Source Documents
charles duborow : surfboard riding, 1916 

Charles B. Duborow : Surf-Board Riding, 1916.
Durborow, Charles B.: Surf-Board Riding.
Mind and Body.
The Turner Publishing Company
New Ulm, Minnesota.
Volume 23 Number 250, June 1916

 Hathi Trust


Page 155

Surf-Board riding is an aquatic sport that had its birth in the South Sea Islands.
It is more thrilling than motorboat racing or sailing.
The Hawaiians are the most proficient
surf-board riders known.
This was a favorite diversion of Duke Kohanamoku (
sic) on one of his visits to this country, and many may recall his rides on the breakers at Atlantic City, where he was greatly handicapped by being without his surfboard and having to make any old board fill its place.
In southern Calfornia this sport is taking a firm hold, but to date Cliff Bowes, the high diving champion, and Vance Veith, swimming coach of the Los Angeles Athletic Club, are the only two masters of the sport and the only two that dare ride a big
board standing on their heads and feet.

Page 156

Most persons ride a board by lying on it, but this is very dangerous if one is not familiar with the trick of balance.
To learn to ride a surfboard a novice should use a board about four feet long and about 16 inches wide, and should be careful not
to get in a very rough surf.
One should first of all learn what kind of waves are suitable to surfboard riding.
If the waves are high and break heavily a novice should pass them up on every occasion.
Waves that merely roll in are not dangerous to a beginner.
In going out beyond the breaker line one should always remember to push the board out in front of him, never pushing it out sideways, otherwise one is likely to get a severe blow on the side of the head.
After you get beyond the breaker line lie out on your board and paddle with both hands until you are on a line with the waves.
Turn your board shoreward and wait until the right kind of a wave comes along.
Double waves should be allowed to pass undisturbed.
When you behold a good wave coming paddle hard toward the shore, and after you get going on the crest of the wave stop
paddling and hold on to the sides of the board, and be very careful that you do not get too far forward, as your board will dip and
over you will go.
If you have to get off your board always do so from the side, getting on in the same manner.
This once mastered, you are ready to learn how to stand upon your board, which amounts to plain practice, but it must be constant, as the balancing is a matter of “practice makes perfect.”
When you are proficient in standing and balancing you are then ready to turn acrobat.

The Hawaiian surf boards and those which Veith and Bowes use are made of redwood, being nine feet long and weighing 165
The islanders and those hailing from Lower California can enjoy this sport the year around, as the ocean never cools off and in midwinter surf-board riding is the main sport.
There is no reason why the sport should not become popular along the Atlantic coast, except that all our beaches are so crowded
that it might prove dangerous to bathers.
The life guards at the various resorts often enjoy surf riding in their boats when the bathers are few.
They row out beyond the breaker line and pull slowly toward shore until they see a huge green monster approaching, when they row furiously until the boat is on the very crest of the wave, and the occupants enjoy a thrilling ride to the beach.
It is the same with swimming, as the swimmer, just like the surf-board rider and life guard, can paddle out beyond the foam-

Page 157

ing billows, and when he sees a large wave approaching by swimming hard until he is on the very crest and then lying extended with hands outstretched in front and feet straight out behind, he, too, can have the same kind of a joy ride.
The swimmer, just like the surf-board rider, will find it difficult to get his ride at first, or if he does it will be short, but with
practice he rapidly acquires the knack of it and has another way of enjoying the countless pleasures of surf bathing.

Mind and Body.
The Turner Publishing Company
New Ulm, Minnesota.
Volume 23 Number 250, June 1916

 Hathi Trust


Geoff Cater (2017) : Charles Duborow : Surf-Board Riding, 1916.