Source Documents
click : surfboards ahoy!, 1941 

Click :  Surfboards Ahoy!, California, 1941
Surfboards Ahoy!

August 1941, pages 43-49.

Old Magazine

Apparently unaccredited, the photographs are most probably by  Dr. Don James.
None of these appear in
Don James' Surfing San Onofre to Point Dume 1936-1942,  San Francisco,1998.

Old Magazine
When you examine the 14 images in the attached article about California surfing in the Forties you're quite likely to come away believing that the stale surfing comedy
Beach Blanket Bingo was actually intended to be an anthropological documentary depicting a long lost Anglo-Saxon culture.
Minus the bikinis, Frankie and Annette the pictures seem like production stills from the MGM archive; long boards do indeed rule, silly hats are evident and you might be surprised to see that bongo-drums were indeed pounded at the prerequisite evening bonfire, as well.

Dana Point Outrigger Club : History

Page 43
Surfboards Ahoy!
Morning, Noon and Night are Times for Fun on California Beaches

Breathtaking and beautiful to watch, surfboarding gives the onlooker many of the same thrills as the surf-rider.
At speeds up to 35 miles per hour, the boards ride the waves.

Riding the surf is the sport of kings - Hawaiian Kings.
But it is fast becoming the sport of all
the lean, the lithe, and the agile, fast becoming democratized  into exciting adventure of thousands of Americans lucky enough to live near the sea.
For hundreds of miles on the California coast, surfboarding at 20 or 30
miles per hour is the height of athletic fashion.
On a tamer scale, it may sweep the East coast as well.

For surf-riding is more than an hours frolic.
It's a whole week-end, camping with your surfboard making your tent walls.
Keynote is yelling "Outside" when a giant breaker is rolling in.

U.S.A.'s best figure like[s] surfboarding.

Old and new cars line the San Onofre Beach as oldsters and youngsters spend week-ends with their polished wooden surfboards, many home-made, and the speeding breakers.

Note the beached outrigger canoe at the top of the photograph.
Continued on next page.

Page 44
Surfboards Ahoy! Continued.

Surfboarders on the beach rise at sunrise ...
from their tent pitched on the sand at the beginning of a nerve-tingling week-end.
The sky is scanned for clouds, the sea is scanned to see if the breakers will run high.
For the sport consists of making use of the speed of the sea.

A bed is made by rolling it up ...
in the case of week-enders who sleep in blanket rolls or sleeping      bags on the sand at San Onofre, half way between San Diego and Los Angles.
Out-of-doors life has little time of sleepy-heads or slug-a-beds, and everyone shares the work.
 Page 45

Paddling your own is the rule ...
even if two try to ride on a surfboard.
Half the art consists in getting into place to ride the breakers, perhaps half a mile from shore.
The other half consists of keeping your balance once you've timed your ride on one of the big ones.

[Pete Peterson and friend ?]

Catching a big one outside ...
so that your board slides along before the green swell just as it attains breaking height, os the way to ride a quarter mile at thrilling speed.
Beginners hug their boards, experts know how to stand up on their feet and how to stay up!

Note the knee-paddle take-off and the female boardrider.

Page 46

The end of the surfing day ...
comes with the setting sun and muscles are tied, as stomachs are hungry.
Surfing lasts from six in the morning until the water flattens out at dusk and the chill of the evening settles over the entire beach.
This can't be humdrum!

Darkness signals bonfire time ...
and the beach glows with driftwood fires as a picnic supper caters to the inner sportsman.
Eating on the sand is informal as a blanket, as friendly as moonlight, as jolly as a holiday, and as hearty as a sailor.
Everyone asks for seconds.
Page 47

One way to get dressed is behind a sheet ...
if there is some one to hold it up for you and the wind isn't too strong.
A surfboard of redwood and balsa may make one wall of your tent for a night, a beach umbrella may make a roof.
Plenty of salt air and the sea's roar to bring deep sleep.

And appetites are strong near the ocean ...
as the smell of coffee and frying ham- and - blows a mess call.
A surfboard makes a kitchen table, the sand makes a place to park the baby carriage, and the women-folk get breakfast ready while the city dwellers are still asleep
Page 48

And racing shore ward on Neptune power ...
is no skill for the timid.
It takes the courage of timing, the daring of perfect balance, and the bravery of facing a spill and knowing what to do.
But the rewards are high as you stand upright, racing along at half a mile a minute on a wave crest.

[Jack Fuller and Pete Peterson, Venice Pier,1940, see below.]

An outrigger canoe also rides the waves ...
in the fashion of the Hawaiians.
Expert paddling is even more necessary here, to avoid having the wave leave you far behind.
Solo surfboarders race the canoes towards shore, everyone feels the salt spray and the ocean breeze on his face.

Page 49

And music signals Hawaiian dance time ...
as salt-sprayed youngsters prove that, Hawaiian fashion, they can hula on the sand as well as waltz on the wave.
The chaperons may be aunts, grandmothers [f]or the spirit of wholesome fun that makes our youth gregarious as it is hilarious.

And moonlight whispers "bashful time."
The beach-fire embers burn out, the tired athletes of the speeding deep think of sleep and another day of wave-riding on the bucking surfboard steeds.
And Mr. and Miss wonder "What's he want to take photographs for, anyway?"

1940 Venice Pier. Jack Fuller and Pete Peterson.
Peterson built surfboards, which he sold shaped for
the price of thirty-five dollars.

Units sanded and coated with five coats of Val Spar Marine
Varnish went for ten dollars more.

Here Pete is seen letting Fuller test ride his board at the
old Venice Pier.

1940 Venice Pier. Jack Fuller and Pete Peterson.
Here, Peterson and Fuller appear to be riding their own boards during the same session as shown left.

James, Don:
Surfing San Onofre to Point Dume 1936-1942
 San Francisco, 1998, page 95, notes page 136.


Geoff Cater (2016) : Click : Surfboards Ahoy!, California, 1941.