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Design and Technology

By January 31, 2021March 2nd, 2021Surfing Timeline

pre 1910

2000 BC – B.C.Peruvian fisherman ride waves using bundled-reed caballito de totora boats

  • Metal tools for woodworking are introduced to the Hawaiian Islands by visiting Western explorers and settlers

  • A “swimming skate” is reportedly invented in France. This might be the first reference to the surfboard in Europe

  • The first “wave pool” is built by Bavarian King Ludwig II in his castle Linderhof

  • The popular Hawaiian alaia are 7′ to 12′ long and made of koa or breadfruit wood

  • Enormous 12-17′ olo boards, made of wiliwili, are reserved for Hawaiian royalty (ali’i)

  • Coral heads and pumice stones are two of the favored tools for Hawaiian surfboard shapers

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Fisherman on a Caballito de Totora 1100-1400 CE

Castle Linderhof

Turn of the century Hawaiian plank

Hawaiian Olo

And yet the true creator is necessity, which is the mother of invention.

~ Aristotle

1900

  • ‘Traditional papa he’e nalu Surfboards’, made in Redwood, walnut and sequoia

  • Beachgoers in Brauton, North Devon, England, ride waves on wooden belly boards

  • The first California-made boards are made of redwood planks and coated in varnish

  • Bakelite, the first synthetic resin, is patented by Belgian Leo Hendrik Baekeland

  • In California, Hawaiian surfer George Freeth invents the lifeguard rescue can

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Wooden Belly Boards

Redwood Boards Walnut and Sequoia

Belgian Leo Baekeland

Walter V. Biddell’s Torpedo Buoy

1910
THE YEAR IN NUMBERS

WORLD POPULATION:
1.6 Billion

US POPULATION:
76 Million

AVERAGE U.S. SALARY:
$1,000/year

U.S. PRICES:
Loaf of bread: 5 cents

Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by individuals who labor in freedom.

~ Albert Einstein

1910

  • Duke Kahanamoku reintroduces longer surfboards, a ten-foot solid wood board, to Waikiki

  • Hawaiian surfers make boards from Pacific Northwest-imported redwood

  • Many Hawaiian-made boards are built on the beach at the Outrigger Canoe Club

  • Boards are finished with a few layers of marine varnish

  • Virtually all boards have a blunt nose, a squared-off tail, and a flat deck

  • The average surfboard is 9′ long, 22″ wide, and weighs 45 pounds

  • Surfboard construction is for the most part still a do-it-yourself project

  • Surfboards are finless, as they were in ancient times

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Redwood Surfboards

Redwood Plank

Hawaii Alaia Redwood

Olo Surfboard

1920
THE YEAR IN NUMBERS

WORLD POPULATION:
1.86 billion

US POPULATION:
106 million

AVERAGE U.S. SALARY:
$1,236/year

U.S. PRICES:
Loaf of bread: 9 cents
Gasoline: 22 cents per gallon

I like my job because it involves learning.

~ Bill Gates

1920

  • In the UK, Wetsuits were non-existant, and woollen sweaters were used to try and keep warm in the water

  • 10 to 12 foot boards (made from redwood and pine) are the norm for the best surfers in Hawaii and CA

  • Tom Blake builds first hollow surfboard, using wood ribs and plywood decking

  • Hawaiian Lorrin Thurston shows up at Waikiki with a surfboard made of balsa

  • Redwood, cedar, and pine are all used to build surfboards

  • Nine year old John Kelly is given an eight-foot redwood surfboard, shaped by David Kahanamoku, brother of Duke

  • Tom Blake builds a waterproof camera housing to take surfing photos

  • Depression forces Myers Butte out of Stanford and to the family business: Pacific System Homes

  • Blake uses olo “cigar” boards in Ala Wai paddleboard races. Some Hawaiians refuse to compete

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Tom Blake

Redwood Planks

Fins

CSM 195 Simmons Sandwich Board

1930
THE YEAR IN NUMBERS

WORLD POPULATION:
2.1 billion

US POPULATION:
123 million

AVERAGE U.S. SALARY:
$1,368/year

U.S. PRICES:
Loaf of bread: 8 cents
Gasoline: 10 cents per gallon
Movie admission: 15 cents

If in doubt, paddle out.

