- Doug lost his precious surfboard in February 2018.
- He gave up on searching for it and the hope they would be reunited.
- But was found two years later, over 5,000 miles away, in the Philippines.
Back in February 2018, Doug Falter from Hawaii, lost one of his most precious possessions — his surfboard. He was upset and tried searching for it tirelessly but to no avail. Eventually he gave up the hope of seeing his “baby” again.
Fast forward to 2020, by some twist of fate, the lost surfboard resurfaced somewhere incredibly far — in the Philippines, which is more than 5,000 miles away. It ended up in the hands of Giovanne Branzuela — a 38-year-old teacher who wanted to learn how to surf.
Doug, a 35-year-old photographer and novice surfer, shared on social media the amazing journey of his beloved surfboard from the day he lost it to the day he learned it was found through a Facebook post.
View this post on Instagram
– Feb 3rd 2018 I remember I counted seven good rides that session. After catching so many waves I finally wiped out on one and my @lylecarlsonsurfboards board floated away after the leash came off my ankle at around 6:00 pm. I swam as hard as I could to try and get to it. I ran from one end of Waimea Bay across to the other side and scaled the rocks trying to get a visual until it was completely dark. I was really upset as I managed to catch the biggest waves of my life on this board. Thats why it meant so much to me. My hope was that a fisherman might find it. I heard Kauai was a possible landing spot for lost boards like mine. Having never heard from anyone I figured it was lost at sea. Fast forward to a couple weeks ago. @lylecarlsonsurfboards posted about a man finding my board in the Philippines and contacting Lyle via Facebook. Mind you- This is 5,200 miles away! Apparently he bought it from a fisherman to learn how to surf. As bummed as I was when I lost it, now I am happy to know my board fell into the hands of someone wanting to learn the sport. I couldn’t imagine a better ending to this story than to see the sport of surfing begin in a place where nobody surfs. If it weren’t for travel restrictions I would have raised money to bring boards for learning and surf supplies and be on a plane to go and visit Giovanne. I could teach him how to surf and hopefully a few of his 144 students. He is a teacher at a school on the islands where my board is and i’m sure some of the kids would love to learn. I guess this means for now the most I can do is raise money to send him a goodie package with wax, leashes, books and magazines for his students to learn english. I just priced out shipping for a box big enough for a couple surfboards and it was 600 USD to go almost all the way to where he is. So at the very least for now I want to send the necessities. We are at about 1,000 dollars. Every penny will go to this cause and Im so excited to put a package together! Thank you to everyone who has donated. It means so much! Link to donate in Bio???? Photo – @jdbaluch
“Apparently he [Branzuela] bought it from a fisherman to learn how to surf. As bummed as I was when I lost it, now I am happy to know my board fell into the hands of someone wanting to learn the sport,” he wrote. “I couldn’t imagine a better ending to this story than to see the sport of surfing begin in a place where nobody surfs.”
The board was special to him because he got the largest waves in his life on it. It was unbelievable how the board made its way through the Pacific Ocean and ended up being found by a fisherman from the Philippines. It was kept in the yard for some time until Giovanne, who lived nearby, saw it and decided to buy it.
He bought the board for $40 only and immediately got curious about the logo it bore. So he searched the internet and he finally got a clue on Lyle Carlson’s Facebook page.
Lyle made a post which reached Doug who quickly got connected with Giovanne. The two instantly became friends and Doug even plans to visit Giovanne to teach him how to surf. Only if it wasn’t for pandemic, he would’ve been flying right away!
Doug expressed his desire to help his new friend and his students. “The most I can do is raise money to send him a goodie package with wax, leashes, books, and magazines for his students to learn English.”
With that, he set up a GoFundMe page to raise money so he can complete the package he wanted to send to the Philippines.
“Every penny will go to this cause and I’m so excited to put a package together! Thank you to everyone who has donated. It means so much!” he said.
Giovanne on the other hand would love to meet Doug in the near future. “Sir Doug has a big heart,” he said.