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Single fin foam and fiberglass surfboard

Date: 1966 - 1970
Overall: 2140 x 555 mm, 5.7 kg
Medium: Fibreglass, foam
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Name: Surfboard
Object No: 00016644
Place Manufactured:Sydney

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    This single fin foam and fiberglass surfboard was designed by George Greenough, a Californian who first came to Australia in 1964. He was a central figure in the short board revolution of the 1960s, experimenting on new board designs with Australians such as Bob McTavish and Nat Young. Based on his experience riding knee boards, Greenough set about cutting feet off the cumbersome Malibus and inventing radical new fins, such as this high aspected fin, to create greater speed and maneuverability in the surf.
    SignificanceDesigned by George Greenough for Wilderness surfboards, this single fin board is representative of the Californian surfer's innovative shapes and styles. Greenough also invented the fish eye lens and was the first person to film inside a tube. This extraordinary footage was incorporated into the 1973 surfing classic 'Crystal Voyager'.

    HistoryThough Australia was first introduced to surfing in the late 19th century by traders and travellers who had passed through Hawaii, the surfing demonstration of Hawaiian Duke Kahanamoku at Freshwater Beach in 1914 was a significant moment in Australia's surfing history. Solid hardwood planks were common on Australian beaches between World War I and World War II, and pre-dated the Australian surfing boom of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Designs were often similar to the Duke's 1914 board, which was shaped from sugar pine purchased from Hudson's Timber Mill in Sydney, and incorporated many of the standard Hawaiian design characteristics.

    The end of World War II opened up new possibilities in surfboard design. Many new materials had become available through advances in technology during the war. As a result, fiberglass coated Malibus were developed in the late 1950s. These allowed surfers a greater range of maneuvers than early wooden boards. The 1950s also saw experimentation in surfboard design, with additions such as a fin aiding maneuverability and stability. The Malibu shape was introduced to Australia in 1956 when a group of Californian lifeguards brought with them new Malibu boards made by Joe Quigg and the Velzy-Jacobs duo. Australians began experimenting with balsa, foam and fiberglass designs, and eventually the Malibu went into mass-production.
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    Web title: Single fin foam and fiberglass surfboard

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