Travel Surfboard – Pope Bisect

Travel Surfboard

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Tired of paying exorbitant fees to bring your little stick – let alone a longboard – to your favorite secret spot in Costa Rica? has found a great solution: the travel surfboard. The originators of the concept are the Pope family, from Ojai, California, and the owners of Pope Bisect.

I recently interviewed Thane Pope, son of Karl Pope (who came up with the travel surfboard idea in 1964.) As Thane explains: “My dad was a surfer and my mom was an Olympic Diver, so they traveled a lot together, including Australia.” Anyone who has seen The Endless Summer know that it would have been slightly difficult to lug around an 11 footer…”My dad and Tom Morey came up with a board that folded in three.” Nowadays, the Popes have capitalized on the demand for an alternative and are selling surfboards ranging from a 6'10” quad to – GASP! – Stand up paddleboards. SUPs are an ideal candidate for innovation to make them more compact. The Pope Bisect is really a range of travel surfboards that disassemble into two parts, and are held together by a clamp and a carbon fiber dowel linking the two sections.

A 9'6″ longboard will split into two 54 inch pieces, and the whole unit will fit into a 58 inch padded travel bag with strap that comes with your purchase. Pope says the whole thing can assemble in about two minutes the first time, and then about thirty seconds as you get better.

Says Pope: “We make the boards out of molded epoxy, and have gotten the weight down to about that of glassed board. In fact, our boards are much stronger than a glass board, because of the carbon fiber dowel that holds the pieces together.”

With about 6,000 travel surfboards by Pope on the market, you're in good company with your purchase. A 9'6″ longboard runs at around $1400 and can be purchased online. Ultimately, it's a great deal not to be forced to ride some water-logged, dinged and heavily kooked board for rent at an exotic secret spot. And better yet – buying a travel board like those on Pope Bisects can be your way of flipping the bird to Delta Airlines and Continental. And if the gate agent asks you what's inside, you can say it's a “Hang Ten” and they'll be none the wiser.

Note: We'll be providing a test drive and review in the coming weeks.

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  1. MICHAEL j says:

    Listen I live in Costa part of the year and it doesn’t need to be logged jammed anymore. There are enough shapper’s down there that BuildBoards for the conditions. Wooster, has it on Lock and many others. The only problem is no matter what Playa Hermosa is always going to break epoxy pu poly blah blah..

  2. Len Dibben says:

    Hi Thane Can you tell me if your company is still making the quizzel ????? a hour glass shaped 9ft something longboard your dad invented some 5 -8 years ago ?????????why I ask is that a similar board is being produced by a company GSI. In thailand Designed by a Swedish designer

  3. I have had the same terrible experience with the Pope Bisect as others who have posted about it on other forums. I spent $2,100 USD on a 9’6 Wayne Rich Carbon Hollow Stealth in mid 2008 that is basically a piece of junk.

    My Carbon Stealth Pope Bisect arrived March 2008 and on my first ride, I noticed the board does not feel right (a lot of flex). I come back to shore, and notice that both clamp boxes have stretched out of the board (this is carbon fiber right?)

    I call Thane Pope, no calls returned for days, and then on a Saturday afternoon (two weeks after I have called 2-3 times and sent emails) he calls me and says he has never heard of this happening (which was a lie based on what I have read on this board). We agree to meet he never shows up or calls. Finally, after four weeks of hounding Thane he agrees to meet me in Del Mar on a workday to pick up the board. I take off work to drop the board off for him, he never shows up – calls me an hour past our meeting time and asks if I can drive up to Encinitas… I do this, drop off the board.

    Two months later I get another Carbon stealth bi-sect (scratched and missing the $85 Fin). “Sorry, I forgot to put it in a bag”… “Sorry I forgot to bring you your fin”. This is customer service? It gets better for my $2,100 surfboard.

    I take the board out and on the first ride I notice its feeling funny, I bring it to shore and the back half of the bi-sect is leaking water into it… I can’t see any holes, the plug is tight… I contact Thane and his father to see if they can look into this – no response from this dynamic duo.

    Conclusion: This company is run very unprofessionally and clearly has no quality control. There is absolutely NO customer service. They have absolutley NO Research and Development – you are their R&D Dept and will pay dearly to take part in their after-school science experiment. It is the true definition of a one-man show, and that one “man” is very unimpressive and a crook.

    Based on my first-hand experience, Thane Pope is in the wrong job as he is totally disorganized, unprofessional in every sense of the word imaginable, and unable to run anything, much less a business.

    BUYER BEWARE – save yourself the money and buy a regular board from a professionally run business that offers quality and value.

  4. I had a horrible experience with Pope. The board didnt line up and after three months on unanswered calls and emails Karl Pope said he would send parts. They never came and he didnt respond to us so we sent the board back. Its been weeks and no refund and they wont answer our calls or emails. BEWARE!!! GIVE ME MY MONEY THANE!!!

  5. Do you have parts for the pope bisect? I have a 9 foot board. I need the clamps that secure the board together. they are the round ones in the center of the board. Please let me know ASAP. I live in Honolulu. Mahalo, Gary Despars

  6. Willis Kumar says:

    Shit-dick Thane Pope took my money and never delivered! He is the devil himself. Google his name on the web and you will see what a crook he is. He rips everyone off. I hear his sister is a whore, too, with a bad case of VD.

  7. I know the Popes from growing up, all of them, Thane, his bro and sis, Dad and Mom. The family, even as a little kid, I could sense were a sketch family. Thane and Dad are Womanizers and a bunch of douche bags.


  1. […] won’t likely be an affordable option for most surfers. Says Thane Pope of Pope Bisects, a travel surfboard pioneer: “There’s a big big difference between concept and […]

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