Waimea Bay to the Philippines: How a lost surfboard’s worldwide voyage created a friendship of a lifetime

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) – A wipe out, lost surfboard and a little luck brought two men together for a friendship of a lifetime.

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Local surfer, Doug Falter, owns many boards, but none like his custom Lyle Carlson.

“I actually surfed the board on the day of The Eddie,” said Falter. “That’s what made that board mean so much to me, because it was my biggest accomplishment by far in surfing.”

On a huge day at Waimea Bay in 2018, Falter lost his prize possession while riding a massive wave.

“I’m a man and I was almost in tears when I lost my board just because it meant so much to me.”

Days, months and years went by and he was never reunited with his board, until now.

“I could tell it was all yellow and it was aged and it was sitting in the sun for a long time. I was just kind of in shock.”

After seeing photos of his board circulate on Facebook, Falter took to social media. He found the new owner, Giovanne, a teacher thousands of miles away in the Philippines.

“I messaged him and I just gathered that the board was found at nighttime by his neighbor who is a fisherman in his fishing net. The guy thought it was a boat, a sunken boat at first.”

Through countless messages, it became more than just a conversation over a board.

“He explained to me he realized how sentimental the board was and he offered to give it back. Then he also invited me to come visit.”

The two hope to meet in person one day once the pandemic is over.

“To see my board float 5,000 miles to the southern most tip of the Philippines where they don’t surf, but have world class waves and to possibly bring surfing to those islands in this way is legendary.”

While Falter waits patiently to be reunited with his board, he’s raising money to give back. He is working toward buying surfing gear and school supplies for his new lifelong friend.

“I raised the money on GoFundMe and we’re up to $1200 so far and I’m just going to put as much money as I get into helping him.”

To check out Falter’s GoFundMe page, click here.

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