Planky - bellyboarding in Europe


From 'Aspects of Leça da Palmeira, Matosinhos and Leixões' (1927)

Pedro Lima c 2010
Photo: Federation of Portuguese Surfing

A film shot in 1927 at the Englishmen Beach (Praia dos Ingleses) at Leça da Palmeira near Porto depicts a group of about 12 in the water, and at least seven people riding together on one wave, prone on bellyboards. The film, Aspects of Leça da Palmeira, Matosinhos and Leixões was photographed by the Portuguese Army Cinematographic Service and located by the writer José Carlos Soare. Macdonald (2012) cites research by José Maria de Oliveira that there was a British community of approximately 90 residing in Leça in the1920s and the these bellyboard riders were probably from that community.

Pedro Lima has been identified as one of the the first Portuguese surfers. In a 2010 interview (Pires 2010) Lima recounted being stationed in the Azores and reading an article on Duke Kahanamoku which sparked his interest in surfing. At his request, his cousin bought him some Churchill fins from Hawaii and by the end of 1946 he was using a 1 meter board to ride waves. Lima was also a spearfisherman.

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