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joseph svec : king of hawaiian sports, 1940 

Joseph F. Svec : King of Hawaiian Sports, 1940.
Svec,Joseph F.: King of Hawaiian Sports
United States Army Recruiting News
U.S. Army, Recruiting Publicity Bureau, Governors Island, N.Y.,
Volume 23 Number 3, May 1940.

Hathi Trust

Although the cover clearly displays the title as United States Army Recruiting News, Hathi Trust catalogues the magazine as Life of the Soldier and the Airman.

Page 7

King of Hawaiian Sports
Surfing, Favorite Pastime of Ancient Kanakas, Still Practiced in Hawaiian Waters
By JOSEPH R. SVEC, Private, first class, Finance Department

SOLDIERS in the Hawaiian Department stationed in and around Honolulu are indeed fortunate to be close to the famous Waikiki Beach.
There they have an opportunity to participate in "King of Hawaiian Sports"— Surfing.

Baseball, basketball, boxing and the other sports have their thrills; but the thrill of depending on a small board on a swell ten to fifteen feet high, gliding through space at speeds ranging from fifteen to thirty-five miles an hour, pounding the surf as the comber breaks, feeling that sudden jump forward of the board, with a spray of salt water over you, gives you an unbelievable
sense of attainment with each completed ride, far greater than the combined thrills of that ten-second knockout or that timely base hit in the last of the ninth.

The popularity of surfing is attested by the devotion to the sport of the early natives of the islands, and through the years its popularity has been enhanced by the thrills it has furnished each Hawaiian generation.
Today, more than ever, many peoples from all corners of the earth enjoy themselves daily in Hawaii at this unusual sport.
Surfing is good clean fun, healthful, a great body-builder; increases swimming ability; keeps one out in the open air, and, consequently, in good physical condition.
A wonderful example of the benefits derived from surfing is portrayed by the islands' most beloved citizen, Duke Kahanamoku, at present the sheriff and unofficial greeter of the islands.

Surfboards are made from balsa, koa, and California redwood.
They vary in length from nine to sixteen feet, and weigh from forty-four pounds to one hundred and twenty-five pounds.
The most popular and modern in design is the "Tom Blake," designed and patented by Tom Blake, the Hawaiian surfboard paddling champion in 1930, and former member of the Waikiki Beach Patrol.
It is a hollow board, twelve feet, ten inches in length, and weighs only forty-four pounds.
Being light, streamlined, and buoyant, it is easily handled—which accounts for its great popularity at Waikiki.

Retail sales prices for new boards range from twenty-five to seventy-five dollars, depending on material, length, and type of board chosen.
Boards can be rented for prices ranging from fifty cents to a dollar and a half for a day's surfing, the price naturally being determined by the quality and type of board rented.

Position on the board, paddling, sliding, balance, and ability to judge waves are the fundamentals of surfing, and though simple, should be mastered by every surfer in order to derive the greatest enjoyment from the sport.

Position on the board is to lie flat on the stomach, the body well in the center of the board at all times, so that the board lies level
on the surface of the water, the legs and feet together with toes pointed backward and touching the end of the board, keeping shoulders and head raised slightly.

Paddling is the second requirement of surfing and it is the most strenuous part of this sport.
Avoid reaching out away from the board in taking strokes and in carrying the stroke back too far, as this practice is tiresome and unnecessary.
Hold the arms a few inches from and alongside the board, hands cupped, fingers together, and take long strokes, with a steady pull, relaxing the arms momentarily after the stroke has been completed and before continuing the next stroke.
Steady strokes coming down alongside the board are easiest and obtain the best results.

To know how to slide accurately and turn quickly are the most important phases of surfing.
It is essential to master the technique of these two maneuvers, or unnecessary, and sometimes serious, accidents will result on crowded days.
Sliding prevents the board from "diving" and must be done on each wave immediately after feeling the board shooting forward on the slope of the wave.
Sliding and turning is accomplished by dragging either foot in the water, depending on the direction to be taken.
To slide or turn to the right, the surfer uses the right foot, to the left, the left foot.

Surfing standing up should be done in one motion to insure stead-

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King of Hawaiian Sports
(Continued from Page Seven)

iness and prevent loss of balance, and is accomplished after one has caught the wave and completed the
Grasp the side of the board about mid-board, getting up with one forward movement and placing the left foot about six inches beyond the center of the board, with the right foot eight to ten inches in the rear of the left.
There should be a spread between both feet of about ten inches in order to assure balance.
Everyone has his own particular way of standing; some riders prefer the right foot out front instead of the left.

Balancing while standing is done by the use of the arms and the shifting of the rider's weight from one foot to the other.
Short steps are taken forward or backward as required, this is determined by strict observance of the front of the board and its position in the water.
Beginners naturally have little ability to judge waves and at first must be content with observing and following the old timers at the sport.
The ability to judge waves comes gradually to the surfer from many hours of practice.

Surfboards are not restricted to surfing.
Their value has been proven many times as an outstanding aid for life-saving on beaches here and throughout the mainland.
The Waikiki Beach Patrol* finds unlim- ited entertainment during off-duty hours by using the boards for surf-board water polo, paddling racing, both single and tandem; also surf-board sailing.

Many soldiers do take the opportunity to participate in surfing, mostly on week-ends; also a fair number own and keep their boards in and around Waikiki.
Fort De Russy keeps surfboards on the beach for the enjoyment of the commissioned and enlisted personnel.

*The Waikiki Beach Patrol is an organized body of men sponsored by the City and Territory for the safeguarding of swimmers on public beaches in and around the city of Honolulu.
They are also experts in the handling of outrigger canoes and surfboards.

United States Army Recruiting News
U.S. Army, Recruiting Publicity Bureau, Governors Island, N.Y.,
Volume 23 Number 3, May 1940.

Hathi Trust


Geoff Cater (2017) : Joseph Svec : King of Hawaiian Sports, 1940.