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!

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