- POD Handboard History
POD Handboard History
POD® - The Longest Surviving Bodysurfing Handboard Brand Since 1993
Armed with a love for design and a passion for the water, Shane Vassallo spent many years in research and development before introducing his unique handboards in the late 1980’s. In 1993 POD Handboards Pty Ltd was officially established and continues to be an industry leader sought after by wave-enthusiasts all over the world.
Ironically when conducting market research the common reaction was that bodysurfing handboards, bodysurfing hand-planes and/or bodysurfing hand-surfers were not popular enough and that these products would not sell well in stores. Despite the negative feedback, Shane remained positive being driven by his own passion for bodysurfing. He continued to manufacture the POD® Hardboard's distinctive shape and configuration in a solid plastic moulding so strong you could even drive a truck over it. He also continued to hand shape the classic solid wooden model.
It may have taken 20 years but Shane has proven that this feedback was far from correct.
POD Handboards - Out of the Box
POD® Handboards have earned their respect on the beach. When people see them for the first time they are very curious and often ask: ‘What is that thing? I cannot believe you can bodysurf across a wave!’ or ‘Which way do you strap it on.’ – Not only are they beautiful to look at they take the sport of bodysurfing to a whole new level!
In the Media
As shown in the photos below POD® Handboards have attracted the attention of the media appearing in magazines all over the world. We particularly like this humorous comment and very creative use for our product: "The Pod has been designed by body surfing nut Shane Vassallo. If nothing else a pair of them could help you slap your way to the front of the ice-cream queue".
The Future Looks Bright for POD Handboards
Together with designer Shane Vassallo, POD® Handboards is in full support of bodysurfing innovation. Unfortunately, this has not always been the case. One brand in particular changed their entire approach from holding/grabbing a handboard, to strapping the hand in the natural swimming position. In doing so they actually copied the unique POD® strapping bridge design and hand strap construction, right down to logo placement.
Over time the sport of bodysurfing has gained popularity and other companies have seen the need to specifically address the challenges of this particular sport. We are happy to see that now, more than 20 years later new bodysurfing brands are coming out with their own unique shapes and designs. To that we say “Well done!” -- This another giant step forward for the art of bodysurfing and we hope it only continues to get better!
Off the POD Self