I still remember the first time I saw a handboard. My buddy Spencer (slyde ambassador) had posted a photo with one of his boards. Instantly I was intrigued. How had I grown up in a little surf-town (Ventura,Ca.) and never seen one of these before? Playing the role of a cheap college student I decided to go about making one; well at the time what I thought would be just one...
The First Board
A fish tail, made from plywood.
I liked it so much I thought why not make another.
This original fish tail turned into my senior project. Not for school, just personal. Call it chance or call it dumb luck, but I ended up joining Cal State Long Beach SAE Club (600cc Go-Carts). Here I met Griffin. At this point I knew nothing about 3D anything, but Griffin did and he had a printer! Griffin had grown up in Oxnard Shores, a great surf spot in the town next to mine. We hit it off right away. I can remember going over to his place on Thursday and Friday nights (Sorry Griffin) to work on developing 3d board design concepts.
Griffin and I had nailed the design. Now I needed a shop. Ended up cleaning out my Dad's garage. Realistically just kind of pushed stuff around. It was perfect. This is when I teamed up with my long time friend Brendan (Next door neighbors as toddlers), who has a sweet trigger finger on his camera and a keen marketing sense. He helped lay the foundation for Hush's online presence. @brendan_daly_photography
Remember when I thought I was only going to make one board? At least these boards were different. Bottom half foam, top half wood or cork. The foam was such a pain to figure out how to paint. Twin fin design was sick and it performed well. People are still into them. Notice the straps, thanks Mom.
The GR-1 was amazing, but how it was manufactured left little room for research & development. On my personal journey I came to the realization R&D was what really captivated me. I wanted to do that more.
Call it chance or call it dumb luck again, I had started hanging out with my highschool buddy Cory, who also went to Long Beach State. He designs missile launch systems for the Navy Air Division and could make the board designs in my mind a reality. Griffin was still helping print the prototypes, but it was time for Hush to get it's own 3D printer.
Tweak after tweak, week after week, the 3d printed boards kept getting stronger, lighter and faster. The boards you can buy today are not what I had initially set out to create, but have reached a point of performance, quality and price that any bodysurfer can get behind.
I just kind of hope that one of my boards is the first handboard some kid see's and is inspired to make something better... gets caught up in the journey, meets new people from all over the world, strengthens friendships, finds new ones, learns about life and looks back to appreciate it all.