Saturday, September 10, 2016

Slyde Handboards: Wedge Envy

You all may not know, but I've been riding waves in one from or another since I was 12 years old, in some awesome places in Puerto Rico like Rincon, Isabella and Aguadilla to name a few. I moved to Florida at age 18, as it turned out Body boarding was not as welcomed as it was in P.R. (on the island its as big if not a bigger sport than surfing) so I got a longboard and took it from there (didn't hurt either to learn). Luckily I choose a career where wave riding is an important part of the job, and I not only learned to surf on surfboards, but on kayaks as well, even riding some storm surf on them. Fast forward to present day and your options for wave riding are numerous, including handboards or handplanes for body surfing.

Slyde Handboards Wedge Envy next to my Viper Surfing fins
What is a handboard? Well think of the bastard child of a food tray and a surfboard, and that's pretty much the easiest explanation (if not crude). There are many companies out there making them by hand, or machine produced, all have some merits, and like shoes, everyone has a preference on which to ride. One of the many appeals for these handboards is the little to no room they take for transport, ease of use, and relatively inexpensive compared to other forms of wave riding equipment. Another advantage of this boards is that they allow you to ride waves that are not ridable on a surfboard, or larger vessel.

Emma checking out the underside of the board

The one I'm showing you here is the Slyde Handboards Wedge Envy (I'll be reviewing the Bula at a later time). While this was not my very first handboard, it's definitely my favorite one as it allows you to ride that "lovely" S.E. Florida mush, I mean surf (lol) due in part to it's size and design. The board is on the bigger side making it perfect for smaller surf, beginners (although expert riders will love it too), and bigger riders (I'm 5'11" at 215 lbs at the moment of this post). As you can see in the short video below, I was having a blast, and riding choppy/mush waves that were about 3'.

How does it work? Well because of the surface area of the handboard being so much larger than ones hand, it gives your body more lift out of the water, which equals to less drag, which in turn means more speed down the face of the wave. So more of your body out of the water = more speed and more fun, even on smaller waves.

Another thing about bodysurfing/handboarding is that is a much more fun work out, which translates to doing it more, which turns into a healthier lifestyle, which in turn..... you get the drift. Besides the board you might want to get the bicep leash strap and definitely will need bodysurfing fins.

On a side note, it would not be right if I didn't throw in here a little "Lifeguard advice" since I'm encouraging you to go out into the ocean to practice this amazing sport, make sure you have a swimming ability that matches the conditions in which you want to go in, preferably go with a bud/friend/ other person that you tolerate (whichever the case), not only its more fun to share the moments, but also a safety thing (always swim with a buddy), and last whenever possible go to beaches with Lifeguards, not only they keep you safe and/or save your life, but can also guide you as to the best spots to enjoy.

That's it for now, so go get yourself a Slyde Handboard, some surf fins, and go bodysurf near a Lifeguard!!!