Bulli designer and bodysurfing enthusiast Chris Anderson, 27, has received a helping hand with his new business through the powers of reality television.
Mr Anderson appeared on Shark Tank Tuesday night, a program where entrepreneurs pitch their idea in the hope of finding an investor.
Founder of Red Balloon Naomi Simson offered $100,000 for a 50 per cent share in Ecto Hand Planes – a bodysurfing hand plane that’s made from recycled surfboards.
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“People at first glance don’t understand what the product is so I guess [going on the show] was to raise awareness of the product and gain exposure for the business,” Mr Anderson said.
“It’s one of the few platforms in which you can explain things in detail and people listen.”
Illawarra surf stores like Finbox and Zinc have already been big supporters of the hand planes, while David Jones is also on board – upping their distribution from 10 stores to 24 since the episode was filmed at the end of last year.
The planes are also sold at a long list of independent surf stores throughout Australia on the online gifting platform Wrapped by Red Balloon
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Mr Anderson hopes now the Shark Tank episode has aired the phones will run hot with more businesses wanting to stock his product, and that more people are aware of the bodysurfing community and give it a go.
Chris Anderson also features in the South Coast Bodysurfers exhibition on this Saturday and Sunday (September 23 and 24) at the Timber Mill Studios in Bulli, 10am – 4pm.