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Last Updated: Friday, 1 July, 2005, 20:24 GMT 21:24 UK
Surfboard design exhibition opens
'Shaper' George Greenough with his blue fin tuna inspired fin, 1966. Copyright: John Witzig
The first boards were made in the 1940s
Surfing enthusiasts have the chance to find out about the history of their most vital piece of equipment.

Shape and Shapers - The Evolution of the Surfboard is an exhibition at the Design Museum beginning on Saturday.

It will chart the development from the do-it-yourself boards of the 1940s and 1950s, to the technologically advanced boards of today.

The show tells the story of shapers - surfers who design boards - through film, photographs, sketches and boards.

When surfing first became popular in Hawaii, California and Australia during the early 20th Century, surfers used wooden long boards modelled on those of the ancient Hawaiian kings, who demonstrated strength, agility and power through their surfing prowess.

By the 1960s lighter boards were made from balsawood and polyurethane foam covered in fibreglass.

Australian shapers such as George Greenough, Bob McTavish and Nat Young developed even lighter, shorter boards to enable surfers to ride more powerful waves.

The exhibition runs from 2 July to 9 October.


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