surfboard. I was 31. Again, not a common story for a surfer.

From day one I was hooked. I rarely missed a day. I was terrible at first - it took me weeks of daily sessions before I even stood up once - but I kept at it. After a year or so I was in much better shape, surfing better, and making drops consistently.

I wish I'd been lucky enough to grow up near the ocean, but the opportunity to surf didn't present itself until later in my life. It just makes me that much more grateful for the chance to be here now, and to be a surfer. What a gift. I really love it and it's become a major part of my life.

I became interested in surfboard construction right from the start. However, I was mostly interested in alternative surfcraft. Alaia, paipo, handplanes, surf mats, surfskis - that kind of thing. And I was focused on new kinds of construction techniques - sandwich composites, nanotech - futurist stuff. I'm really interested in how new technologies and manufacturing techniques could make environmentally-friendly surfcraft that perform as well or better than their non-sustainable versions.

I stumbled on cork while I was researching new kinds of boat construction. I'm certainly not the first to look to cork for surfboard design, and I hope I'm not the last. It's an amazing material. It's resistant to water, rot and dings, and it's LEED certified as a rapidly renewable resource. It can be made very rigid with sandwich composite techniques, and yet it will also - one day many years from now - biodegrade in a way that EPS or PU foam never will.

DSDF: What is your favorite form of Stoke (SurfCraft)? Why?

I take a handplane out every day. I think San Francisco's Ocean Beach is an underrated bodysurfing beach - especially when you have the right handboard. The waves by us are steep and fast, which can by technical and tricky on a surfboard, but fit just right on a handplane. I'm hooked!

DSDF: Any specials projects or events you'd like to share or start?

I'm looking for more testers in California, Florida, NY & New Jersey. Connect with me on Instagram and let me know where you surf. If it's an area I'm still looking to get some feedback from, I'll send you a free board.

DSDF: Where do you see the Culture heading in the near Future?

I think the traditional fiberglass + foam surfboard construction has been mastered so well by so many talented shapers that we'll only make small, incremental improvements on it in the future. Big improvements in surf gear could still be made, though, with new construction techniques and next-generation materials. I think we're all working on the beginning of this transition right now and it's really exciting.

As we move through this time of innovation, though, I hope that the surfing industry continues to move toward sustainability in construction, materials and durability. Paulownia and bio-epoxy are a great start to this shift, and companies like Firewire are bravely leading the way, but more needs to be done. We need to take a long look at our use, and waste, of foam (even the recycled kind) and decide if that material should have such a central place in our nature-loving sport.

DSDF: Any shout outs, Thanks or comments?

Yes! I'm very grateful to my testers - @emsteenis, @dabestellis, @tbad22, @oceanellis, @bodysurfbrazil, @tobin1142 - for helping me refine my boards. Thanks to everyone on Instagram for being so stoked and supportive of the prototypes, and thanks to SF's Aqua Surfshop, and Marin's Proof Lab for being early supporters of California Surfcraft.

Thank You Dave for sharing your Stoke and Story!!!

Good Vibes!!!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Craft Feature: Marki Surfboards of Torrance, California

Aloha Fellow Folk of the Stoke!!! After being out of the country for the last month, I'm back to posting the Craft Feature interviews! I want to Thank Everyone that has responded to the interview questions, and instead of posting them every few weeks, I'm going to post them every Sunday until I run out! So If you're interested in answering 6 questions about your Stoke! Just let me know!!! This interview comes from Marc Takai of Marki Surfboards!!! Enjoy!!! And Thanks again Marc!

Craft Feature No. 2
Marki Surfboards 
Torrance, California

DSDF: Tell me a little bit about yourself? Where you are from and what company/organization are you with?

Marc: My names Marc Takaki. I create my crafts under the name "Marki". Marki is a combination of my first and last name, and is also my nickname my family used to call me when I was younger. I shape out of Torrance CA, I started getting into shaping because i was extremely interested and fascinated by how boards are made and what all different design aspects change how the boards feel. I am always learning from making boards and that is what I love best about it. I do not have a website as of now. I do have an Instagram page @marki_boards and a Facebook page

You can also contact me through email at

DSDF: What Surf Craft(s) do you make/offer?