~ Nat Young

1930

  • Originally arriving on O’ahu as an infant, twelve-year-old Fran Heath starts surfing on an 8 foot redwood

  • Tom Blake uses brass plugs on hollow boards to drain water from the inside

  • The Los Angeles Ladder Company introduces a surfboard rack for cars

  • On April 18, Tom Blake files a patent for his “water sled” hollow board construction

  • Pacific System Homes sells “Swastika” model surfboards, paddleboards and aqua-planes

  • The use of balsa wood decreases surfing board weights from 100 to 30 pounds

  • Inspired by Floridians in Hawaii, Pete Peterson begins making balsa boards in California

  • Hawaiian surfers taper the tail of their boards, the design allows them to trim the board diagonally across the wave

  • After “sliding ass” at Brown’s surf, John Kelly grabs an axe and begins the “Hot Curl” revolution

  • Dr. Earnest Smithers of Sydney, Australia invents the inflatable “surf mat”

  • A swimming pool in Wembley, England is equipped with agitators to make waves

  • Surf wave pool opens at Wimbley Swimming pool in England

  • Mutt surfing started by a Sydney physician

  • Tom Blake attaches a 4″ aluminum speedboat keel (stabilizing fin) to a surfboard

  • Marine varnish is applied to wood surfboards, protecting them from water damage

  • California surfer Alfred Gallant, Jr. applies liquid floor wax to his board for traction

  • The Honolulu Advertiser describes Tom Blake’s 116 pound board with a “stabilizer or fin”

  • DuPont invents polyester resin. Refined by the Germans during WW II, it’s stolen by the British

  • Joe Quigg, at age 13, made a redwood board that had slightly upturned nose and tail sections (later called “rocker”)

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Surfboard United States Patent

Blake Hollow

Hermosa Beach Surfing Club

Hollow Board Lorrin Whitey Harrison

1940
THE YEAR IN NUMBERS

WORLD POPULATION:
2.3 billion

US POPULATION:
132 million

AVERAGE U.S. SALARY:
$1,299/year

U.S. PRICES:
Loaf of bread: 13 cents
Gasoline: 11 cents per gallon
Movie admission: 35 cents

I’m just a surfer who wanted to build something that would allow me to surf longer.

~ Jack O’ Neill

1940

  • Gard Chapin designs a wooden keel with angled leading edge and vertical trailing edge

  • Tom Blake is said to have built a two fin board

  • Tom Topanga’s Dave Sweet makes a surfboard from extruded Styrofoam, glassed with epoxy

  • Bob Simmons and Pete Peterson use fiberglass and polyester resin to laminate surfboards

  • Bob Simmons experiments with half moon-shaped fins on his wide-tailed balsa boards

  • Wally Froiseth taught George Downing how to make surfboards, and introduced him to the big surf at Makaha

  • Balsa, fiberglass, and resin become the new board-making materials

  • Los Angeles surfer Bob Simmons making all-balsa “speed” boards

  • Joe Quigg launches the first pintail gun at Malibu in June: built for speed and maneuvering

  • Joe Quigg makes a shorter, lighter surfboard for Darrilyn Zanuck

  • Polystyrene core, balsa rails, plywood deck: Simmons makes a board that weighs 9 pounds

  • Blake makes some hollow surfboards out of aluminum in the late 1940s

  • Simmons, quite possibly unaware of Blake’s two fin board, built some two fin boards

  • George Downing met with surfer/board designer Bob Simmons and learned how to fiberglass surfboards

  • Joe Quigg makes Pintail #2, a “speed board” and “first narrow pintail” for big Hawaiian surf

  • The lighter, shorter “Malibu chip” board makes turning easier and inspires nose-riding

  • Nose-lift, rocker, “soft” rails, two fins; Simmons reinvents the surfboard

  • Joe Quigg makes the first fiberglass fin

  • The Simmons “Spoon” is 10 feet of balsa, thin rails, pointed, “spoon” nose, glassed wooden fin

  • Simmons puts a fin on each corner of his squaretail, inventing what he calls a “duel fin” design

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Woody Brown Hot Curl

Hawaiian Surfer

Owen Churchill Swim Fin, June 8, 1943

Simmons Sandwich

1950
THE YEAR IN NUMBERS

WORLD POPULATION:
2.5 billion

US POPULATION:
152 million

AVERAGE U.S. SALARY:
$5,019/year

U.S. PRICES:
Loaf of bread: 16 cents
Gasoline: 29 cents per gallon
Movie admission: 55 cents

Invention is the talent of youth, as judgement is of age.

