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Hand-to-Wave Combat

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You need more than a body to bodysurf. “Handplanes give you exponentially more lift, which reduces drag and increases your water speed,” says veteran Jones Beach bodysurfer Chris Coffin. Theoretically, anything hard, flat, and grippable in one hand (a fast-food tray, for instance) can do the job, but Mollusk’s Chris Gentile recommends the poplar handplanes carved with surgical precision by San ­Francisco surfer Danny Hess ($165 at Mollusk). “They represent this egalitarian aspect of wave-riding,” Gentile says. “All you need is a suit, some swim fins, and your handplane; you shove it all in your backpack and go to any beach where a wave breaks at high tide.”


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