Handplaning is a form of bodysurfing that involves using a small wooden board to glide on the water. It is a fun and challenging way to enjoy the ocean, especially for those who want to try something different from surfing. In this article, we will explore the origins, benefits, and tips of handplaning.
What is Handplaning?
Handplaning, also known as handboarding or hand surfing, is a sport that dates back to ancient times. It is said that the Polynesians and Hawaiians used to ride the waves with their hands or pieces of wood. In the 20th century, handplaning became popular among surfers who wanted to experiment with different ways of riding the waves. Some of the pioneers of handplaning include Tom Blake, Bob Burnside, and Mark Cunningham.
Handplaning involves using a small board, usually made of wood, that fits in the palm of your hand. The board helps you to catch and ride the waves, while your body acts as a rudder and a fin. You can use a handplane on any type of wave, from small and gentle to big and powerful. You can also perform various maneuvers, such as barrel rolls, spins, and cutbacks.
Handplaning is a great way to enjoy the ocean, whether you are a beginner or an expert. Here are some of the benefits of handplaning:
- It is easy to learn. You don’t need any special skills or equipment to start handplaning. All you need is a handplane, a pair of fins, and a swimsuit. You can learn the basics of handplaning in a few hours, and then improve your technique and style as you go.
- It is fun and exhilarating. Handplaning allows you to feel the speed and power of the waves, as well as the thrill of riding close to the surface of the water. You can also experience the beauty and diversity of the marine life, as you glide over coral reefs, fish, and dolphins.
- It is eco-friendly and sustainable. Handplaning does not require any fossil fuels, electricity, or batteries. It also does not produce any noise, pollution, or waste. Handplanes are usually made of natural or recycled materials, such as wood, cork, or foam. Some handplane makers also donate a portion of their profits to environmental causes.
- It is good for your health and fitness. Handplaning is a low-impact and high-intensity exercise that works your whole body. It strengthens your muscles, improves your cardiovascular system, burns calories, and reduces stress. It also boosts your mood, creativity, and confidence.
How to Handplane?
If you want to try handplaning, here are some tips to get you started:
- Choose the right handplane. There are different types of handplanes, depending on the size, shape, material, and design. The best handplane for you depends on your personal preference, skill level, and wave conditions. Generally, a larger and flatter handplane is easier to use and more stable, while a smaller and curved handplane is faster and more maneuverable.
- Choose the right spot. Look for a beach that has clean and consistent waves, preferably with a sandy bottom and no rocks or reefs. Avoid crowded or dangerous areas, and respect the local rules and etiquette. Always check the weather and tide conditions before you go, and never handplane alone or in the dark.
- Choose the right wave. Look for a wave that is breaking smoothly and evenly, and that matches your handplane size and shape. Position yourself in the line-up, where the waves are forming and peeling. Paddle with your arms and kick with your fins to catch the wave. Once you catch the wave, hold the handplane with one hand and extend the other arm in front of you. Lean your body to steer and balance, and enjoy the ride.
Handplaning is a new way to ride the waves that is fun, easy, and eco-friendly. It is a sport that anyone can enjoy, regardless of age, gender, or background. If you are looking for a new challenge or a new hobby, handplaning might be the perfect choice for you.