It All Started With a Tray

Few businesses can say they got their start from a tray. To most, the inconspicuous fast food tray was nothing more than a handy device to carry your Big Mac and fries to the old rusty immovable table on the beachfront boardwalk. However, to a 14-year-old spending his or her day on the beach, those trays meant so much more. As kids, we would spend the hot South African days during the summer break, generally making nuisance's of ourselves and dreaming up all sorts of "wave riding" apparatuses from fast food trays to the trusty old flip-flop (yes believe it or not you can surf a wave with a shoe). Some I won't go into details for the sake of brevity, but let’s just say the results were anything but favorable, and it I'm sure it would be concerning for any onlooker to see the results of misguided hydro dynamic principles being put to use on a 8-foot wave.

It was the lowly food tray that held the throne in our quest for wave riding perfection.

As is the human condition, there was the need for perfection and ummm… innovation, I think. Let's just say, not all trays are born the same. Of course, it became our mission to sort the chaff from the wheat. Tray hunting was serious business back in the day and the need for the perfect ride often outweighed the need to not be chased down the beach by flailing armed restaurant staff.


In the end its all about the smile and the stoke


Modification was rife and I guess you can call it early product development. In hindsight, what better way to spend a day than perfecting wave-riding machines! The lift and extra speed these improvised Handboards provided were the driving forces that inspired a line of boards to enhance the bodysurfing experience for everyone and the birth of Slyde Handboards and a dream.

Then there was Cali

Fast forward through many years of travel around the globe and a Degree in Product design. I finally settled In California, It may seem random but it had been my goal all along and I guess it had never been a doubt in my mind where I wanted to start my business. California is where great things start and especially in the surf and skate industry. From San Diego to the Redwoods, Cali has an electricity and vibe you can feed off. It has an energy that inspires you on a daily basis.

Slyde’s objective is to create an entirely new, innovative and design driven brand exclusively centered on the sport of Handboarding

Spreading the stoke

It all started because, well If we enjoyed it why wouldn't everybody else? We had hunch we wouldn't be the only ones who got that uncontrollable smile after getting shacked on a handboard. The feeling that you're just a Grom having the greatest time in the ocean, and we weren't wrong. To date we have Shipped to over 30 countries. To places I didn't even know had surf and made friends and connections all over the world, from Australia to Russia and back. This is why we do this. This is the STOKE!

Various slyde Items on Table

Team work

Slyde would not be where it is today without these boundary-pushing, open-minded, sun-burnt lovers of fun. This passionate bunch is what makes Slyde awesome. Go ahead - read a Slyde blog written by Sarah, chat with Michelle on Slyde's facebook page, email Angela a complaint (she will turn your frown, upside down), or just get stoked while riding one of your Slyde Handboards designed by Steve.

without this awesome bunch slyde stoke would be just a dream

  • Steve Watts Founder/S.O. Stoke Officer
    Growing up in South Africa, Steve spent his youth dreaming of far off places. After spending eight years extensively traveling to many of the great surf destinations of the world getting dengue fever, having a near death experience from a falling coconut in Mexico, surviving a 15 foot drop on a handboard on a Nias bomb, jumping from every rock he could find without adequate health insurance, and comprehensively debunking the myth there are no waves in Thailand, even if they are small. He decided it was time for a a degree. Steve Graduated from Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design in London with a degree in product design. He missed his graduation to go surfing in California and found a kindred spirit with the West Coast and never left.
  • Angela Ferendo CRO Chief Ryde Officer
    Angela Ferendo grew up in Rhode Island, spending her summers on the ocean, both sailing and bodysurfing. Having a passion for sports, fitness and health, she graduated magna cum laude with a bachelors degree, double majoring in Physical Education and Health Education from Plymouth State University. She moved to California 3 different times before making it her permanent home in LA in 2012 - needless to say she has driven across the country 4 times. In her spare time she teaches zumba, runs with Cowboy the Dog, and puts up with Steve's shenanigans. Angela now wears multiple hats at Slyde including: business planning/development, customer service, logistics, sales, and finances.
  • Michelle Michalak Socialite Guru
    Michelle's diploma reads BA Psychology with a minor in English, and her license plate reads #CaliforniaDreaming4Life. She begin her career in the NYC fashion industry working with fashion and internet pioneer, Bluefly.com However, due the constant "nagging" of her entrepreneurial spirit, her crush on surfing, and hardcore love for the ocean, she chosen to call San Diego home for the past 10 years. On the west coast she 's chased waves & enlightenment working alongside "Gurus" in the online marketing & personal development industries. It in May 2012 she found her true Zen & Stoke, and joined the Slyde Handboards Team.
  • Cowboy Chief D.O.G
    Cowboy was found living on the streets of Inglewood when he was just 3 months old. Dreaming of a better life, Cowboy worked hard to get where he is today and now lives in the luxurious Monarch Beach Villa's. He often has photo-shoots with CBS's Dogs In The City star Justin Silver, and hangs out with the Hollywood dog crowd. Cowboy likes long walks on the beach, laying by the fireplace, herding other dogs, and a good belly scratch, Also known as "The C BIZ" "Sir Poopsalot" "DOG" or "Cowboy the Dog"

Back to the Future

We have great plans for the future of Slyde but above all we plan to stick to our Roots, Designing and building beautiful, fast and well priced handboards. Boards you will be more than stoked to take down the beach. Handboards you will want to show off to your friends. Design is at the beginning of what we do and follows everything we do, from our handboards all the way through to our website, customer service , packaging and beyond. We are passionate about creating and designing new, fun toys for you to play in the ocean with and plan to do it for years to come. So, come join us for a ride.

Handboards in a row slyde hand boards

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