Freeze Frame (Photos)

Nalu: Big Wave Boards -- 8/23/02

Downtown Honolulu is not where I expected to find a surfboard showcase, but that's exactly where the latest surf exhibit in Hawaii was held. "Nalu: 40Years of Big Wave Boards" was a neat retrospect into the history of boards specifically designed to tackle big waves (15' Haw'n scale and up).

It was really neat seeing the evolution of the equipment that was being ridden, from the old chambered balsa boards all the way up to the modern tow-in foam/fiberglass jobs. I must admit that it didn't hold as much romance for me since I didn't live through the evolution. However, being able to stand next to these huge guns and feel the rails really gave a sense of magnitude as to the type of waves that they were taking on.

I didn't stay too long though--my daughter was a bit antsy. Just long enough to take some pics and absorb the ambiance.

Multi-stringer.  More stringers; more strength. Need that for the big stuff.
Greg Noll Logo.  Most people know that Greg rode arguably the biggest wave ever paddled into. What they may not know is that he also was a solid shaper and photographer.
Woodwork.  Can't imagine how long it would take to craft a board out of wood. There is artistry everywhere you look.
Posing.  For scale, my daughter is 47.5 inches tall. This board is pretty wide.
Tow Boards.  These boards clearly illustrate how far big wave riding has come. I believe the boards in the foreground are some of the newer paddle-in big wave guns, while the two in back are the latest tow-in designs. Those tow boards are less than eight feet long and are really heavy with lots of layers of laminate for strength.
Memorabilia.  The showcase held some cool magazines and imagery of big wave riding. Check out the Ken Bradshaw poster. That wave was *not* the big one he rode in 1998.
Backlit Gun Show.  The boards were displayed tastefully like the pieces of art they are. The available natural light was good.
Frontlit Gun Show.  A little better view of the boards on display. Note the Lightning Bolts, from the 70's, the boards of choice during that era.
Old School Fins.  Fin design have come a long way. Wonder if they have these shapes in FCS? :-)
Duke.  An old Duke contest trophy from the famed big wave event was also on display. It was really nice seeing that the father of modern surfing is finally being acknowledged with his own postage stamp.

Aloha from Paradise,