~ Jonathon Swift

1950

  • According to Greg Noll, Bob Simmons was the very first to ever try foam in a surfboard

  • Hobie Alter makes balsa boards in his garage

  • George Downing creates the ‘speed skeg’ that with its broad base and narrow tip is 20 years ahead of its time

  • Hawaiian George Downing builds the first wooden ‘fin box’ incorporating a removable ‘speed skeg’

  • Hugh Bradner, in San Francisco, begins work on the first wetsuit

  • First fin box used by Hawaiian George Downing

  • Dave Sweet of Santa Monica builds the first polyurethane-core boards

  • Jack O’Neill introduces his surfing wet suits at Ocean Beach in San Francisco

  • Dale Velzy introduces his popular, easy-riding, wide-tailed “Pig” design

  • Board manufacturer Dale Velzy designs broad ‘dorsal’ shaped fin, attached at the tip of the tail

  • Hobie Alter and “Grubby” Clark begin working on large-scale foam production

  • White zinc oxide used by surfer for sun block, flesh color Australia in 1970

  • Larry Gordon and Floyd Smith build a mold and begin blowing their own foam and building surfboards

  • CSU-Long Beach Art Professor Lee Willmore begins career creating artistic laminated wood fins

  • Surfboard and wetsuit maker Jack O’Neill opens a shop in Santa Cruz, CA

  • George Greenough makes his first balsa kneeboard in high school woodshop

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Dale Velzy Malibu Chip (Balsa)

Tom Zahn and Joe Quigg Wave Break Malibu Surfboard trophy

Dale Velzy, Hap Jacobs and Bill Meistrell at Dive N Surf shop

Surfboard Fins 1950-60

1960
THE YEAR IN NUMBERS

WORLD POPULATION:
3 billion

US POPULATION:
177 million

AVERAGE U.S. SALARY:
$8,346/year

U.S. PRICES:
Loaf of bread: 25 cents
Gasoline: 32 cents per gallon
Movie admission: 75 cents

If you’re having a bad day, catch a wave.

~ Frosty Hesson

1960

  • The typical surfboard ranges in length from 9’6″ to 11’0″ and is 22″ to 24″ wide

  • Hobie Surfboards, now built from the new polyurethane foam, comes with a solid fiberglass fin attached

  • Print fabrics for clothing are laminated onto surfboards to add color and graphics by Bill Holden of Huntington Beach

  • O’Neill and Dive ‘n’ Surf are the top wetsuit manufacturers

  • George Greenough makes a 7′ 8″ x 22″ Baby Surfboard and also his first solid balsa kneeboard

  • The clumsy, rudder-like “D” fin becomes the industry standard, limiting surfboard performance for years

  • George Greenough, an eccentric kneeboarder from Santa Barbara, takes his spoon kneeboards to Australia

  • The Donald Takayama model is released under the Hap Jacobs brand

  • Hobie offers a removable polypropylene fin attached by a screw that tightens through the deck of the board

  • The Lance Carson Signature board model by Jacobs Surfboards is released

  • George Greenough’s “Velo” kneeboard is mostly fiberglass, with foam in the rails

  • Karl Pope designs the Tri-Sect, a travel board that breaks down into three pieces

  • Harbour Surfboards introduces the Trestles Special with the input of Mark Martinson

  • Surfers at the Morey Noseriding contest have boards as short as 8 feet, turbo-fins and tail bricks

  • When most boards are 9′ 9″, Bob McTavishs’ 9′ 4″ for Nat Young is dubbed “Magic Sam”

  • Life magazine calls the skateboard “the most exhilarating and dangerous joy-ride this side of the hot rod”

  • The John Peck Penetrator evolved from the Snub, which was designed by Tom Morey

  • Mike Doyle and Rusty Miller create the first wax designed for surfing

  • First limited-edition signature model “Da Cat” is made by Greg Noll

  • Dewey Weber designs the sport’s most distinctive fin, the narrow-base, wide tipped Hatchet or Turn Fin

  • Dewey’s new fin comes with an optional removeable “Wonder Bolt” fin-box system

  • The Lance Carson model is introduced in conjunction with Jacob’s Surfboards out of Hermosa Beach, California

  • Bing Surfboards introduces the David Nuuhiwa Noserider model.  The design is the all-time winningest noserider

  • Hobie Surfboards introduces the Gary Propper Signature model and it surprises everyone

  • Designed by Bob Purvey as an extreme noserider, the Ugly is introduced by Con Surfboards

  • Nat Young tries a Greenough fin on 9’2″ “Magic Sam.”  Nat wins ’66 World Contest in convincing fashion

