Your Cart is Empty

Operation Beach Clean-Up: Slyde Handboards Epic Interview w Coastal Playground

5 min read

Operation Beach Clean-Up: Slyde Handboards Epic Interview w Coastal Playground

Called the Tom's Shoes of the surf industry.

For the past 5 years Coastal Playground has been developing a business model we think you'll really dig & couldn't wait to share more about them with you!

With every product you purchase, 50% of the proceeds will go towards beach cleanups.  

Introduce yourself:

My name is Andrew Sneddon and I am the owner & founder of Coastal Playground 50/50®.

My beautiful wife Desiree and daughter Gwen and Eve are the fuel behind our project. Besides spending time with family I am an avid bodyboarder who loves to experiment with various wave riding vehicles and have been known to dabble in jiu jitsu from time to time.

Tell us a bit about Coastal Playground and when you started, what you guys stand for etc?

Coastal Playground is a group of ocean lovers, 40+ people strong working together to protect the playground we love so much. What started as a small group of friends and has now blossomed into over 30 Photographers/Artists, 4 non-profit partners, and several beach cleanup coordinators who are all working cohesively to accomplish the same goals and that is; reduce the amount of pollution affecting our playground.

What ignited you to start Coastal Playground? 

Coastal Playground was created out of pure frustration. I have been surfing Southern California waters for over 15 years now and the one thing that has become painfully obvious is; the amount of trash on our beaches is out of control!

My wife was pregnant with my first child at the time and the thought of me not being able to surf with my kids due to pollution really ignited a fire under me to get things going. So, with the encouragement of my friends and family I started a company where I would sell my art on various products and use the proceeds to run beach cleanups.

How long have you been doing cleanups?

Coastal Playground ran its very first beach cleanup in August of 2011 in Seal Beach, CA. We had about 25 volunteers show up that day and we removed a little over
30lbs of trash. Fast forward 5 years to our most recent cleanup (Beach Cleanup #66) and we had well over 600 volunteers attend and they removed a whopping 611lbs of trash.

The growth we have seen in the attendance, amount of trash removed from the beach, and just overall enthusiasm for our cleanup project has been insane! 

Biggest Set Back/Hurdles you have had to overcome?  

At Coastal Playground our biggest struggle is by far awareness. Making people aware of what our company does with its proceeds, educating people on the pollution issues we have is no joke. People are very comfortable in their ways and being a disruptor
is never an easy task.

I would say the next biggest hurdle is; convincing investors that a social impact model is scalable, and has benefits that can not only improve the bottom line, but also improve the communities in which they operate.

The coolest thing about your job? The worst thing about your job?

Interestingly enough, the coolest part of this job can also the most frustrating. The feeling you get after organizing a large group of volunteers to remove hundreds of pounds of trash from the beach is amazing. Knowing that this trash is off the beach and can no longer cause harm to beach goers or marine life is unbelievably satisfying.

But, at the same time, after the high of the initial cleanup wears off, a somber uneasy feeling takes over. I always say to myself: “Did we really just remove over 600lbs of trash from the sand?” It’s always a quick victory followed by a feeling of wow, we still have a ton of work to do.

Besides that, I would say another really cool part of my job is the people I have been able to meet. Artists, business owners, people running non-profits, city officials, students, and just our volunteers in general, it’s amazing how many like-minded people are out there just waiting for a reason to connect and collaborate for a good cause.

Tell us a bit on what it means to you to be an entrepreneur?

Being an entrepreneur has been one of the most satisfying experiences of my life. I have learned more about the world around me in the past 5 years from running Coastal Playground than I did the entire time spent in school as a kid, teenager, and young adult.

Website & Business development, community organizing, networking, event planning,
photography, digital art, printing, clothing production, the list goes on and on of things that had I never started Coastal Playground I would have never known these skill sets.

At the end of the day, the fact that I have been able to create something that is changing how people think, improving the quality of their lives, and helping people improve their community is an amazing feeling. It makes all the hurdles we deal with on the daily basis look that much easier to jump over.

Where is your favorite beach and Surf Spot?

It’s really hard to pick a favorite, coming from Southern California there is just about every type of wave imaginable. Long lines, heaving shore break, fast & powerful, slow and steady, we pretty much have it all. But, if I had to pick one spot, it would be 40th
street in Newport Beach, CA.

Year after year the same group of wave riders continues to come back to
this spot giving it a very comforting feeling. These days anytime we cruise out to 40th we end up seeing someone we know, and it always makes for good vibes in the water.

What is your Ultimate dream for the company?

The ultimate goal of Coastal Playground is to have a monthly beach cleanup in every coastal town all across the world. These consistent monthly events in Huntington Beach are already making waves in the surf community, imagine the tsunami of change 100 of these events could have on our playground!

Where do you see Coastal Playground going in the next year? In the next five years?

The next ten years? Currently, Coastal Playground is working on an Indiegogo Campaign to raise the capital necessary to expand our beach cleanup operation to 3 new cities; Seal Beach, CA, Oahu, HI, & South Orange County. We are in the second week of our fundraiser and we’re so stoked on the progress.

If you would like to check it out and join the movement, please feel free to visit our campaign here.

Once our fundraiser is complete we will continue to expand our operation. In the next five years we hope to continue to partner up with non-profit organizations around the country and start a total of 20 monthly beach cleanups, and then by year 10 we’re shooting for 50 active monthly cleanups.

Worst thing you have ever picked up off the beach? 

By far the worst thing we remove from the sand is hypodermic needles, lots of them. At this point, we find at least 4 or 5 every cleanup. We’re not exactly sure of the source but these rusty needles are starting to pop up more and more and we’re taking notes
and recording everything.

Not only do these needles post a major hazard to wildlife. But, they can also seriously ruin your day at the beach. Nobody, and I mean nobody, would ever want to take that trip to the hospital wondering what news could come of it.

Dirtiest beach you have surfed?

I don’t really want to talk trash (pun intended) on anyone’s local break.
But, for me, it’s Seal Beach, CA. I have been to my fair share of beaches in Southern California and for whatever reason this particular beach is always in need of some extra TLC.

There are multiple factors that play into this, the beaches popularity, the river outlets coming from inland, and the fact that there is a fairly large city right along the water. Whatever the reason may be, the time has come to do something about it and that is exactly why we are running a fundraiser to start a monthly beach cleanup there.

Slyde Handboards applauds Coastal Playground for building an army of ocean protectors!  Help them expand their Beach-Cleans and Score some sweet gear on their IndieGoGo campaign here

contribute now

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Slyde Chronicles

3 breaks in One Day - Full version : Tips and Tricks To Handboarding Different Types Of Breaks [Video]
3 breaks in One Day - Full version : Tips and Tricks To Handboarding Different Types Of Breaks [Video]

5 min read

Read More
Discovering the Thrill of Bodysurfing: Oahu's Top 4 Breaks [Video]
Discovering the Thrill of Bodysurfing: Oahu's Top 4 Breaks [Video]

5 min read

Read More
Conquering Beach Breaks: Your Ultimate Guide to Paddling Out and Beyond! [VIDEO]
Conquering Beach Breaks: Your Ultimate Guide to Paddling Out and Beyond! [VIDEO]

5 min read

Read More