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Gear Reviews: Hand Planes Make the Amazing Pursuit of Bodysurfing Even Better


By Contributing Editor Steve Casimiro, editor of Adventure Journal. See more of Casimiro's gear recommendations in our Ultimate Hiking and Camping Gear Guide >>

I’m all fired up on handplanes. The beach below my house, Salt Creek, is madness in the summer and long stretches of it are blackballed from board surfing. A perfect alternative is bodysurfing using hand planes, miniature boards that lift you out of the water, set you trimming, and give a measure of control otherwise missing.

You can buy beautiful hand planes — state of the art Brownfish models go for $140 — but the little sticks beg to be done it yourself. Since we’re talking about a decidely low-fi pursuit, any old plank will do, so long as it’s well sealed.