Statistically speaking, few of us are lucky enough to be able to make a living doing what we truly love. And by that math, Danny Hess is doubly lucky, having successfully combined two passions—,woodworking and surfing—into a career. The San-Francisco-based Hess, who was formerly an art teacher and general contractor, eventually decided he'd rather be making boards than remodeling homes. That was over a decade ago; today Hess Surfboards is a sustainable company (and we mean that both ways).
First off here's Hess on his "handplanes," a manual wooden fin surfers can use to dig into the wall of a wave for stability:As for Hess' full-sized surfboards, they incorporate the same recyclable and sustainable approach to building that he used during his contractor days. The wood is reclaimed and/or sustainably harvested, he uses renewable cork, recyclable EPS foam, and a low-VOC epoxy that doesn't require solvents come cleanup time. There's still fiberglass involved, but about half as much per board compared to the norm. And due to Hess' specific design and construction techniques, his 'boards have "a lifespan far longer than a conventional surfboard because the wood does not fatigue and break down the way foam can. The end result is a beautiful, strong, high performance surfboard that lasts longer than conventional boards and has a reduced environmental impact."
Here's a video profile on Hess telling his story:
Check out more of Hess' stuff here.