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Aluminium jet board

Date: c 1968
Overall: 3308 x 625 x 136 mm
Medium: Aluminium, paint
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Rhys Faunce
Object Name: Jet board
Object No: V00046816

User Terms

    Manufactured in Los Angeles, California in the mid-1960s and 1970s this 11 foot long board was powered by a two-stroke water-cooled engine. The 100 pound board could travel at 20 miles per hour. It was a short-lived phase of the history of California surfing.
    SignificanceThe earliest known mass-produced powered surfboards were the Jet Boards produced as early as 1968. They had a brief period of popularity, but were shunned after a series of accidents. They are still available for sale on the used market.
    HistoryJet Board Corporation was located at 9255 Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. The hulls were made by an aeronautical company called Sargent Fletcher in El Monte, California. They were manufactured until about 1990. The engine was derived from a McCullough brand chain saw engine.

    Steve Gould, the curator of the North Shore Surf and Cultural Museum, was a lifeguard at the Kahala Hilton the day the first motorized surfboard was demonstrated in Hawaii. He said that these boards were the result of Alfred Bloomingdale's (heir to the Bloomingdale Department store fortune) distaste for paddling a surfboard. He used to come to Waikiki to holiday. The prototype was made of wood and was unsuitable. The working model debuted in1965.

    The highest know serial number is #1947

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