for primates : a catalogue of surfboards in australia since 1900
1937 Tom Blake Hollow
and specifications : blake hollow
16, Cigar Box, Kook Box
: Riding the Breakers on this Hollow Hawaiian Surfboard -
Popular Mechanics Magazine
July 1937 Volume 68 Number 1
pages 114 - 117
Reprinted in : How to Build Your Own
Canoe, Kayak or Surfboard, Number 30
Mechanics Press, 200 E. Ontario Street Chicago 11 Illinois.
Copyright 1940, Second printing 1946.
First designed in 1926 by Tom Blake based
on 16 ft ancient Olo board, and lightened by drilling the board full of
holes then covering them with sheets of plywood.
This success, primarily as a paddleboard,
was followed by the common hollow design of plywood covering over a light
wood frame, with a bung.
On 18th April, 1931 Thomas Edward Blake
submitted three pages with a detailed drawing for a ' Water Sled'. and
was subsequently granted US Patent No. 1,872,230 by the US Patents and
Trademarks Office, Washington DC.
Apart from competitive success in many
paddling races, Blake published construction plans, e.g. Popular Mechanics,
1937, with the result that his design was used throughout the then surfing
This had definite influence in Peru (first
surfers), New Zealand and Australia, where it first appeared as the Australian
In 1945 the Surf Life Saving Association
of Australia issued plans for the approved design of a Hollow Surfboard.
These bore close resemblance to Blake's
plans of 1935, above.
Image has be
manipulated to improve legability.
Source : Unknown.
In 1957 the construction
method was used to make hollow examples of the Malibu board (Okinuee) when
balsa wood was unavailble in Australia, and was similarly used in New Zealand
up to 1961.