Marki: Currently I make high performance short boards, fun boards and fishes. I also enjoy making handplanes with wood and foam that I have left over after other projects ,or wood that I find that I can recycle. I have also shaped a couple alaia boards and a hollow wooden surfboard.

DSDF: When and How did you get into Surfing?

Marki: I got into surfing when I was 11. My dad used to surf all the time when he was younger with his buddies so it rubbed off onto me. Before I started to surf  I was into skateboarding and snowboarding. It was only a matter of time before surfing was added. 

DSDF: What is your favorite form of Stoke (SurfCraft)? Why?

Marki: I don't have just one favorite surf craft. I mainly ride short boards and some fun boards that are loose and fast. But on those big walled days or when it's breaking on shore bodysurfing with a handplane is always super fun!

DSDF: Any specials projects or events you'd like to share or start?

Marki: I try and make it to most of the events that all the other handplane and surf companies host that I am invited too. Great to meet new people who enjoy the same things as I do. I would love to to give back and start an event that can unite more people and have fun in the water.

DSDF: Where do you see the Culture heading in the near Future?

Marki: It seems like surfboards are starting to get very high tech with all the available materials and people striving to make stronger and lighter environmentally friendly boards. So I'm excited to see the new innovative shapes to come, and maybe create one of my own. Surfing will always grow more popular every year so hopefully people can keep all the shapers in business.

I'd like to give shoutouts to all my friends and family for their love and support. And also to all my customers and followers. Without you I'm nothing! And also to everyone who has helped me with questions and techniques along the way! 

Thank You Marc for Supporting the Stoke and Different Stoke for Different Folk!

Good Vibes!!! 


Monday, July 14, 2014

NEW FEATURE!!! Craft Feature: Dutch Surfboards of San Clemente, California

I've recently reached out to some folk about their Surf Craft and their Story. Look forward to seeing this new segment, The Craft Feature. You'll see our fellow Brothers and Sisters of Stoke, come from all over, and that there truly is a Different Stoke for Different Folk! Please enjoy Craft Feature No.1 with Dutch Surfboards!

Craft Feature No. 1
Dutch Surfboards
San Clemente, California 

DSDF: Tell me a little bit about yourself? Where you are from and what company/organization are you with?
My name is Ryan G. Kloostra and I am originally from Michigan.  My surf brand is Dutch Surfboards (  I grew up in a small town in West Michigan where your life generally revolves around two things: being Dutch and Lake Michigan.  In West Michigan, it seems like everyone is dutch.  Hard work, frugality, windmills, wooden shoes, last names starting with "Van" and ending in "stra" - these are all things that are very close to me.  When I chose a brand name, I wanted something related to my upbringing and values.

Though I didn't surf until I moved to California in my mid twenties, much of my life in Michigan was centered around the beach.  My parents were both teachers and we spent our summers along Lake Michgan.  The most exciting days were the days we got waves, and we would play in them all day long.  Even though we didn't surf, we would skateboard, snowboard, wakeboard, even sand-ski on the dunes.  Looking back, board-riding was almost always a part of my life.  When I moved to California, the transition was quite natural. 

Craft has always been in my blood.  My grandfather was a finish carpenter and could build just about anything.  My dad is a natural craftsman and master at refinishing any type of wood.  When I was young I was allowed to to mess around in his workshop and make anything from skateboards to little ramps and funboxes for skateboarding.  He was very encouraging and gave a lot of freedom.  I pounded a lot of nails into his work bench for no reason other than pounding in a nail. I think there are still old fun boxes stashed in the woods behind my parents house.

