REDONDO BEACH, Calif. – Surfing takes a ton of paddling, and it’s a full body workout that often lasts hours. It all happens without a sip of water. 

What You Need To Know

  • Han Bae has surfing for 15 years

  • Bae finds a way to hydrate in the water without paddling back to shore

  • SurfStraw is made without Bisphenol A (BPA).

  • For every purchase, SurfStraw will donate $3 to The Surfrider Foundation

That’s until now.

Eager for longer surf sessions, Han Bae – who grew up in Torrance – decided to find a way to hydrate in the water without paddling back to shore, and with the help of a fellow surfer, he created the world’s first water bottle designed for wetsuits.

Bae has surfing for 15 years. He said surfing is the only sport he can think of where you go the entire time without drinking water. Imagine not having water while playing basketball, volleyball, soccer, or a long run. Well, that is the reason Bae decided to tinker with a water bottle and create one he could use while surfing.

“I think a lot of people think surfing is all about just standing up and kind of just cruising. It’s actually very exhausting when you have to go under big waves, and you have to paddle against the current and fight rip currents and all that stuff,” said Bae.

Bae said after a two-plus-hour surf session his performance and wave count slowly tailored off. He was surfing one perfect day, but said he ran out of steam after three hours. Bae said he began to think, dream, hope that hydration might be the key to helping make his last waves as great as his first.

As a California surfer, he is a cold-water surfer. While surfing in Bali and Mexico in warm water, Bae said he got overheated really quickly and missed out on many waves. That’s what led him down the path to invent SurfStraws.

Bae said the initial designs involved plastic baggies and duct tape. It took a few years to land on the final design that was also eco-friendly.

SurfStraw is made without Bisphenol A, which is also known as BPA. SurfStraw is made with polyurethane because according to Bae, it is durable nature to prevent shedding of micro-plastics into the oceans and waterways.

Bae then teamed up with a former co-worker and fellow surfer, Jesse Nebres.

“I think I consider myself the first surf straw customer,” said Nebres.

The pair kicked off an online crowdsourcing effort in July to get their company started. Their goal was to raise $10,000, but ended up raising $13,000. 

They were worried that during a pandemic they might have a hard time raising funds, but they really didn’t.

Bae said they raised their goal of within two weeks. Through the crowdsourcing effort, SurfStraw sold 300 units. 

Nebres said he thinks the success of their crowd-funding campaign might be because if you surf, like they do, the wetsuit-friendly water bottle just makes sense.  

“It’s really the only sport where you don’t drink water while you’re participating in it, which is kind of silly,” said Nebres.

For every purchase, SurfStraw will donate $3 to The Surfrider Foundation. The Surfrider Foundation is a grassroots non-profit environmental organization that works to protect and preserve the world's oceans, waves and beaches.