sibley : surf sleds and boards, 1928
Ways to Build
By HI SIBLEY
enthusiasm are required to master this exciting sport; it is
catching the right roller at right time- of climbing aboard
just the comber
is going over.
One can learn by practice better than by being told how to do it, but to start with one must have a suitable surf board or surf sled.
A sled requires a little more work to construct, but it will give the less skilled or less daring bather a sure-fire ride on the crest of the foam.
Both types are illustrated.
made in a large variety of styles to suit individual tastes,
but the one
which has proved the most successful on the breakers of
is the light plywood model shown in Fig. 1.
This illustrates a boy's size- about 4 1/2 ft. long.
A drawing at the bottom of Fig. 3 shows how to make its adult prototype.
is desirable because of its lightness and the fact that it
is not likely
to split or warp.
It may be purchased from any cabinetmaker and from many lumber yards.
A three-layer piece about 1/2 in. thick is satisfactory, although a thicker piece of five-ply wood will make a more substantial board.
as shown with a good keyhole or turning saw.
A sharp saw with comparatively fine teeth is to be preferred, as there will be less likelihood of tearing the wood.
The hand slot is made by boring two 3/4-in. holes about 5 in. apart and sawing out between them. The slot is only for convenience in carrying the board; it is not used in the surf.
The rider grips the sides of the board where he can shift his grip or let it go entirely if disaster looms.
The surf sled can be used in any sea not too dangerous for ordinary bathing.
The rider holds himself by the handgrips or lies flat on the deck.
In Fig. 3 is shown a slightly improved design.
usually has a beautiful grain, a natural finish with spar
First, however, paint in your star at the forward end.
Brilliant vermilion, or bright green with an out-line of gold, is effective.
On one board the writer made a gold-leaf star with green border.
It is a good idea to b put your initials and address at the lower end of the board, for anything as much in demand as a surf board has a tendency to wander from the home strand.
end is cut to fit the body, the bather is able to walk out
facing the surf
and looking for an accommodating wave (Fig. 4).
When it comes he quickly swings the light board around and climbs aboard for a swift and merry trip.
that the nose of the board is always tilted up.
If it goes down and likes the sand, with a big breaker behind, painful injury may result.
The surf sled is a frame of light white pine covered with galvanised iron; the surf board merely sawed from plywood.
is fairly light for a grown person to manage, but it is not
the thing for
a youngster to tackle, except in moderate seas, because of
force with which waves may strike it broadside.
Note that all edges and corners are rounded, so that if one has a spill and is struck by his mount, it will not leave any appreciable dents.
The vital importance of removing all protruding angles was learned after several beginners had become conspicuously bruised by screw eyes used in our first model.
to maneuver the surf sled is to walk into the surf at right
the sled behind you by the sash cord provided for that
It will slide over the oncoming breakers easily if the stern is lifted slightly.
pine for the framework and fasten it with flat-head wood
screws, well countersunk.
(Continued on page 98)
The light plywood surf board is easy to handle.
The lower end is cut so as to fit the body.
The bather takes this position when walking out into the surf.
the sheet metal, paint the edges of the side boards with
white lead and
lay a strip of muslin or electrician's tape the entire
length, taking care
that there are no folds or wrinkles.
Cover this with a coat of white lead.
Then fasten the galvanized iron with nails about 3/4 in. long, staggered about 1 in. apart.
Drive them in well; then depress the edges of the metal into the wood (Fig. 3).
The cleats over the places where the galvanized sheets join each other should be drawn down tightly with screws, but first nail the ends of the sheets to the crosspieces to make the joints water-tight.
taste in painting and trimming; green with orange striping
In any case, be sure the first coat dries thoroughly before applying the second.
Several coats of spar varllish will add to the life of the sled.
Popular Science Magazine
Volume 112 Number 6, June 1928, pages 79 and 96.