Did you know that airline baggage handlers are all jealous surfers trying to sabotage your surf trip by dinging and smashing your boards? At least it seems this way for many a globe-trotting surfer.

Enter Doug Caplan, a Santa Monica-based carpenter who spent the 70s and 80s traveling the world in search of epic surf. Fed up with evil baggage handlers ruining his sticks, he invented the Santa Monica Surfcase in 1987.  He used his woodworking skills to build a wooden prototype, found a plastics fabricator, and started selling his surfboard saviors to stoked surf wanderers.

Founder, Doug Caplan, with Greg Noll on Aviation Boulevard in Hermosa Beach, California.

With a growing demand for Surfcases, Doug partnered with distributors in Australia, Hawaii, and South Africa. From humble, grassroots beginnings, he’d created a product recognized as the best possible protection for your surfboard whilst traveling.

After twenty years of building his business and forming friendships and endorsements with some of the best surfers in the world, this beloved father, husband, brother, and surfer passed on to the Great Pointbreak in the Sky in 2007 (RIP).

Two Hermosa Beach surfer/entrepreneurs grabbed the reins, continuing to produce lightweight, sturdy Surfcases that stand the test of time. Surfcase offers both short and longboard cases.  Shortboard cases can be ordered in lengths of 6’4”, 6’10”, and 7”4’, fitting up to three boards with fins removed. Longboard cases can accommodate one board 9’ or less, or two boards if under 8’. Fins must be removed (no glass-ons).

EDGEtv influencer, Mary Osborne, put a Surfcase to the test this summer when she led a group of teens to Nicaragua and El Salvador on a surfing safari. But it was about more than surfing: they were there as part of Project Save Our Surf, a rad organization “dedicated to the conservation of our oceans, fresh waters, and the delicate marine ecosystems therein.” But it gets even better…Mary & Co. also provided impoverished local people with the education and supplies needed to secure safe drinking water.

Needless to say, they scored some epic south swells and Mary’s boards arrived from the baggage claim without a scratch.

“I love it,” Mary said about the Surfcase upon returning to California. “Not one ding. Fit three boards plus gear. Super easy to lug around since so lightweight. Huge success.  That thing rocks!”

And this is exactly the good news that would make Doug Caplan smile—knowing that a new generation of surfers is finding the stoke in faraway waves in faraway lands…and that their boards are arriving unharmed.

Product Review: Surfcase

About The Author
- Jeff McElroy is a Ventura and Mammoth Lakes-based writer. His surf/coast-inspired short story collections, CALIFORNIOS and CALIFORNIOS 2 have received awards and accolades within the boardsport and literary communities. He writes about adventure athletes and the wild places for EDGEtv Network. When he's not writing, he's surfing, backpacking, snowboarding, and trail-running with his wife and Jack Russell Terrier.

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