Encyclopedia of Coastal Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Charles W. Finkl, Christopher Makowski


  • William R. DallyEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-48657-4_307-2

The origins of surfing are believed to date back to the ancient Polynesians, well before Captain James Cook became the first westerner to document surfboard riding, ca. 1777 (see Lueras 1984). Simply hand-carved planks of wood, the first surfboards were large (up to 5 m in length), heavy, and difficult to control. Subsequent evolution during the 1920s to 1950s included hollowing the board, as well as shaping from balsa. In the early 1960s, the advent of synthetic foam and fiberglass ushered in the modern era of surfing, and forever changed the nature of the sport by making surfboards shorter, lighter, faster, and more maneuverable. The modern surfboard is typically made of hightech, composite materials with high strength-to-weight ratios. A custom-made board starts as a “blank,” consisting of a foam core with one or more wooden stringers running its length to provide strength. After cutting to rough dimensions, the blank is shaped by hand, and the finished core is then covered with...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Surfbreak Engineering Services, Inc.Melbourne BeachUSA