Place: North America
Wisconsin native Tom Blake patented the hollow surf/paddle board in 1930, using ribs to create hollow chambers and covering the craft with a thin wood veneer.
“Okole Maluna”, Hollow Surfboard, 1937
Lt. Charles Audet, San Francisco, California
Once used only by Hawaiian royalty, surfboards were originally made of solid wood and were quite heavy and difficult to maneuver. Wisconsin native Tom Blake patented the hollow surf/paddle board in 1930, using ribs to create hollow chambers and covering the craft with a thin wood veneer. Charles Audet made this board according to Blake’s design and used it in the waters near San Francisco.
In addition to their recreational uses, hollow boards were important rescue and lifesaving devices.
My new hollow board makes the paddle out there simple and the swells can be easily picked up, just as the ancients could do with their olo boards of wili wili and koa. So those who have hollow boards are taking to the big Kalahuewehe surf more and more each year and eventually will have the spirit of big wave riding as popular as in the olden days.
– Tom Blake, The Hawaiian Surfboard 1935
Origin: California, San Francisco, USA