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29-Jun-2017 17:45

Certainly, Oceania, if not Polynesia, was the center of wave riding since ancient times and into the present.

In ancient Hawaiian times "the construction of the few remaining papa he'e nalu (pa-pa HAY-ay NA-lu) -- the wave sliding boards of ancient Hawaiians -- still show sophisticated parabolic contours, demonstrating a high degree of development.

The term appears to have been coined by Hawaiian surfers in Waikiki circa 1900, where it was commonly used to mean bodysurfing or bodysurfing with a small wooden bodyboard.

The literal translation of pae po`o is "ride [a wave] head-first", or in other words, bodysurf, and a papa pae po`o was a bodysurfing board, or what surfers today call a bodyboard.

Houston (1996, Pomgranate Artbooks, San Francisco). Forced to migrate into the vast region by the push of population and the pull of the horizon, the first Polynesians arrived in the Hawaiian Islands in the fourth century A. The Polynesians who made the arduous journey from Tahiti and the Marquesas to Hawai'i were necessarily exceptional watermen and women who brought a deep love and knowledge of the ocean with them.

The Men sometimes 20 or 30 go without the Swell of the Surf, & lay themselves flat upon an oval piece of plank about their size and breadth, they keep their legs close on top of it, & their arms are us'd to guide the plank, they wait the time for the greatest Swell that sets on Shore, & altogether push forward with their Arms to keep on its top, it sends them in with a most astonishing Velocity, & the great art is to guide the plank so as always to keep it in a proper direction on the top of the Swell, & as it alters its direction.

If the Swell drives him close to the rocks before he is overtaken by its break, he is much praised."Source: Lt.

He re-designed it early in 1956 and applied for a patent on it on May 9, 1956.

The decal was used only on his paipo boards, not on his surfboards.

Houston (1996, Pomgranate Artbooks, San Francisco). Forced to migrate into the vast region by the push of population and the pull of the horizon, the first Polynesians arrived in the Hawaiian Islands in the fourth century A. The Polynesians who made the arduous journey from Tahiti and the Marquesas to Hawai'i were necessarily exceptional watermen and women who brought a deep love and knowledge of the ocean with them.

The Men sometimes 20 or 30 go without the Swell of the Surf, & lay themselves flat upon an oval piece of plank about their size and breadth, they keep their legs close on top of it, & their arms are us'd to guide the plank, they wait the time for the greatest Swell that sets on Shore, & altogether push forward with their Arms to keep on its top, it sends them in with a most astonishing Velocity, & the great art is to guide the plank so as always to keep it in a proper direction on the top of the Swell, & as it alters its direction.

If the Swell drives him close to the rocks before he is overtaken by its break, he is much praised."Source: Lt.

He re-designed it early in 1956 and applied for a patent on it on May 9, 1956.

The decal was used only on his paipo boards, not on his surfboards.

Also see The Surfer's Journal, Volume 6, Number 4, Winter 1997. The book's caption reads, "An early painting of an Hawaiian girl riding a surlboard in the pre-missionary days." Of course, that doesn't mean kids can't have fun on planks of wood to shoot the curl!