Ed Lewis and Kipp Denslow are the masterminds behind Enjoy Handplanes. Together, they create handplanes that are made from foam to the same exacting standards as a surfboard. The benefit is that each handplane is built from recycled materials and finished with earth-friendly resins. We spoke with Ed to learn more.
Tell us how Enjoy got started.
I was doing freelance design work and Kipp was a closet surfboard builder. At the time, Kipp’s wife thought it would be great if we could meet each other since we were both stay-at-home dads who surfed. While on daddy duty, we would hang out at the beach with our kids. We kept seeing these broken boards and we were getting kind of upset about it.
And the whole handplane thing started when Jon Peck showed up at my house. He comes out of his van and says, “I really want to show you something – it’s the most amazing thing.” He had one of Cyrus Sutton’s handplanes with him. Jon was just enamored with this thing. Before all of this I just surfed fishes. I was just looking at this thing wondering, “What IS this thing?” At the time, I just didn’t get it.
Tell us more…
We found an old board, we took it apart, and Kipp made our first handplane. I went down to the beach with an old pair of Churchills and I go and catch my first wave. I’m thinking to myself, “This is cool!” Then I find myself getting barrel after barrel in this one inside section. My friends are paddling out, looking at me, and I am just laughing – having a great time. It was pure fun. Soon friends starting asking for their own handplanes. That’s when the idea came that we could actually make these things – and continue going to the ocean, watch our kids, help the environment, and make something we might both derive an income from.
Where did the name “Enjoy” come from?
We asked ourselves, “What would happen if we created a brand name that had a positive spin on it? A name that would have a different vibe – something fun?” The Campbell Brothers put “Peace” on their boards because they really wanted to send that message out there. That’s how Enjoy was created. We want to send out the message of “fun” and we feel it almost becomes like a command – to go out and just “enjoy.”
What makes your handplanes eco-friendly?
We wanted to get our handplanes into Patagonia Cardiff. At the time, Devon Howard asked us if we were still using the polyester resin. The irony was that we got into this to save the planet and here we were, using toxic poly resin and wearing respirators! It made us realize that we had to find a better way to make our handplanes. That’s when we were introduced to Entropy resins. It was a learning curve, but we found it to be safer, cleaner, and we could create a better product because if it. In addition, our handplanes are made with donated parts – broken boards for the planes and our straps come from old, worn wetsuits.
Tell us about the art on your handplanes.
As a kid, I was always drawing. When I was in 7th or 8th grade, some friends of ours owned the Hideaway Café in Solana Beach. I did a simple drawing of all of the people that worked there and it instantly became their new t-shirt. I did go to art school, but sometimes we have these notions that to be a great artist we have to do these complex things. But in reality, it can be simple and still be considered art. The designs on foam are a one-color pencil drawing. I get to do what I love; which is a simple line drawing and Kipp gets to do what he loves; which is color. Together, the collaboration just works and people seem to love it. The art is truly spontaneous and it really is an expression of who we are.
Who is your customer?
Any person that just really loves surfboards. If you love boards, you are going to love our handplanes because they are just miniature surfboards. Everything happened organically and people are organically finding us. We’re just being who we are and people seem to be connecting with that. And all of this would not have been possible without the internet.
Where can we find your handplanes?
Our first retail customer was JP St Pierre at Surfy Surfy. It was a really big deal for us, because of his background at Moonlight Glassing, to tell us we were doing a good job and that he wanted to carry our product. We now have international customers via the internet and we push our local customers to their nearest shop. Patagonia has also been a good fit, too because their customer gets our vibe right away.
What’s next for Enjoy Handplanes?
We’ve got some big ideas. I’m pretty much a big dreamer. It’s going to go beyond just the handplane…
Enjoy Handplanes are designed and created in Leucadia, California. To find out more about Enjoy Handplanes or to order your own, click here.