Photos and Words by Shaun Devine.

Some of my first memories in the ocean were bodysurfing the shorebreak at the Sandbridge market. Bodysurfing eventually turned into boogie boarding and boogie boarding led to surfing.

Fast forward 20 years and I’m back to where it all began — having fun in the ocean.

Over the course of two years living in California, I saw a lot of surf industry trends come and go. To me, it always seems like the trends hit first in California and eventually make their way over to the East Coast a year or two later. When body surfing and, more notably,  handplanes jumped onto the scene, I knew both were here to stay.

A few summers ago when I moved back to Virginia Beach, I asked my long-time friend Eric Coulson if he would shape me a handplane. I knew he was just the person for the job because of his woodworking craftsmanship and his love for the ocean. We talked about some basic concepts, and I showed him some templates that I had been researching. About two weeks later he came back with an amazing custom handplane that fit like a glove and sailed through the water. I spent most mornings before surf camp testing the handplane in the notorious Little Island Pier shorepound and instantly felt the connection that had always attracted me to the ocean.

On my two-month journey through New Zealand, I took my handplane along and was pleasantly surprised to find so many other bodysurfing enthusiasts. At least twice a week, a little group of us would meet up at St. Clair Beach in Dunedin and go for a bodysurf. We called it the “bodysurf society.” Around this time was when I made a call back to Eric in the States and asked him if he wanted to go full-on at making handplanes when I got back from my trip. He was undoubtedly enthused and we began the process of brainstorming ideas, shapes, materials, names, etc. Over the course of this past winter we’ve spent many of nights in his garage talking concept, design and promotion.

During this period, we were contacted by Eastern Surf Magazine and we ended up doing an interview and providing photographs for their March 2013 article “For the People” that features DIY east coast handplane shapers (scroll to page 36).

We’ve now got all the pieces in place and are very excited to debut Party Missile Handplanes to the world! Big thanks to everyone who has inspired creativity and support along the way… “Everyone has a hand in it!”

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