Surfboard Drifts from Hawaii to Philippines 5,200 Miles in 6 Months

Surfboard Drifts from Hawaii to Philippines 5,200 Miles in 6 Months

surfboard from Hawaii found in Philippines

A man who lost his surfboard in the enormous swells off Hawaii was amazed to discover that it had been found 5,200 miles away in the Philippines. According to an account posted on his Facebook page, Doug Falter, a photographer and surfer who lives in Hawaii, lost his board in Waimea Bay, Oahu, in February 2018.

Branzuela purchased the board from a local fisherman for $40, who discovered it in August 2018, six months after it escaped from Falter. During its voyage across the Pacific, the board had switched from light blue to a yellowish hue, but Lyle Carson's name was still clear.

Falter had hoped that the local fishermen would be able to locate the board, or that it would be washed up in Kauai, which he had learned was a potential landing spot for the missing boards, but he had never imagined the Philippines would be.

"This is 5,200 miles away!" Falter wrote, explaining that the new owner had purchased it from a local fisherman to learn how to surf, then contacted Lyle Carson on Facebook, a Hawaii-based board-shaper.

Falter said, "As bummed as I was when I lost it, now I am happy to know that my board has fallen into the hands of someone who wants to learn the sport."

Giovanne Branzuela, a primary school teacher in the southern Philippines, is the current guardian of the commission, reports the Agence France-Presse (AFP) news agency. 

"It turned out to be a Hawaiian surfboard. I couldn't believe it on my own," Branzuela, 38, told AFP. "It was my dream to learn how to surf here and ride the huge waves." 

"I can use his surfboard for now. I told him that I'm going to take good care of it," he said. 

Falter posted on Facebook that if it were not for coronavirus travel restrictions, he would have gone to visit Branzuela, but he is now raising money to give the aspiring surfer some gear and some reading material to help his students learn English.