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Bodysurfing Gear: Handboards and Handplanes

3 min read

Bodysurfing Gear: Handboards and Handplanes

A rose by another other name is still a rose.

But does the same hold true for your favorite surf toy?  Handplane, handboard, handlid, handslide there are so many aliases, it’s like speaking in tongue.
However, the differences are more than those found in a simple naming convention.

Handboards & Handplanes are kissing cousins with the same purpose, to gain extra speed and control while bodysurfing. But differ in both construction, look, and performance.

Handboard Vs Handplane
Construction & Materials:

First and foremost the construction techniques are very different between handboards and handplanes.  Handboards are designed and made exactly like your favorite surfboard, a foam & fiberglass construction, expect they’re for your hand.

Slyde Handboards construction specifics:

We spent the last 5 years perfecting our process by combining the lightness from the surf industry with the strength and durability of the snowboard manufacturing, to create the most advanced handboard in the world with the perfect strength to weight ration.

  • three unique urethane layers with a central core of High-density Urethane Foam for a perfect combination of lightness and strength.
  • A layer of of 4 oz triaxial fiberglass cloth with strategically placed fiberglass rail reinforcement. 
  • Allowing for a high pressure laminate outer layer technology for insane added strength, and killer graphic in lays.
handplane vs handboard

    Plus Added Enhancement Features:

    • Slyde patent pending Embedded "never come out" screw strap inserts.
    • Extra safe GoPro mount insert comes standard, for endless selfies.
    • Inserted leash plug, never lose your board again.

    Handplane Construction:

    Handplanes mostly if not all, are constructed from wood.  Handplanes have the DIYer in mind, and are made by hand. 

    Types of wood used: paulowina, red oak, fir wood, marine ply to name a few.

    Wood Sealer: polyurethan, mineral oil, linseed oil, tung oil, resin

    Looks & Style:

    Handboards and Handplanes appeal to a different aesthetic.

    Handboards complement the underground lifestyle of the core surf and skateboard enthusiast. From captivating screen printed graphic designs, all black carbon fiber boards, to glow in the dark handboards, Slyde views it’s line of handboards as both innovative and design driven wave candy.  

    Handboards are classified alongside surfboards, skateboards, snowboards, wakeboards as a performance driven board sport.

    Handplanes take a more simplistic and minimalist approach. There are no bells or whistles with these handplanes, it’s raw craftsmanship. Think of a Slyde Handboards a state of the art beach house, complete with cutting edge technology and style, and handplanes as rustic log cabin. 

    Handboard Vs Handplane
    Function & Performance

    Handboards are performance driven, sleek, lightweight, built to last and designed for speed. A handboard has more buoyancy than a handplane due to the foam core. The buoyancy giving you more lift, less drag, while allowing you far more control of the wave. Carve, stall, you name it a handboard will let you do it, without any splash back.

    It is not uncommon to generate enough speed with a handboard to round a section of a wave or to get barreled.

    Handplanes are wooden and by nature heavier, and have a neutral buoyancy, hence the reason full length surfboards are constructed from either Polyurethane or Epoxy. 

    Handplanes allow for a experience of planing across the water, a feeling of being level with the wave, yet still have enough lift to get your upper body out of the water. The fun still exists minus the float.

    Rider Comparison Review: Handboard Vs. Handplane

    Ben J. “Can’t say enough about Slyde Handboards. Even though I shape my own wooden handplanes, I wanted to try a Slyde Handboard. I got the “The Wedge” shape and from day 1 it feels like a mini-rocket in my hand. It is a whole different feeling from my wooden handplanes. Aside from being fast, its float was able to allow a 210lb guy to put on it and still lift my body up. A handboard is a must have in any surf quiver.”

    Handboard or Handplane, We encourage everyone to give them all a GO.

    Hopefully, this article helped you gain greater clarity on the often confusing, yet epically thrilling world of handboards, handplanes, and bodysurfing. 

    We’ll be hosting Slyde Demo Days up and down the coast this summer, and hope you can join us to share your favorite handboard or handplane, and try a Slyde for yourself.

    Keep Spreading the Stoke!


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