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Surfing Places, Surfboard MakersCraft, Creativity, and Cultural Heritage in Hawaii, California, and Australia$
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Andrew Warren and Chris Gibson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780824838287

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824838287.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use (for details see www.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 19 December 2018

Foam Futures

Foam Futures

Evolution of the Modern Surfboard Industry

(p.84) [3] Foam Futures
Surfing Places, Surfboard Makers

Andrew Warren

Chris Gibson

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter focuses on surfboard making in Hawaiʻi, California, and Australia during the postwar era of foam. Between the late 1940s and mid-1950s, a new foam material was being used in experimental surfboard making: polystyrene or Styrofoam. However, polystyrene foam proved unsuitable for surfboard making, and new type of polyurethane foam emerged that addressed problems of dissolving cores, timber veneers, and unattractive glue marks. This chapter examines how the introduction of foam created new possibilities for establishing formal workshops and a legitimized, commercial industry. It looks at the rapid growth of commercial surfboard workshops and retail outlets, displacing the do-it-yourself culture of board making and giving rise to a wide array of surfboard designs, even as surfboard makers experimented with alternatives to foam. Thanks to foam, the surfboard industry entered an era of greater commercialism and experimentation by leading surfers who became inventors and innovators.

Keywords:   surfboard making, Hawaiʻi, California, Australia, polystyrene foam, polyurethane foam, surfboard workshops, surfboard design, surfboard industry, commercialism

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