  • U.S. Surfboard Championship was first to use computers for scoring surfers

  • The Bing Pipeliner, is an influencial design most big-wave riders want to ride

  • The Surfatorium at Tokyo’s Summerland Water Park is the first wave pool for surfing

  • Hynson, Brewer, Rarrick, Fletcher and others experiment with 8-foot and under “mini guns”

  • Ever-innovative Tom Morey develops W.A.V.E. Set, a removable fin system

  • Steve Lis of San Diego shapes a split-tailed kneeboard he calls the “Fish”

  • Board sailing (windsurfing) is invented in Southern California

  • The Mike Doyle model is introduced by Hansen Surfboards.  This 9’0″ to 11’0″ board sold for $160

  • Made by the Morey-Pope The Blue Machine was designed and ridden by Bob Cooper

  • The C.C. Rider is introduced by Con Surfboards.  Claude Codgen was one of the top East Coast surfers in the ’60s

  • Bob McTavish and Nat Young travel to Hawaii with their newly devised Keyo V–bottomed surfboards

  • Reno Abellira rides a 6′ 10, 7-pound roundtail at the ’68 World Champs in Puerto Rico

  • Average board length drops below 7’0’’

  • Fins Unlimited introduces the “Vari Glas” movable fin system, allowing surfers to experiment with fin placement

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Noseriders 1965-68

George Greenough

Holden Surfboards Logo

Bing Copeland

1970
THE YEAR IN NUMBERS

WORLD POPULATION:
3.7 billion

US POPULATION:
203 million

AVERAGE U.S. SALARY:
$7,564/year

U.S. PRICES:
Loaf of bread: 25 cents
Gasoline: 59 cents per gallon
Movie admission: $1.50

The role of the teacher is to create the conditions for invention rather than provide ready made knowledge.

~Seymour Papert

1970

  • The typical surfboard is produced with one or two layers of 8oz. fiberglass cloth

  • Hobie, Bing and Hansen all market wide squaretail twin fins

  • Bill Bahne’s new Fins Unlimited adjustable channel box is introduced and remains virtually unchanged today

  • San Diego kneeboarder Steve Lis turns heads with his twin-tailed, twin-keeled Fish design

  • Skip Frye designs a wide, thin, mid-length surfboard called the “Egg”

  • Ben Aipa of Hawaii designs double-pinned “swallow-tail”

  • Dewey Weber introduces “the Pig.” The board is incredibly short (5’3″ to 6’3″), with the widest point behind center

  • Ventura surfer Tom Morey invents the boogie board using polyethylene foam, an electric carving knife and an iron

  • Reno Abellira and Dick Brewer experiment with tri-fin designs

  • Pat O’Neill invents the surf leash, which first attaches his wrist to the nose of his board

  • Con Colburn, of Santa Monica, invents the leash plug

  • U.S. Champ Corky Carroll rides the wide-tailed “twin-fin” featuring two double foiled fins set right on the tail

  • Mid-length (6’6″ to 8’0″) narrow-tailed semi-gun speed shapes are popular in California and Hawaii

  • The Campbell brothers of Oxnard, CA introduce their three-finned “Bonzer” design

  • Ben Aipa innovates a spilt-back tail he calls the “swallowtail”

  • Smooth-riding urethane wheels bring skateboarding back in vogue

  • Jim Blears and David Nuuhiwa finish first and second at the World Contest riding Fish

  • Dick Brewer’s broad-based, thick-foiled single fin design is used to 90% of all surfboards built for the next five years

  • Ian Cairns rides a Bonzer to victory at the 1973 Smirnoff, beating Jeff Hakman

  • Hawaii Ben Aipa creates the split-railed, single-fin swallowtail “Stinger” design

  • Mike Doyle and Tom Morey introduce a soft surfboard with interchangeable fins

  • Australian Jim Pollard is credited with shaping the first deep-channel boards. Many embrace the design

  • Surfers Brian Gillogly, Clyde Beatty and Dean Edwards begin refining their “Rocket Fish” a prescient twin fin design

  • The average surfboard is now produced with six-ounce fiberglass cloth on deck and bottom

  • Use of airbrushed color on shaped foam allows abundant color on surfboards without significant weight increase

  • Mark Richards unveils his winged-swallow, towed-in flat-foiled twin-fin design on an unsuspecting public

  • Mark Richards’ version of the twin-fin takes the surf world by storm

  • Michael Barland invents computerized surfboard building in Bayonne, France

  • As surfboards are refined and weight is reduced; surfing maneuvers evolve

  • While the standard board uses 6oz. cloth, 4oz. cloth is slowly being integrated into pro performance surfboards

