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Travel Globally, Act Locally: Enjoy Handplanes - Saving the planet, one broken surfboard at a time
While helping people globe-trot responsibly is our specialty, we applaud giving Mother Earth a helping hand at home as well. That's why we've started a new blog series to honor those in our own backyard (San Diego County, California) who have developed innovative ways to recycle, reuse, and reduce. Top on our list is Enjoy Handplanes, an ingenious product developed by avid surfers and creators of The Leucadia Project, Ed Lewis and Kipp Denslow.
So, what are handplanes? Think of them as mini surfboards for your hands that take bodysurfing to a whole new level--you'll ride waves all the way to the sand and about five times faster. Want proof? Just check out this picture on the left from a camera mounted handplane.
Surfboards have a limited lifespan and where do the broken and waterlogged boards go to die? The landfill? collecting dust in the garage? Some boards (no matter how damaged) are so beloved by their owners that they'll get stashed away for years, unused. Now thanks to a homegrown experiment with renewal, they'll have a second chance at life when converted into a handplane. One longboard can create up to twelve handplanes and old wetsuits are used to make the handles.
As Ed and Kipp's experiment began to take hold in the local surfing community, even grander opportunities for conservation came their way. They developed a partnership with an industrial board maker to get their hands on the massive amount of manufacturing waste produced by bulk board cutting machines. Before this collaboration, the standard practice for a machinery mishap was to punch holes in the slightly damaged board (to make it less attractive to thieves) and toss it in the trash. Now, thanks to Ed and Kipp, this "waste" is winning over water-lovers, riding the waves in the form of handplanes.
Ed and Kipp have been very pleased to see that their "mission to do something positive environmentally in the surf industry is actually working!" They are selling out of handplanes nearly as fast as they are producing them and have plans to expand and increase their eco-friendly efforts by procuring the manufacturing waste from all nine of the bulk board cutting facilities in the world.