Wave Riding in Palm of Your Hand!
Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel
Which is best, board surfing or body surfing? Why not combine both? Action sports company Slyde has done just that with its unique handboard that turns Everyman into Aquaman.
Based in San Clemente, CA, Slyde is like "the little engine that could," spreading the word about its handheld board that fits over your hand and lets you grab onto a wave.
"Bodysurfing with a handboard is simply way more fun than bodysurfing without," Slyde explains on its website. "The handboard allows the bodysurfer to get more speed and lift out of the water. It is not uncommon to generate enough speed to round a section of a wave or to get barreled."
Company owners Steve and Angela Watts got past the initial skepticism and puzzled looks about what in the world their handboard contraption was to prove that Slyde was ready to swim with the sharks. Not your everyday sharks, but the Sharks on ABC's reality show Shark Tank.
Sharks billionaire Mark Cuban and actor/businessman Ashton Kutcher were so impressed with the couple's business presentation that they made a joint investment of $200,000. Cuban, who already owned a stake in Tower Paddle Boards, thought Slyde fit perfectly with that. And, Kutcher wanted to try out the handboard himself!
Steve and Angela are glad they took a gamble in going on the show last year - trying out three times to get on! "Working with Mark and Ashton is a dream, " Angela told SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel. "Everything has been non-stop since the show."
Slyde lives up to its slogan of providing "Epic wave riding in the palm of your hand." With no surfboard to pack or transport, the handheld boards easily go where you go.
Steve dates the idea for the Slyde handboards back to his teen years in South Africa when he and his pals used food trays to get a hydro dynamic edge in catching waves.
The trays gave "lift and extra speed." Who would have guessed that they would be the forerunners that led to the development of the Slyde handboards and a way "to enhance the bodysurfing experience for everyone.”
Going Hollywood made a big change in Slyde. But it hasn't changed the duo behind the company. At a Surfrider Foundation beach cleanup Angela said to SurfWriter Girls, "It's important to be involved in the community." She and Steve still make time to pick up trash on the beach and to support environmental groups.
Slyde launched the Slyde Ambassador Program to encourage and reward people who are doing positive things "for the earth, ocean, or humanity.”
Like the ever-present Frisbee, that started out as a pie pan people tossed back-and-forth, the Slyde handboard has evolved from a food tray into an industry...and a way of life.
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