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Hawaiian balsa kneeboard used by Peter Raynor

Date: 1956
Overall: 1220 x 540 mm, 5.4 kg
Display Dimensions: 1230 x 540 x 120 mm
Medium: Balsa wood, fibre glass
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Peter Raynor
Object Name: Kneeboard
Object No: 00028422

User Terms

    Fabricated in 1956, this Hawaiian balsa kneeboard features hardwood stringers, twin fins, a crescent knee rail on the deck and a fiberglass finish. A white circular Warringah Council registration sticker, dated 1962, has been stuck onto the underside of the board between the fins.
    SignificanceThis kneeboard is an early example of a balsa and fiberglass design, imported from America in the mid 1950s. The board was one of the first to be used on Sydney's surf beaches and provided a pattern from which other kneeboards were made. This board pre-dates the use of kneeboards in Australia by American George Greenough in 1966.
    HistoryThis knee board was brought to Australia by a Hawaiian surfer taking part in an international surfing demonstration in Victoria in 1956. Peter Rayner was there as a junior in the Australian team, and the Hawaiian surfer was billeted with Rayner's family in Manly. The board was used primarily by Peter between 1956 and 1962 at Manly Beach, though it was also used by members of the Manly Surf Club and the Bungan Beach Surf Club.

    At this time board riders were segregated from swimmers and had to register their boards. The knee board, along with surf planes, was able to be used without restriction at Manly Beach. As knee boards became more popular, Rayner's Hawaiian board was used to make patterns for other boards. Although small in number, their influence on surfboard design was to be enormous as they could turn on a wave to a greater degree than the Malibu board riders.

    Knee surfing developed from lying down on coolites and belly boards or 'Paipo' boards as they were called in Hawaii. Today the popularity of boogie boards attests to the strong following of this form of surfing. Like surfboards, kneeboards evolved by experimentation. The first contest for knee boarders was held at Dee Why in 1970. The competition was a design forum where competitors compared board designs. By the 1970s, knee boarding had become so popular that the Australian Surf Rider's Association incorporated knee boards into the Australian and State titles. The first Australian kneeboard titles were held on the Gold Coast in 1974.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: Hawaiian balso kneeboard used by Peter Raynor

    Web title: Hawaiian balsa kneeboard used by Peter Raynor

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