Fire destroys DHD Surfboards factory on the Gold Coast

December 27, 2019 | Surfing
Darren Handley Designs: the iconic surfboard shaper lost a factory and a many old surfboards

The manufacturing facility of Darren Handley Designs (DHD), located in Burleigh Heads, Australia, has been completely destroyed by a fire.

The blaze started inside the factory at 9:30 am on Boxing Day fueled by chemicals used to produce the high-end surfboards.

When the 45 firefighters arrived, flames had already consumed the structure and quickly spread to nearby businesses.

The thick plumes of potentially toxic black smoke were immediately followed by several explosions. Ninety minutes later, the fire was extinguished.

"It's just a bummer. There was a lot of history in that factory - a lot of old boards and stuff I can't replace," explained Darren Handley.

Firefighters advised residents to close windows and doors to avoid breathing the smoke because there were a lot of resins and fiberglass in the building.

Rising from the Ashes

The surf factory owned by DHD measured 65 yards by 43 yards and was made of tin and iron. The cause of the fire is still unknown.

The damage is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, but the founder of the iconic Australian surf company is not giving up.

"We'll just all knuckle down, build a new factory, and start again. It's not that hard," added Handley, who is regarded as one of the best shapers in the world.

"Everything else can be replaced. We have two factories - one holds all the stock. There's not too much money in here, but starting all over again will be the hard part."

DHD shaped and provided surfboards for three-time world champion Mick Fanning, and seven-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore.

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