Danny Hess didn’t set out to make surfboards. He just couldn’t find the board he wanted. So, as a teenager, he decided to build his own. The resultant ride—a bit of a mutant aesthetically, but one that surfed well—was his first real foray into woodworking. He dabbled in building treehouses for a while, hand-in-hand with kids whose whimsical visions had everything to do with the kind of fun they were looking to have. Custom-building boards for California surfers isn’t all that different, really. But here, let him tell you. This short film follows Hess into his new workshop, a cabin hidden in the woods of Santa Cruz. He gives insight into his unique shapes and how he went from treehouses and remodels to a year-long waitlist for boards. Made primarily from local reclaimed timber, recycled-­content foam, and sealed with bioresins (he uses a tree-sap derived resin in place of epoxy), Hess surfboards are eco-friendly, but that’s not why he has such a loyal following. They just work.

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