Hawaii Man Whose Lost Surfboard Showed Up in the Philippines Fundraises to Help Its New Owner to Start Surfing

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Surfboard's up! Five thousand miles from where it washed out to sea.

Photographer and surfer Doug Falter lost his board in Hawaii's Waimea Bay and was floored to learn it had washed ashore in the Philippines, some 5,200 miles from home.

It took months for the long board to make its way, without being paddled, to the archipelago, and Falter learned about about its new owner on Facebook. A Filipino had bought the surfboard from a local fisherman, and set about trying to learn to surf. He also contacted Hawaii-based board-shaper Lyle Carson on social media.

"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," Falter said on his Facebook page.

The new owner is Giovanne Branzuela, a primary school teacher, according to Agence France-Presse.

The instructor paid $40 for the board, which had faded from blue to yellow during the journey.

As soon as the coronavirus pandemic ebbs to a point where international air travel is easier, Falter said he plans to visit the island nation to help Branzuela learn to hang 10.

And in the meantime, Falter has created a GoFundMe page with the hopes of helping Branzuela learn how to surf. "Knowing that my board has fallen into the hands of a man who wants to learn the sport gives me joy and closure at the same time," Falter wrote.

To date, the page has raised about $2,400, well exceeding its goal of $500. 

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