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Wooden Paipo style surfboard

Date: early 20th century
Dimensions:
Overall: 67 x 1115 x 308 mm, 2.5 kg
Medium: Wood
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from D Smyth
Object Name: Surfboard
Object No: 00005796

User Terms

    Description
    This early 20th century timber 'Paipo' style surfboard features a distinct nose 'rocker' or curve, with a wooden cleat on the underside to prevent the board from splitting.
    SignificanceThis surfboard is representative of the solid hardwood designs common on Australian beaches between World War I and World War II.
    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.

    Wooden boards were usually covered in layers of varnish, oil or shellac to prevent the board from becoming waterlogged. They were generally finless until the early 1950s, and often featured a metal band or wooden cleat near the nose to prevent the wood from splitting.

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