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Adjustable Fin and Slotted

Gerry Lopez Pipeline Gun

Ben Aipa with Sting Surfboard

Mark Richards Twin Fins Off the Wall

1980
THE YEAR IN NUMBERS

WORLD POPULATION:
4.4 billion

US POPULATION:
227 million

AVERAGE U.S. SALARY:
$15,757/year

U.S. PRICES:
Loaf of bread: 85 cents
Gasoline: $1.25 per gallon
Movie admission: $2.60

No amount of skillful invent can replace the essential element of imagination.

~ Edward Hopper

1980

  • Narrabeen surfer Frank Williams shows his three-fin design to Simon Anderson

  • Multi-fin surfboards (twins and tri-fin) spark a return to non-box, glassed-on fin designs

  • Simon Anderson designs a board that combines the three-fins with the “needle nose”

  • Hobie Surfboards introduces the Peter Pan Slug.  The Slug has becomes one of the best-selling models of all time

  • Simon Anderson adds a double-foiled trailing fin to similar-sized, flat-foiled side fins and calls it The Thruster

  • Subtle channels and concave bottom contours become common in all surfboard design variations

  • Serious experimentation with polystyrene blanks and epoxy resins is initiated in the U.S.

  • Gerry Lopez and other Hawaiian surfers try windsurfing in large North Shore surf

  • Simon Anderson wins Bells, the Surfabout and the Pipe Masters to prove the Thruster

  • Simon Anderson’s guns are swallowtails.  He wins the ’81 Pipe Masters on a 7’6″ swallowtail

  • Squashtails maintain dominance for most small/medium wave designs of the era

  • Cheyne Horan, men’s tour runner-up for the fourth time in his career, tries riding a 5’9″ surfboard at Waimea Bay

  • Four fins make a brief appearance, ridden by Australian pro Glen Winton and California freesurfer Davey Smith

  • Cheyne Horan begins working on the winged keel, inspired by the America’s Cup sailing races

  • Cheyne Horan introduces the winged keel and amazes all by winning the annual Bells Beach contest in Australia

  • Bill Stewart spearheads the modern longboard resurgence with the hydro-hull design concepts

  • John Bradbury, Clyde Beatty, Greg Loehr and others experiment with epoxy resin

  • Sunset Beach superstars Bobby Owens and Mark Foo swear by their oddly-curved, reverse rake Boomerang fins

  • Rash guard made of Lycra first used to prevent wetsuit chafing

  • Tom Curren wins the first of three World Titles riding a Channel Islands Thruster

  • The rubber-silicone nose guard first marketed by Surf Co Products.  Hawaiian Earl Arakawa and Dave Skedeleski developed the guard

  • Herbie Fletcher uses a JetSki to tow Martin Potter during the Pipe Masters in Hawaii

  • Multi-fin big wave guns become commonplace on Oahu’s North Shore

  • Auto-focus 600mm lenses by Canon, Nikon, etc. bring quality surf photography to almost anyone who can afford it

  • Willy Jobson takes the twin-fin, moves the side fins in and adds fins forward on the rail.  The design fails to catch on

  • Surftech develops a mold-lamination process using epoxy resin and polystyrene blanks

  • Warp cloth, a new fiberglass, is introduced but E-cloth remains standard for production boards

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Simon Anderson Tri Fin Surfboard

Curren/Merrick Black Beauty

G&S Team Surfboards

Al Merrick Tri-Fins

1990
THE YEAR IN NUMBERS

WORLD POPULATION:
5.3 billion

US POPULATION:
249 million

AVERAGE U.S. SALARY:
$28,970/year

U.S. PRICES:
Loaf of bread: $1.57
Gasoline: $1.34 per gallon
Movie admission: $4.59

Being ignorant is not so much a shame as being unwilling to learn.

