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Non-profit Pappy Surf rides wave of entrepreneurship, supports local charity

Along with the rigors of academics and the demanding hours allocated on the field, Loyola students have found time to startup entrepreneurships. Juniors Lachlan Bonesteel and Sam Tilles have found time to give back to the community through an organization they created called Pappy Surf.

Founded eight months ago by Notre Dame High School junior Luke McGarry, Pappy Surf drew Bonesteel and Tilles to the organization with its values of charity and environmental friendliness. Pappy Surf strives to give back to the community by protecting the environment.

“Pappy Surf is a company dedicated to the idea of giving back. Our first piece of wood, that would later be given a new life as a hand plane, washed up on the beaches of Malibu, California,” Bonesteel said.

Participating in the company has been worthwhile for both Tilles and Bonesteel because they have similar values as founder Luke McGarry. “Working with Luke made my involvement with the company something I looked forward to every day,” Tilles said.

A handplane is a functional piece of wood that allows the human body to plane through waves while bodysurfing. The wood reclaimed by Pappy Surf undergoes a multi-step process which involves carving, shaping and sanding the wood down into the final product, a Pappy Hand Plane.

“The process starts by shaving a slab of wood down to the the proper measurements. Next, we trace the signature Pappy template onto the wood. The wood is then cut out according to our template and sent over to be shaped. Finally, the handplanes are stamped with our logo, sealed and hung to dry for up to a day,” Bonesteel said.

Pappy Surf obtains the wood needed for manufacturing their handplanes from many different areas in California.

“One way that we obtain our wood is through the donation of Ross Alan Reclaimed Lumber in North Hollywood, California. Also, we venture up and down the coast of Southern California looking for pieces of wood that we can put together in order to create our product,” Bonesteel said.

A branch of Pappy Surf, Wood for Waves, is a community outreach program that was started to attract community awareness for the cause and to get people directly involved. Wood for Waves is a call to not only local communities but also to anyone who is willing to give back.

“The goal of this program is to have people donate pieces of wood to us in order for us to keep creating these one-of-a-kind products,” Bonesteel said.

Pappy Surf takes great pride in incorporating the community as a large role in the enterprise because of their participation in wood reclamation.

“By having the community donate old wood, they get a sense that they contributed to the happiness of others, which is completely accurate. Because the idea of community is so important here at Pappy Surf, we wanted to incorporate other people in the gift of giving back to people that need it the most,” Bonesteel said.

Bonesteel said that all of the company’s profit goes to A Walk On Water, a charity dedicated to providing surf therapy for those with disabilities. “A Walk On Water provides surf therapy through guided surf instruction to children with special needs. Surfing is used as a tool to gain self confidence skills and promote the therapeutic benefits of the ocean,” Bonesteel said.

Giving back to the community and ensuring environmental safety is paramount to the goals of Pappy Surf.  

“Our goal has been to create a meticulously handcrafted environmentally friendly product while supporting surf therapy for children with special needs,” Bonesteel said.

Pappy Surf has gained walking traffic, support and revenue from two stores located in Malibu. “Currently, our handplanes are being sold in two locations in Malibu: Ranch At The Pier and Malibu Surf Shack. These retailers are kind enough to support our cause by putting our products on consignment and promoting our brand,” Bonesteel said.

In addition to retail stores, the company has been represented in surfing events such as the annual Surf Rodeo in Ventura, California.

While selling their product at Malibu stores and surfing events, Pappy Surf’s website provides another source of income for the company. The company also hopes to expand their line of products to include clothing.

“For now, the only available products on our website are handplanes, but we are very far along in getting graphic tees available for purchase on our website. Not only do we want more products for donations and supply costs but also a chance to spread the word about Pappy Surf,” Bonesteel said.

Pappy Surf intends to gain more community attention and to expand their current product line in order to increase sales. Tilles said, “We hope to grow the company to include more products so we can donate more money to A Walk on Water.”


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