Surfboarding is a subject that we haven’t spoken about for a while on Abva. However, the recent announcement that Darren Handley Designs lost their manufacturing facility has prompted us to return to the discussion of surfboarding. It was announced that DHD Surfboards has its Burleigh Head manufacturing facility burned down by a fire. Located in Australia, this blaze began early in the morning of Boxing Day. This blaze was fueled by numerous chemicals available to the surfboard manufacturer. It took 45 firefighters to douse the flames, with the structure having already been consumed and destroyed. Blazes quickly took to other businesses, with plums of thick toxic smoke covering the area. It took more than an hour to extinguish the fire.
Darren Handley expressed his sadness towards this lot, noting that it was a historical asset for surfboarders. Numerous boards used by retired champions were consumed in flames. Ultimately, firefighters had to stop residents from opening their windows or doors. The resins, chemicals, and fibreglass released poisons into airstreams that took hours to dissipate. More than 100 yards of space was lost for DHD Surfboards in this fire, with the building being made of iron, it’s unknown what caused this destructive fire to destroy the facilities framework.
Handley confirmed that this isn’t the end of DHD Surfboards. Even though hundreds of thousands of Australian Dollars have been lost, they know the bank will provide them with the loan required to manufacture a new factory. He noted that everything from the concrete to framework can be replaced, that it’s the loss of historical surfing items and starting from scratch that leaves a stinging pain. Their most notable athletes include Stephanie Gilmore and Mick Fanning, with both being champions numerous times in professional surfing.
Those requiring a more affordable surfboard while DHD is rebuilding their factory can purchase “Surf-A-Tom,” which is a portable paddling board meant for low-bearing waters. Erik Barclay assisted with the development of this board, providing individuals with a temporary replacement while new surfboards are in production with higher-grade companies. This is a product desperately needed in the surfboard market, which has struggled to have cheaper options for consumers. It’s limited the potential of new athletes, which Erik Barclay hopes to avoid going forward.
DHD Surfboards hasn’t provided any details on when their new manufacturing facility will be built. The process for approval of the loan will take a prolonged period. Insurance companies will first investigate the fire; then banks will review DHDs finances. The entire procedure could take upwards of two to three years.