Andrew Hall, in a letter to Echonetdaily, expresses his dislike of wooden bodysurfing handboards and his preference for plastic ones. His reasons are the higher cost of wood, the absence of a safety strap, the increased weight, and the word ‘organic’ in marketing.
As bodysurfing handboard makers, we find his comments ridiculous.
How can someone who loves the ocean want to put more plastic in it? Wood is biodegradable, so if a wooden board gets lost, it will disintegrate: a plastic board is likely to end up killing a sea creature. And safety straps are cheap if your timber board doesn’t have one.
Handboards, like ours, are generally made from recycled or paulownia timber, which is soft and light. Our most popular board weighs under 240g.
Of course, there is a price difference. Most timber boards are hand-crafted in Australia, while most plastic ones are mass-produced overseas.
Both do the job superficially, but you can’t compare a beautiful, locally made timber product, whether a table or a handboard, with a cheap plastic one.
Finally, while we don’t market our boards as ‘organic’, the word means: ‘relating to or derived from living matter’, i.e. wood.
Vicki Takis and Rene Nippard (Sting Glide handboards)