Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Ancient Hawaiian boards

Hawaiians at a beach Hale, claiming pecking order rights.

An unusual, hollow left at Queens
A proud Hawaiian with his new board.

Then, a coat of Kukui nut oil was applied with a Pandanas kernel, that was pounded to make a brush
Finally sanding with water, and sharkskin
Next came rubbing with different grades of sand.

The initial smoothing was done with various grades of coral blocks, as well as some charring with fire, and scraping.

Shaping the Koa blank with an Adz.

Splitting a Koa log. Hawaiians used the center portion of a Koa log for their canoes, and the sides split off for surfboard blanks, as well as many other applications. Koa wood has the interesting property, in that, it is very hard, but is also brittle, and splits very clean
Attaching the shaped Adz blade to a pre-formed wooden handle, using Coconut Senet to tie it with
Grinding the Adz head on a grindstone, using various grades of sand
Creating an Adz blade for shaping the Koa Wood blank. It is shaped by chipping at it with a Hammerstone. The blade is made of hardened Basalt

Ancient Hawaiian surfboards

In the early days of surfing in ancient Hawaii. Surfing was a deeply spiritual affair, from the art of riding waves itself, to praying for good surf, to rituals surrounding building a surfboard. Surfing was not only a recreational activity, it was also a training exercise for Hawaiian chiefs and a means of conflict resolution. There were two kinds of surfboard in these times, an 'Olo' (rode by the chiefs or the noblemen known as the 'Alii') and a 'Alaia' (rode by the commoners). The wooden boards were made using the Wili Wili, the Ula and the Koa tree's. And ranged from 10 to 16 feet long depending on social class… 10-12 feet for commoners and 14-16 feet for the noblemen and chiefs.

The following illustrations take you through the steps the ancient Hawaiian's went through to build their boards and tools. art by surf artist RON CROCI from