~ Benjamin Franklin

1990

  • Rear-foot traction pads, led by Astrodeck, are standard equipment on performance surfboards

  • Modern longboards (single, tri-fin and 2+1 designs) regain popularity

  • Cut-away fin designs from the windsurfing discipline are adapted for use on modern longboards

  • Applied traction pads for the rear foot, led by Astrodeck, become standard on high performance surfboards

  • Astrodeck creates full deck traction pads for longboards

  • Kelly Slater test-rides the new Typhoon Lagoon wave pool at Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida

  • Longboard resurgence creates a cottage industry of hand made single-fins, fitted to the Fins Unlimited channel box

  • Spray-on deck traction sees a return on both short and longboards

  • The 650cc Yamaha Wave Runner III emerges as the machine of choice for tow surfers

  • UV-Cure resins gain popularity in usage for surfboard ding repair

  • The first signs of color laminations reappear, and gloss-and-polish longboards become popular again

  • After a 30-year absence, 1960s style resin tints and pinlines return on custom longboards

  • Soft, rubber-edged fins are developed for use in interchangeable fin boxes

  • Aussie Brian Whitty designs the FCS plug, the first truly functional system for high performance surfboards

  • After a 30-year absence, resin tints and pinlines return on custom longboards

  • Natural materials like Agave Cactus are used for surfboard blanks with epoxy resins

  • Small (7’0″) solid, heavy wood boards with footstraps become standard big wave tow-in surfing

  • Karl Pope reinvents the two-piece travel board, “The Bi-Sect”

  • Soft surfboards make a comeback with Surftech’s soft-top technology

  • The typical tow-surfing board is down to 7′ x 15″ with lead for extra weight

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Astrodeck Surfboard Traction pads

Kelly Slater Surfboard

Lisa Andersen & Al Merrick 1990-95

Pope Bisect Travelboards

2000
THE YEAR IN NUMBERS

WORLD POPULATION:
6.7 billion

US POPULATION:
305 million

AVERAGE U.S. SALARY:
$40,343/year

U.S. PRICES:
Loaf of bread: $1.72
Gasoline: $1.52 per gallon
Movie admission: $6.50

Style is a natural extension of who you are as a person.

~ Mark Richards

2000

  • Retro board designs from the late 1960s and 1970s are re-evaluated and become very popular

  • Bob “The Greek” Bolen of Huntington Beach invents the Turbo Tunnel Fin

  • Hydro Epic produces a hollow carbon fibre and epoxy resin surfboard series

  • Randy French is voted one of Surfer Magazine’s 25 Most Powerful People in Surfing

  • Clark Foam’s closing is a catalyst for the greatest era of surfboard manufacturing diversity in years

  • Ocean-X constructs prototypes for a transparent skin, polycarbonate surfboard series

  • SurfTech has 10,000 TufLite boards in 150 different flavors in their Huntington Beach warehouse

  • Hemp, bamboo, flax and other natural materials are tried as a replacement for fiberglass cloth

  • The Ron Jon Surfpark project is shut down after millions of dollars fail to produce a wave

  • Kelly Slater wins the Pipe Masters on a 5’11”, four-fin surfboard later called “the Wizard Sleeve”

  • After almost three decades of tri-fin domination, four fin designs begin to make inroads

  • Nathan Fletcher adapts his small wave four fin Stretch models to big wave four fin guns

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Bob ‘The Greek’ Bolen

Turbo Tunnel Fin

Tow-In and SUP (Stand Up Paddle)

The Future Fins

2010
THE YEAR IN NUMBERS

WORLD POPULATION:
6.9 billion

US POPULATION:
309 million

AVERAGE U.S. SALARY:
$42,523/year

U.S. PRICES:
Loaf of bread: $2.49
Gasoline: $2.73 per gallon
Movie admission: $6.50

An invention has to make sense in the world it finishes in, not in the world it started.

~ Tim O'Reilly

2010

  • Scientists equip a board with an accelerometer, and other gauges. They find surfers experience up to 5 g’s

  • Kelly Slater wins the Teahupoo Pro on a four-fin. Later, he wins the U.S. Open at Huntington Beach, also on a four-fin

  • Shane Dorian wins the XXL Ride of the Year Award riding a monster Peahi peak on a John Carper four-fin gun

  • Global Surf Industries layers fiberglass and hand-laid coconut husks to create a surfboard that is 25 percent lighter

  • At the inaugural ASP Big Wave Tour event held at Pico Alto, Peru, 99% of all competitors ride four-fin gun designs

  • Mick Fanning wins the J-Bay Pro in epic conditions riding a Thruster virtually unchanged since 1981

  • Shapers now targeting volume and over-all water displacement (not dimensions) for performance shortboards

  • Surfboard and Fin flex is being seriously studied for future board designs and materials

  • Soft surfboard decks being developed to reduce impact on surfers ankles and feet of aerial landings

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Kelly Slater with five fins surfboard

Shane Horan on McCoy surfboard

Mick Fanning

Mick Fanning at J-Bay Pro