No B.S. Review
Last summer when things went flat I was bit by the bodysurfing bug. It was a good way to beat the heat, stay in shape, and have a blast. Late into the summer I started seeing more and more handplanes popping up in magazines, movies, and websites. Although I was skeptical, they promised to add more control and maneuverability to your bodysurfing and I took it upon myself to
try and make a few. To my surprise, they worked pretty well and by the end of the summer I had overcome the learning curve and was getting barreled and steaming down the line!
As the surf picked up with the onset of Fall I found myself back on my
surfboard more often but my interest in handplanes continued to grow. While continuing to educate myself on the sub-culture I stumbled across Brownfish Handplanes: http://www.brownfishhandplanes.com/ and their blog, Handplane
Goodness: http://www.handplanegoodness.com/. People spoke very highly of the brand and their unique designs were unlike anything I had seen. I reached out to learn more and I was honored to be able connect on a review.
Gary Murphy is the mastermind behind Brownfish. Based in San Diego, CA, Gary has designed and refined the process countless times to achieve the current quiver he offers. He has produced a few models of handplanes to fit different types of waves; from Reefs, to Points, to Beach breaks, he has one to fit almost any situation. For this review Gary sent me the original Brownfish Model. “THE BROWNFISH MODEL” is the original Brownfish Handplane. It is shaped with a super deep single concave from the front-middle third, through the tail and like all Brownfish planes, it is made of Paulownia wood; creating a super light and durable product – total weight is only
about 14oz! The other overall dimensions are 16″ x 7.75″x 5/8″. The planes are finished with environmentally conscious waterborne finishes and they come standard with adjustable straps made from polyester webbing, military grade Velcro, and neoprene.
Test day brought knee high peelers to my favorite beach break. Water temps have just about bottomed out and were in the high 30’s (Fahrenheit)so I had to adjust the strap to fit my 5 mil lobster claw gloves. The strap adjustment was a super easy and all I had to do was peel back the neoprene cover and re-adjust the Velcro strap. Once on my hand I started out into the breakers. The most immediate benefit was that I could do a more natural swimming stroke with the strap on top opposed to the other handplanes I’ve made with the hand hole. I stroked into the first wave and took the shoulder right. The handplane tracked nicely and provided great lift in any
direction. After an hour in the freezing cold and a handful of great rides the exposed skin on my face couldn’t take any more and I headed in.
After this review I have to say Gary and Brownfish are really onto something and I would recommend his handplanes to anyone! From beginners to seasoned watermen, everyone’s bodysurfing and beach experiences will be enhanced with the addition of a Brownfish handplane. Coming in around $140 bucks I’d have to say you’re still getting a steal! These planes are hand
crafted here in the good ol’ USA and have the attention and detail you’d expect in something twice the price. Accept no substitutions, go get a Brownfish today! Thanks for reading and as always…tell a friend.