The Story of Honu’s Re-Launch: A backpacker, a mission and Bondi Beach

15 Jan 2020

Honu was founded with a lofty mission: to make surfing and paddle-boarding accessible to everyone.  No matter your age, experience-level, background or body-type, Honu wants to create a board that is right for you.

Born in Bondi

Every new business starts when someone thinks of a way to do things differently.  For Honu, this story began when a French backpacker in Bondi Beach got fed up with Australian surf gear being expensive and dominated by a few large brands. 

Honu’s formation in Bondi is central to this story, as Bondi Beach has a history as a working-class suburb with people from all over the world living and working on its shores. Before Bondi Rescue was even a twinkle in Channel Ten’s eye, Bondi Beach was known for being sought out by the great unwashed.

Artists, musicians and performers congregated around the Bondi Pavilion to create a counter-culture lifestyle that was in sync with the picturesque, natural surrounds. 

Its these multicultural, bohemian roots that have always given Bondi its colourful and eclectic perspective compared to some of the more upper/middle-class surrounding neighbourhoods.  Like the original Bondi beach culture, Honu has always tried to be a disruptor that refused to follow the pack.

In 2002, the time had come to disrupt the disruptors and challenge established Australian surfboard companies and their ways of selling boards.  When e-commerce surf businesses were relatively unheard of, Honu started selling a range of boards online at accessible prices.

From the beginning, the central mission of Honu has always been to connect people and families with the water because enjoying the ocean is not be the exclusive domain of pro-surfers looking for the next ‘stoke.’  People of all ages, abilities and backgrounds should be able to spend time in the water and feel at harmony with this experience.


At Honu, we have always believed that being connected to the ocean is part of the fabric of our human DNA.  Human life evolved from the ocean, and this connection to the sea lives on within all of us today.  Honu has now sold over 50,000 boards across Australia in an effort to bring more people closer to the ocean.

Honu's Re-launch 

With this history in mind, we are re-launching the Honu brand in 2020 with a new range of boards and products.  We took over Honu with a commitment to its original disruptive heritage. 

But given the current state of climate change and global warming, we are also devoted to having a strong environmental conscience within the brand (more on that in future blog posts!). 

While the face of Honu may look a little different, our core belief is that if we get people to fall in love with the ocean, they’ll want to help us save it.  We know there is nothing like the ocean for helping us to escape the stresses of modern life and to connect us to ourselves and our place in the world.