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Developing a trash bag for surfers

Updated: Jun 9, 2018

Sometimes I encounter trash while surfing in Bali. It depends on the season. Rainy season causes everything to flush to the sea. Wood, trash, yes plastic too. It can be really bad. And you can’t do anything. From march to september, everything is clean though.

I came up with the idea that every surfer enjoying the ocean waves, would help cleaning the ocean. A bag worn at an unobtrusive place while surfing , where users can keep collected trash. It should hold the trash inside in washing waves, it should be comfortable to wear and look good. I quickly sketched something and once in Bali, I went to my bag making friend Fauzi. He has a bag shop in Balangan, called Indo Waves. He made me a surf bag and a guitar bag already. He fixed my Chrome bag for free when it was broken. I showed him the sketch and gave him a bit of thinking. He said: "I don’t know if I can make it." Funny enough, he said he needed something real to imagine. I just know how to do that. I told him, I would come back.

A few days later, I asked for an old lycra shirt from my friend at Balangan wave surf school. He gave it to me generously. I went back to Fauzi, Bali style, unannounced. We sat down and started to make it part by part, from real materials. I talked him through it, quick sketching, matching parts. Stitch it, improve it, check it, remove some stitches, add some, check it again and after 2 hours it was done. The first real prototype, 100% real with all the features I imagined. The day after, I go to the beach and test it. Let others test it. First, we focus on comfort while wearing, then functionality. But that can change. We just test it and improve it, until it is good. Then, we make another 5 bags. From there, we will see, 🙂. I noticed that I shouldn’t bother him with things to come. Just let him finish what he is doing now. Telling him about the next upcoming features confuses him. So, I let him focus.

It is Super adaptive the stealthy way. Fauzi doesn’t know about Super adaptive, but he enjoys the creative making sessions we have. And with his skills to build real stuff, he doesn’t bull shit and just makes it. We are fast, we book results and it is fun. Simply that.

I return to Fauzi for the second generation a few days later. The concept works fine in the tests, just improvements for more comfort while wearing, like padding and elastics on the straps and for more durability. I ask Fauzi, if he want to make it by himself or if he wants me to join him. He is clear: join me! Fauzi is very Super adaptive. No, Fauzi has not been polluted by academic perfectionism that fooled us all. Fauzi uses common sense to make something, do it together, immediately build it and immediately verify it. An endless process of small step by step improvements. Super adaptive is also about using common sense. It is a true feast to work with Fauzi on this.


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