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a solid timber board for prone surfing,
the term appears to be particular to Victoria.
In use in some form from the earliest records of Australian surfing
Later a fibreglassed balsa wood bellyboard, commonly with two D fins, circa 1950’s. 
Image Left : 
Grace Smith Wooton and Win Harrison
Point Lonsdale Victoria, circa 1915.
from Wells page 157
The board was made by a local carpenter, cost 12 shillings ($1.20), with her initials carved in one end.


Response to an enquiry from Murray Walding, December 2006.
"can you tell me the origins of the term 'Lamaroo?''
From memory...
The first Australian example I saw (not just a photograph)  was at Mick Mock's first surf auction, 2001.
 I believe the term was used in the auction catalogue - at present I can't find my copy to verify this.
The item was from Victoria and I assumed Mick took the term from the seller's description.
I vaguely recall talking with the ''owner'', but can't recall if it was the seller or the buyer.
The board is in the Catalogue - circa 1950,  number #166.
Suggest you compare models in the Paipo Catalogue Image Menu.
For some indefinable reasons, probably the paint work, the board appeared to me to be a commerical item.
I infered that the term Lamaroo was possibly a manufacturing brand name.
The term is probably of Aboriginial derivation - I think Holden had a ute model called this in the late 1990s.
Similar boards were marketed in New Zealand (Prout) and England (Solabro).
The Solabro is shown in History  -  Source Documents  -  scroll down to the entry at 1953.
Given the vast variation in surfcraft designs, the deignation of distinguishing labels or design names is of some assistance to the archivist.
This design has significant features, mainly the narrow width, that distinguish it from other prone boards.
The narrow width would appear to preclude any possibility of the rider taking a kneeling position, which may be possible with other prone boards, for example the Boogie board.
The dimensions also strongly indicate that the board would be unlikely to be paddled successfully in deep water and take-off was probably from a standing start.
In many cases this would not produce a ride on the wave face but rather a ride in the broken wave or white water.
This seems confirmed by comtemporary photographs of the boards in use.

Extreme technical note :
Riding the white-water does not always require the rider to take a line straight to the beach.
It is often possible to cut at an angle to the wave 'face' - with a resultant increase in board speed.
Lam Art 
laminated art, i.e. decals.

laminated (process)
bonding fibreglass cloth to the shaped blank with laminating resin.
The cloth is conformed to the board’s shape by use of a rubber squeegee.
Early models where laminated with fibreglass mat, the resin applied by a roller. 
laminated fin :
a fin constructed of multilayered fibreglass cloth, often using different layers of pigment colour to assist  foiling and/or for décor effect.
Laminate could also include decals, art work, fabric or fully enclose a wooden fin.

laminate resin
a non- wax resin with high bonding properties that only fully cures after the application of a filler/gel coat. 
lap cut / lap line
knife incision in the blank , deeper ones caused by cutting after 100% curing.
See Rail lap.

lay up :
spreading and trimming a layer or layers of fiberglass before laminating, usually onto a blank or in fin construction.

Lazor Zap :
no-nose, wide tailed single fin board designed by Geoff McCoy for Cheyne Horan, 1979-1984.
Later models featured Ben Lexan/Cheyne Horan’s Winged Keel/Star fin.
Reprised 1998 as Thruster finned Nugget model by McCoy Surfboards.

see leg rope

leash loop
rovings ‘bridge’ fixed to the tail (on deck) of a board to attach the leg rope.
See Leg rope bridge

leg rope / Leash / Cord
" As far as I know, the surf leash was introduced at the Santa Cruz 4A Invitational in the Spring (May?) of 1971 by Pat O'Neill and Roger Adams.
Probably the idea was around before that, but the first photo of the leash in action was published that year, and the first retail ads were run by a company called Surf Strap.
The leash got off to a slow start, and ran into some bad press.
First of all it was ugly : a line of shot cord fastened to the nose of  a surfboard with a suction cup.
Holding the cord in your hand, you could jerk the nose around to produce a truly ugly manouvre.
The purists were appalled.
The more competitive surfers saw the practical advantages and opted for the leash early.
For kids starting out...the was no question about it :"
- Drew Kampion : As Years Roll By (1970's Retrospective)
Surfing  Magazine February 1980.  Volume 16 Number 2, page 43.

SURFER Volume 13#Number 3 September 1972
Possibly the third edition of Surfer magazine to advertise a leg rope/hand leash etc.
Interview- At Sea with Jack O'Neill
Page 34 Capt "one eyed"JACK O'NEILL  Interview...just post his encounter with early legrope exsperiments that caused him the loss of his left eye.
It is the first to note founding leash father Jack O'Neill loss of eye due to his exsperiments with the first leggies.

The first commerciall design was a cord attached to the nose of the board by a suction cup and to the rider’s wrist, by Control Products (USA) circa 1972.
Advertised illustration indicated the rider could direct the board via the attachment.

Second commercial product, Surf Ankle Leash, attached to rear of the fin, USA December 1973.

