pods for primates: a catalogue of surfboards in australia since 1900
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Click for catalogue, starting with # 100- Duke Kahanamoku's 1914 Alia
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 the x-files : extreme surfing 


# 92  Hot Buttered/Frank Williams 1973

After paddling into the wave, then slipping his oars,
this goofy-foot steersman casually conrols the direction of his craft with body english.
Photo : John E. Wall.
Surfer, Volume 18 Number 4 November 1977 page 127



Look closely at David Nuuhiwa's speed crouch, then look underneath.
That's right, he is in perfect trim with his surfboard upside down.
Fin up, no wax, reverse rocker : Silly? Definitely. Dangerous? Could be. Easy? No way.
Attention thrillseekers: Nuuhiwa is a trained, professional surfer:
Please don't attempt this at your home break.
Photo: LeRoy Grannis.
Surfer, Volume 30 Number 10 page 34.


Palm Beach Surf Life Saving Boat : Cabbage Tree 1,Fairy Bower, 27th March, 1966.
Captain : John Windshuttle
Brawley, page 148.
The boat was destroyed two waves later, and an inquiry was held by the club into the actions of the crew.


Shooting the 'Bowl' at Makaha required that the alma (outrigger) be specially rigged on the right side.
Makaha, circa 1976.
Photograph : Tommy Holmes' collection.
Image and caption : Holmes  Hawaiian Canoe (1993) page 108.



In the aftermath of a wipeout, an empty 30-foot canoe stands on one end of a Castles wave.
Waikiki, circa 1978.
Photograph : Jim Pate
Image and caption : Holmes  Hawaiian Canoe (1993) page 108.




Plywood surfing, Barbados, circa 1988.
Photograph by Dave DiGirolamo
No quite a barn door, but close.
Surfer, Volume 29 Number 12 page 113.

Hasaki, Israel, circa 1962.
Photograph courtesy of the Israel Government Tourist Office.
Klein: Surfing (1965) page 259.

extreme surfboard designs
# 129 Nat Young/Gordon Woods Surfboards Cuttlefish, 1965
Nat Young’s “Nautilas / Cuttlefish / Folly”
8 ft 6”
With Greenough spoon like nose, foam centre and flex tail, manufactured at
Gordon Woods Surfboards 1965.
The board is part of the Scott Dillon Museum.
Extensive warping of the nose section, the board is in otherwise original condition.
Photograph by Alby Falzon.
Reprinted in Carter1968   #117
Motor Powered Surfboards




Surf Scooter, Bondi Beach, circa 1935.
Margan and Finney (1970) page 159


Surf Scooter in action, Bondi Beach, circa 1935.
Margan and Finney (1970) page 158.




It's a Skim-Board, Sydney1938.
"Flat out on a skim-board. It's the latest, but no good for crowded beaches.
It weighs 90 lb., is nine feet long, folds into four sections, is driven
by a four horse-power outboard, and does 20 miles an hour."
Daily Telegraph, 7 October 1938, page 7.

Motorized board with its inventor.


That's right folks, the $2,000 surfboard; a 10'6': fifty-pound behemoth propelled by two expensive nicad batteries.
Neil Townsend, the creator of Aqua Jet honeycomb surfboards, developed the board for his personal use, because a permanent heart condition would have otherwise entirely ended the 63-year-old Townsend's surfing.

Neil has ridden the board in surf up to ten feet in California and Hawaii.
Powered by a propeller, the board is activateded when the rider lays on the controf pad, and stops when he stands up.
The board moves forward as fast as a strong paddler can paddle an equivalent-sized board.

At present, the impact of this design is of little consequence on surfing, but as Neil points out; the power cells being developed are lighter, more powerful and cheaper than the ones he is using. In ten years, his extensive research may payoff for you or me.

And who's to say -one day we may see powered boards at Sunset or Waimea Bay flying through impossible sections on those big, unsurfable offshore days.


Surfer,Volume 22 Number 3 page 58, circa 1982.

extreme surfboard fins


Click for catalogue, starting with # 100- Duke Kahanamoku's 1914 Alia
home catalogue history references appendix