History Of Surfing Innovation Part 4: Let’s Go Surfing


Ben Whittle, left, surfing beside Sidney Nakamura in a 1957 photo taken by Clarence (Mac) Maki, a pioneer of surfing photography in Hawaii/ NY Times


Let’s Go Surfing : By the 1950’s-60’s the surfing craze was coming in full swing, with surf culture becoming a booming market popularized by surf clothing style and surf music such as the Beach Boys, everybody was going surfing.

In 1950 California, the first true surf entrepreneur opened the doors of a surf shop in Manhattan Beach. His name was Dale Velzy, and he is credited as the first commercial shaper building boards available for wide consumption.Upon the success of the first store in Manhattan Beach, Velzy and his business partner Hap Jacobs opened a store in Venice, CA, creating the innovative new design, a narrow nosed that allowed more radical turns and cutbacks.

Meanwhile the big waves of Hawaii, were calling for a new type of board to master the One of those surfing these waves was George Downing, who in response to the size and power of the waves, created the modern big wave  surfboard. The long, narrow gun was created to be able to easily paddle out and conquer the height and steep faces of the waves.

In 1956, surfing had reached Australia in entirety, with the arrival of a bunch of Californians with innovative Velzy fibreglass Malibu’s shapes. The Malibu’s were in high demand. The Aussies that bought the malibus off the Californians got lucky, but soon everyone wanted a stab at riding these innovative new boards. This led to the mass production in Australia of the Malibu style board. Replacing balsa with plywood, Aussies were beginning to rival the Americans in innovative surfing tech.

Are you looking for a malibu board in the style of the early days? Check out our range of malibus and longboards or customise your own!

Read our next installment of the History Of Surfing Innovation - Part 5: The Shortboard revolution

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