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Esther Williams’ Paipo Board

Esther Williams’ Paipo Board

Circa 1930s-1940s

length: 4’2”
nose: 18”
wide spot: 17-3/4
tail: 15”
thickness: 3/4”
weight: 10 lbs.
shaper: unknown

The paipo board was meant for belly boarding waves, and this paipo belonged to one of the 20th Century’s most famous water women  –  Esther Williams. This board is from her personal collection, but she also put her name on a line of paipo boards that were popular in the 1940s. Williams continued to use her paipo even as she became a huge movie star. Although faded, you can still see the “Esther” on the nose — along with the remarkable similarity to the board in the studio portrait above.

Donated to CSM by Dan Pincetich Collection.

The Esther Willams' Story
photo: Guy Motil