Sunday, June 18, 2017

Surf Riding

"Let's go surfin' now, everyone's learning how..."  The Beach Boys and their surf-centered music of the '60s might have helped popularize the sport, but surfing, or surf riding, was a celebrated local pastime long beforehand. Surfing had been practiced by Hawai'ians for hundreds of years, and as the pre-WWII military buildup on Oahu took place in the 1930s, many a young soldier and sailor - and their girls - took to the waves on their time off, resulting in scenes like this one, probably from the late 1930s or the very early '40s, before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

In the early days, surf boards were wooden beheamoths up to 16 feet long and weighing from 125 to as much as 150 pounds. In 1926, famed surfer Tom Blake developed the hollow redwood board which cut the weight to 100 pounds or under, and in the 1930s began to be mass-produced. Still, compared to the scientifically-engineered composite boards of today, they were massive. 

Big thanks to Debbie at for the help in dating the swimsuits!

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