Later, when I wanted to learn a craft when I was in California, surfboard building was a natural progression.  After speaking with a few people and spending a lot of time on the internet, I found that there were very few people who wanted to share the craft of surfboard building.  That was when I came across Terry Martin in an article in The Surfer's Journal.  He seemed wise, full of joy, and willing to spread the stoke.  I also gleaned from the article that he was a Christian - this meant a lot to me.  So I wrote him a handwritten letter and he called me up four days later to talk about spending some time together.  The rest is history.  Terry was, and still is through his legacy, a huge blessing to the entire world of surfing.
 DSDF: What Surf Craft(s) do you make/offer?
I love to make surfboards, bodysurfing handplanes, and paipos.  My wife, who is pretty talented also, creates amazing bags for the handplanes and all sorts of other sewing creations. 
 DSDF: When and How did you get into Surfing?
Well, I kind of got into it before, but when I moved to California from Michigan I actually brought a surfboard out with me.  I had never ridden it, but I brought it out and knew that I was going to surf.  It was a 6'3" Carl Schaper thruster that my dad found in the trash at a library in Pentwater, a Lake Michigan beach town where we have a cottage.  I had no idea how wrong it was for a beginner.

After getting an 8 foot funboard off craigslist, I dedicated myself to learning to surf.  As a Christian school teacher, I had no money, so I would drive to the beach to surf and sleep in my Ford Explorer at night to save gas money on the commute from Pasadena to the beach.  It was slow learning, but I loved it.  
 DSDF: What is your favorite form of Stoke (SurfCraft)? Why?
I love the glide of a good singlefin longboard.  That's as good as it gets.  That being said, I love everything that involves sliding down a wave. Handplane.  Paipo.  Fish.  Quad.  Transitional shapes.  Whatever.  It's all stoke!
 DSDF: Any specials projects or events you'd like to share or start?
We'll be at the Deus Ex Machina Surf Swap Meet on August 2 in Venice.  We went last year and had a blast selling mostly handplanes, but we have a lot of cool stuff for this year. Come check it out!
           Also, on September 6 I'll be competing in the Straight Outta Wompton bodysurfing event at    the Wave House in San Diego. It's a freak show.

DSDF: Where do you see the Culture heading in the near Future?

Globalization and the internet have really impacted surfing whether people like it or not.  On the one hand, we can all watch the surf contests live and stoke out on all sorts of free content on the internet.  We can also learn more than ever on youtube when it comes to the craft of surfboard building.  This website is a great example; we'd never know each other without the internet and social media.  It has allowed a lot of cool, niche ideas to coalesce into movements.  So, in many ways, it has leveled the playing field.  Awesome!

On the other hand, now many boards are made overseas by people who have never surfed a day in their lives.  Also, the internet has moved us from life-defining surf movies that take years to produce to the clip of the day on instagram.  

Overall, I think we are in a really cool time right now where people are rediscovering the value of craftsmanship, originality, and stoke.  It's become cool to be unconventional and think outside the box.  Look at guys like Ryan Burch and Donald Brink, they are doing crazy things these days and people are digging it.  At the same time, classic shapers like Skip Frye seem to be getting more love than ever.  A lot of interesting shops are moving in this direction, too.  My stuff has been embraced at places like Thalia Surf Shop in Laguna and Icons of Surf in San Clemente, but shops like these are everywhere up and down the coast.  These shops understand what's going on in surfing and they are making it possible for shapers and craftsmen to create new things and market them.  Ten years ago, an experimental shape was usually a liability for a shop.  Now, they are welcomed.  It just shows that the consumer is more open than ever.
 Any shout outs, Thank you's, or comments?   
To my wife, Raquel, and all the other wives out there that put up with surf/craft obsessed husbands.  The early wake ups, experimental projects in the house, and messes that I create would test even the most patient people.  
Finally...God's grace in our lives.  The original gospel of stoke!

Thank You Ryan! I appreciate your support with Different Stoke!!! 

Good Vibes!!!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Join and this Sunday!!!

This Sunday! July 13th 2014- Join Scoots Handplanes and Slyde Handboards in Huntington Beach, at 9th Street, for a Group Session! 8am-12pm. Bring your fins and Surf Craft, and/or try out Scoots and Slyde craft!!! I'll be there to cover the gathering, the guy in the white long sleeve Quiksilver Rash guard, Be sure to Say Hi!!! 
Will be joining in on the Fun this Sunday too!!!

See ya There!!

Good Vibes