danny hess, san fransisco
Danny Hess builds sustainably-minded surfboards from reclaimed wood and recycled foam from a workshop in San Francisco. The space is called “The Woodshop,” a work space in San Francisco’s Outer Sunset that he shares with three other artisans
Hess’ boards are sold in the local alternative-craft surf shop Mollusk and are relatively common in San Francisco lineups, but here in europe they are rare. and with rare i mean, not around; when we held the first two boards that came in we were surprised; they’re super light, with deck and rails made of different colors of wood and the other with a single sheet of wood at the top and a bottom of bright-white foam: a recycled EPS core wrapped in a wood shell, usually poplar. They’re not cheap, running nearly 1,300 per board, but in theory you could surf the more durable wooden designs for a decade or more. There are enough people who consider the boards a worthy investment to keep Hess Surfboards backlogged with a six- to eight-month waitlist.
“I want to make sustainably-built boards as an option for people who care about where their products come from,” says Hess. “But a surfboard isn’t going to change the world.” Hess thinks of more eco-friendly boards as just one piece of a holistic approach to sustainable living. Boards built with reclaimed, sustainably harvested wood, recycled foam, and bio-resins are just a start.