Homemade version, circa 1973, consisted of a nylon cord fixed to a hole in the fin and to the rider’s rear ankle with a sock, handkerchief or even a dog collar (hence ‘leash’).

Later, a rovings ‘bridge’(leash loop) was laminated onto the rear deck as an alternative to the hole in the fin, a method in current use on thin tailed boards or on pre 1975 boards to maintain historical authenticity (they can easily be removed)

A further alternative was cutting a hole in the deck of the board forward of the fin and inserting a plastic molded chair leg stopper  and metal bar.

Circa 1974, first commercial models by Bob Newlands at Surf Aids, Byron Bay NSW, greatly improved safety by using Velcro ankle attachment, brass swivel and a flexible cord (surgical tubing with rope insert) attached to a molded plug fitted to the deck (packaged as a full kit with the plug for fitting post-manufacture).
Fixing the attachment forward of the fin/s improved safety by redirecting recoil.

 Surfing Magazine (USA) Volume ? Number ? October-November 1974 cover included "Leash Test".

During this period many manufacturers only fitted plugs to new boards on request.
Most plugs were fitted post – production, and they didn’t become standard additions until custom orders constantly required them, retail shops demanded them (e.g. Peter Turner at Kirra Surf Centre, Qld) and their use was accepted in major contests (first major contest use xxx 197?).

In 1975 a plug was marketed with in-built swivel, but this double swivel version would soon be unneccessary.
Serious board damage was often inflicted when the rope was wrapped around the fin during wipeouts but this was reduced with the addition of the rail-saver and a second swivel circa 1976.

In 1977 Ian Cairns insisted on a legrope free final at the Alan Oke Memorial Contest, Phillip Island Victoria.
The officials' decision not to allow legropes in the final was not appreciated by some competitors, and following
this contest, legropes became standard contest equipment.
This was the last Australian professional contest to ban legropes

Surf [Aust] November 1977
Volume 1 Number 6.

In the early 1980’s the rope/tubing design was replaced with a solid moulded urethane cord.

Boogie boards commonly use a curled moulded urethane cord.with wrist attachment.

A longboard leg rope features a Velco attachment bellow the rear knee to facilitate walking.

Despite being a safety feature, leg rope use has been possibly been responsible for some casualties.

Graeme Attey noted by email, June 2009:
"I ... designed the over-moulded legrope system for Creatures of Leisure in 1994 (now used on every legrope in the world today) and then the ‘Revolution’ leg-rope swivel system introduced in 2003."

The universal adoption of the leg rope has had a significant impact on surfboard construction and design, surfing performance and crowds.

leg rope bridge
rovings ‘bridge’ fixed to the tail (on deck) of a board to attach the leg rope.

Crude cloth and resin leg rope bridge, circa 1974

leg rope plug / plug
plastic molded leash attachment with stainless steel pin fitted into the deck of a board at the  tail, circa 1974.
See legrope .

Length  :
1. The distance measured with a tape measure (flexible) from the nose to tail along the bottom curve.   (Preferred)
 2. The distance measured with a ruler (rigid) from the nose to tail in a straight line.
Note that Length #1 is always greater than Length #2.
A 6-ft (L#2) board with an extreme bottom curve will be ‘shorter’ than a 6-ft (L#2) board with a conservative bottom curve.
In modern Malibu Board contests, minimum board length is measured by method #2.
Method #1 appears to be the most commonly accepted.

brand name for New Zealand hollow timber board marketed as a do-it-yourself pre-cut kit, circa 1958.
Based on the Malibu board (see Okinuee, Australia) it featured a wide square tail, narrow rounded nose and a standard D fin set right at the pod.
Most interesting is the full vee bottom from nose to tail.
Common factory length appears to be 9 ft 1 inch.

1. Generally any design characteristic that appears above the bottom profile; e.g. nose lift, tail lift; or less common rail lift (in the bottom cross section).
2. characteristic of a design said to reduce wetted area and hence drag e.g. concave nose

Little Red
8ft 4" x 23" stringered rounded pintail.
Shaped by Ted Spencer and Bob McTavish at Keyo Surfboards, mid 1967.
Despite the publcity given to Nat Young and Bob McTavish's testing of the Short Board/Vee-Bottom theory in Hawaii, November-December 1967, variations of Ted Spencer's board were to be the dominant design in Australia for the next twelve months.
The board is featured in Eric Blum The Fantastic Plastic Machine - Windansea contest October 1967,. and Paul Witzig : Hot Generation - Maui.
Bob McTavish & Little Red, Honolua Bay '67.
                John Witzig. Click for photo details.
Bob McTavish & Little Red,
Honolua Bay, Maui, December 1967.
Photo : John Witzig

a longer and or heavier board than the currently accepted design.
Derogatory, see plank etc.

1. a board longer than the current popular standard length.
In 1999 this usually refers to a Malibu board.
2. a board with three riding positions, the rider moving to these by walking or stepping.
See short-board, mircro-board.


home catalogue history references appendix

Geoff Cater (2000-2015) : Appendix : Glossary L.