Surf’s down

“IRREPLACEABLE” custom surfboards have been stolen from a Mount Lawley couple, along with their car and camping gear.

Hannah and Cameron Etchells’ Landcruiser Troopcarrier named Sandy was stolen from near their Chelmsford Road home December 29.

“We were going on a trip to Esperance. We had the car packed up with so much stuff. We had three boards, all our camping gear… all our food, toiletries, clothes, shoes, [everything] you’d take on a two week road trip,” Ms Etchells said.

One of the rare surfboards is a Danny Hess wooden shortboard from San Francisco. Hess’s light and durable boards are highly sought after, and there’s a long backlog on custom orders.

“I got it made for me when I was studying over [in California]”, says Ms Etchells, who was learning about bushfires in their redwood forests. She had the board made from salvaged redwood so it’s packed with sentimental value.

It’s 5’6” with a pale blue/green resin tint, a teal green arrow thruster fin set-up, and is the “only one of its kind in Australia”. It has Hannah written under the glass on the bottom.

The other board is a 9’4” Pete Dwyer orange longboard, with a 10-inch, bright yellow single fin, and her name also under the glass on the bottom.

The third is a 5’6” white top foam surfboard with a distinctive pineapple print on the bottom, a rare “Ben Gravy special” they brought over to WA.

Ms Etchells says Sandy “is my only car, [and] the boards are irreplaceable”.

They’re so distinct she says “it would be pretty impossible for them to sell them,” and they’re rare enough that even trying to sell them overseas might raise suspicions with a buyer.

Word’s been spread among the surfing and camping community and at surf shops to keep an eye out.

The car’s rego is 1GPG732 and it has a distinctive large black bullbar with a winch, silver visor, silver roof racks and max trax.

Ms Etchells is urging anyone who spots their gear to call police on 131 444 and let her know at hannahcjetchells@gmail.com

She says the outpouring of support from the surfing and camping community has been heartwarming.

It turns out that due to fires, the campsite they planned to visit this week is closed anyway, and Ms Etchells said fierce fires over east “puts everything in perspective. I don’t feel that hard done by, compared to what’s happening over there”.

by DAVID BELL

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