Danny Hess x Olasul
Recently, we were lucky enough to team up with San Francisco surfboard shaper Danny Hess to create limited edition Olasul x Danny Hess handplanes. They're the perfect accompaniment to a day at the beach and are guaranteed to take your bodysurfing to the next level. Read on for Danny's pointers and to see how we went from bodysurfing on pool kick boards to these.
Olasul x Danny Hess handplanes are stamped with a limited edition logo and are available in fir or poplar.
A bodysurfer glides across the face of a wave using a Danny Hess handplane.
Olasul: How did you start using planes to bodysurf?
Danny: I started making handplanes for bodysurfing when I was 16. I was a lifeguard at this really great bodysurfing beach. I could bodysurf on duty. One day, I liberated a kick board from the nearby pool and started using it as a handplane. That led to me shaping the kick board to get the best ride. Soon I was using all sorts of materials and found objects to make handplanes for myself and my friends. 20 years later they've evolved into what they are now.
O: What's the learning curve like for someone just starting to use a handplane?
D: I believe using a handplane is really intuitive. I've taught many people that have never surfed before to do it and they're always riding waves on their first go. As long as you're a competent swimmer and you have a decent pair of fins you're ready to go.
O: What are the ideal conditions?
D: They beauty of body surfing and using a handplane is that there are no perfect conditions. You don't need great waves to have a really good time doing it. As long as there is some energy in the water you're stoked.
O: Where do you find the inspiration for your designs?
D: I have a great crew of people I go handplaneing with. We're always testing out new ideas and ways of approaching a wave. My favorite part of being a surf craft builder is designing boards that allow me to have new experiences in the water.
O: What's your most memorable surfing or bodysurfing story?
D: I held a bodysurfing contest here at Ocean Beach, SF last November. It was cold and rainy and the waves were huge with lots of current. Despite all of that, we had hundreds of people come from all over the country to enter this super grassroots contest. The best bodysurfers in the world were all out there together. It was an amazing sight to see.