Christine Brailsford - Whomp Handplanes

What do you love about surfing?
The time with nature and God, the friends that I have meet through it, the life that I have made around it, and constant reminder of how precious our time here is.

When did you start?
When I was eleven years old, after begging and pleading, my mom signed me up for a summer YMCA surf camp. I was hooked and tried to find every and any way to get to the beach after that.

What was your most memorable wave?
I love those special days when I find a wave to myself or with just a close friend. It doesn't have to be amazing conditions, just fun and not crowded.

Who/What inspired you to begin making handplanes?
My friend, Yuta, left his handmade hand plane a few years ago at my house. It sat in the corner for a good year before I ventured to give it a try. I had been shaping paipo boards and was focusing on dialing in my designs; alongside surfing.

One morning, I checked the surf before work. It was small and of those days when it's better to go do something else other than surf. Wanting to just get wet, I grabbed that hand plane and my fins and ran down for a quick swim. I caught a wave...and that was it. I was hooked. I begin designing my own templates and shaped one for myself. Like my paipos, I wanted to create a hand plane that was fast, would propel you down the line, make quick shore-break barrels, and have enough flex to give it a natural feel that would make you forget that you have a hand plane on your hand.

What makes a handplane an ideal bodysurfing tool?
It is ideal in so many ways! It is extremely portable and easy to travel with. You can stash it in your car for those short surf windows. Put it in your back-pack and ride a bike to the beach.

What has using a handplane taught you about riding waves?
Because of the nature of Bodysurfing, it is easy to get barreled. This was helped immensely with my confidence in surfing good waves. Bodysurfing is has made me stronger too. You are swimming the entire time, which is great for strengthening your lungs and muscles.

Of all the places you have travelled to, what place in particular stands out? And why?
I was able to go to Japan this past summer. It was inspiring in so many ways. I was able to meet some people in Japan and learn what they did. Seeing the pride that they have in their craft…humble and always striving to improve.

What sort of education have you had?
I received my BFA in illustration with a focus on children's books at the Laguna College of Art and design.

What was your very first job?
My first "real" job was a seasonal job at Costco. It was a big eye opener for me!

What is your current job and what does it entail?
I own my own company Whomp Handplanes and Furrow Surf Craft. I make surfboards, handplanes , and paipos. I also do freelance design and illustration work with other companies. It is a lot of work running my own company, but fun because I love what I do .

How did you get into the position you are today?
Small steps, hard work, and perseverance. I like to think that the most challenging things in life are the most rewarding. I enjoy the challenge and learning everyday!

What do you like most about your job?
That I get to shape everyday and be the boss of my time. Being able to bring happiness and stoke to others with my craft is a true honor.

What is in the future for Christine Brailsford?
More shaping and drawing :)

Where can we find you online?



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Posted by: Matthew Ryan, on November 1, 2013
Categories: Interviews