First designed and built by national swimming champion, inventor, author, actor and surfer Tom Blake, these innovative, hollow-core surf/paddle boards dominated the surfing world until the late 1940's. While prior surfboard designs consisted of solid wooden boards dating back to the ancient Hawaiians, these new-concept, lighter boards were an immediate success and became extremely important in the evolution of the modern surfboard. Highly collected, the few remaining boards are extremely rare and exceptionally expensive.
Hand built with great reverence and respect for one of the most remarkable surfers in the history of the sport, these artistic reproductions of Tom Blakes’ early boards are constructed of carefully selected hem fir, cedar, pine and redwood. The framework is fashioned into a series of transverse braces or ribs, bow and stern blocks and side rails with lateral battens and angle bracing, creating an extremely strong skeleton. Decking consists of triple laminate ply, mahogany veneer or redwood stripping, glued every square inch and fastened every four inches across the braces and down rails. Sealed and finished in a broad selection of colors, each board is detailed to resemble a well-worn original, right down to the brass drain plug and brass screws affixed every 6 inches down the deck and both rails.
These exquisite, sculptural reproductions are constructed entirely by hand and every attempt is made to capture the grandeur and visual splendor evoked by the sight of these magnificent wave riders. Each board is custom shaped and can be ordered by style, shape, size and color depending on individual preferences.This magnificent design is a replica of the board Tom Blake used to win the 1930 Hawaiian Open Paddling Championship. Blake wrote that he was inspired by the ancient Hawaiian "olo" solid wood surfboards and the English racing boats and that it took nearly three years to develop this new board.
Huge and radical even by contemporary standards these majestic models are made for the paddling enthusiast. Rather than the "kook box" or flat bottom box design synonymous with the hollow board design these big boys feature a carefully crafted round bottom hull that sweeps over the entire surface in a continuous arch. Interior ribs are very carefully hand shaped in successive sizes to which the exterior skin veneer is slowly affixed allowing the material to conform to curve and sweep creating a hull that minimizes resistance while maximizing displacement over the paddling surface. To compliment directional control a historically accurate hand carved, clear redwood keel fin is fitted to each board after which the entire board is fiberglassed with a tight weave marine cloth and polished to a deep gloss finish.
Colored boards are very carefully water sanded to simulate years of exposure and our hand tinted color palette insures that each board is imparted with a unique antique surface.
Redwood Keel fins are hand shaped from select recycled clear redwood with special attention given to grain quality, wear and surface imperfections, which when fiberglassed insures a surface that captures the integrity and character of the wood.
Finally, to insure hull integrity all Champions are fiberglassed over the entire hull and deck surfaces, sealed in three coats of polyester resin and hand polished to a lustrous gloss.
Approximate Dimensions: 14 long x 24 inches wide x 5 inches thick.
Approximate Weight: 60 to 70 lbs.