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Byron Shire
February 28, 2021

Plastic handboards rule, OK?

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I have been surfing this coast for decades using flippers and a hand-board (also known as a hand-surfer or a handgun).

Recently there has been a renaissance in body surfing with hand-boards, which I cheerfully support. But there has been a proliferation of wooden so-called ‘organic’ boards all of a sudden.

These hand-boards can be found in every vaguely surf related shop in the region and they are in my opinion a rip-off.

Firstly the cost is around $180, double or triple the cost of the usual plastic or foam ones, secondly they have no safety strap. They are made of wood and are sufficiently heavy to give someone a severe knock if lost on a wave.

But the bit that really gets up my nostrils is that they declare themselves ‘organic’. What rubbish. Maybe they are recycled and wooden but that doesn’t make them ‘organic’.

What a crass case of the commercial bastardisation of a word that used to have serious meaning.

There are a range of perfectly good foam or plastic hand-boards with safety straps available for less than $100, and they are easier to use.

As for ‘organic’, well… plastic comes from oil. That’s organic?

Hand-boards rule OK!

See you in the surf.

Andrew Hall, Ocean Shores


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