Board of Appeal
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Swooping through your first full-rail turn on a Hess surfboard requires a suspension of disbelief. This thing is made of wood? Hand-constructed from sustainably harvested poplar, cork, and amapola by San Francisco shaper Daniel Hess, it’s a piece of art as much as a performance wave-rider. Unlike the clunky wooden boards of the past and their modern-day retro-chic knockoffs, this six-foot quad-fin incorporates the latest in surfboard technology: a wood perimeter stringer for strength and controlled flex patterns, and a durable EPS foam core. Laminated with tough—and less toxic—epoxy resin, Hess’s designs are a full step toward the elusive “green” surfboard and will outlast their foam-and-fiberglass counterparts. Prepare to be on your game, though. With a ride this cool, you’re going to attract attention in the lineup, so make sure your surfing is more Kelly than kook. $1,300; hesssurfboards.com