If you live near any kind of body of water with waves big enough to surf on, you probably know what a surfboard is. Also, anyone who's ever listened to the Beach Boys knows how popular surfing used to be. Now, it's probably just as popular, but not throughout the whole country. However, when surfing was just starting up, not many people other than those near a beach knew about it. And the first surfboards are something hardly anyone knows about today except for surfers themselves.
The first surfboards were made out of solid wood; it was the only thing that people knew would float for sure. But since they were solid, they could weigh as much as 100 pounds. Another amazing thing was their length. They were usually about 16 feet long in the early 1900's and they stayed that way untill the 1930's.
In the 1930's, boards were cut down to 11 feet in length and still only shortened to 10 feet in the late 1950's. Finally, in the middle of the 1970's, surfboards were made at 6 feet which is a little longer than our 5 foot boards today, considering the length that they started out at.
Their weight is the other thing that has changed drastically. Since they're made out of lightweight foam and coated in fiberglass, now, the least they weigh is around 5 pounds. This, as well as the new height, makes them easier to ride and manuver through the waves. Below is a list of dates when a "major" change took place in the making of a surfboard.
1900s -- 14 feet long, 90 pounds
1930s -- 11 feet long, 60 pounds
1950s -- 10 feet, 50 pounds
1960s -- 9 feet 5 inches, 45 pounds
1970s -- 6 feet, 38 pounds
1980s -- 5 feet 2 inches, 15 pounds
These numbers are not exact, but they are each about the average for their time. When surfboards were invented, they were used by lifegaurds until they switched to using a paddle board. Now, they are used mainly for having fun.
Another important thing that was included as fun but is not around any longer is a woody. This was a type of car that was completely trimmed with wood. This car was a favorite, and still is, especially to surfers. When they first came out, they were incredibly cheap which meant that a surfer could easily fit it into his budget. While they were still being produced up until the fifties, they were easy to come by. This meant that once the car started breaking down, the owner would often abandon it by the side of the road, or sell it to someone else for a lot less than they had paid for it.
It wasn't until near when they stopped being made that many people wanted to restore them. Earlier, they were only restored if someone had needed a car and bought a broken-down woody. But by this time, it was too late for many of the cars. The wood pannelling had not been taken care of properly, and so it was likely that it had started to rot away. This is one of the reasons that these cars are so valued today. Some older surfers may even own and use a real wooden surfboard along with driving this car, but that is very rare.
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