<

Paipo - Belly boarding in Australiasia


New South Wales # 4



Bellybogger
Photo Dick Ash.


Ian Anderson on a finless wood paipo.

North of Sydney


Just north of Palm Beach, John Monie made a bellyboard (4ft10" x 20" x 3"). How many he made and whether it was ridden prone or kneeling is not known.


Monie bellyboard
Photo http://www.soulsurf.com.au/

Monie bellyboard
Photo http://www.soulsurf.com.au/

Monie bellyboard
Photo http://www.soulsurf.com.au/

The late Frank Latta (formerly of Cronulla) was riding a bellyboard of his own design around Valla Beach at the time of his death. Further north, Rod Dahlberg made his wife, Adrienne, a "fibreglass boogie board" around 1977-78. The boards featured four channels and two small keel fins on the rail. Adrienne still rides these boards (Dahlberg 2013). Dan Webber advised that his brother Greg, a business partner of Dahlberg, also made his wife Diana Lobry, a bellyboard. These boards were surfed around Angourie (Webber 2013). Country Style from Yamba also produced bellyboards in the 1980's.





1980s Country Style bellyboard. Photo by Warren King.



Country style bellyboard

Country style bellyboard

Country style bellyboard

Nearby, Paul Witzig rides a bellyboard based on a Reno Abellira template. The board features a set of horns which are used for turning. Ian Anderson (Anderson 2008) rides an Hawaiian Paipo Design and homemade wood boards on the north area. Andrson (2013) recalls Ross Harvey surfing a plywood bellyboard with single fin at Yamba main beach in the early to mid 1970s. Harvey's father was from England a Grafton medical practitioner. Anderson speculated that the board being influenced by UK boards. Anderson's motivation to get interested in paipo boards followed a 2006 surfing injury. Anderson came across the Hawaiian Paipo Design (HPD) website (the successor to the 1960s Paipo Nui board). Anderson recalled: "The HPD was very fast but felt a bit big in a lot of north coast beach breaks. In early 2009 I built a smaller HPD inspired board out of Paulownia and continue to ride this board regularly. It is 40"long by 24" wide with a Simmons type foil ands this is the board in the accompanying photo. I have also built a few pocket paipo which are approximately 24" x 14 " and have the same design influences. The best description for pocket paipo is 'high speed bodysurfing' and they are great fun in punchy little shorebreaks. My design preference is for low flotation, flat, fast and finless boards. Not having to use a leash is another bonus. Currently I am playing with plywood and vacuum bags to make cheaper flexy boards". Lewis Hayward has also been experimenting with bellyboards and rides them in the Yamba area.


2006 Witzig belllyboard.
Photo Paul Witzig.

2006 Witzig belllyboard.
Photo Paul Witzig.


Ian Anderson finless paipo

Anderson paipo and pocket paipo

Ian Anderson finless paipo

Further north in Byron Bay Ash continues to make and ride bellyboards (Ash 2009) Originally based in Avalon, Dick Ash (Ash 2009) first produced a bellyboard around 1960 when he cut up an old broken balsa board. Almost a decade later, around 1970 Ash produced the bellybogger, a roto moulded hollow plastic board. After these boards were banned from use within the 'flags' and with the advent of the Morey Boogie board Ash ceased production. Operating out of Noosa at the time, in 1994 Dick Ash advertised a new bellybogger model. He estimated that he sold 50 of these boards. Now based around Byron Bay, in 2010 Ash released a new version of the bellybogger. Also in Byron Bay, Dennis Anderson at Jet surfboards produced some bellyboards around 1979 while Dain Thomas, who produces Sea Surfboards has experimented with finned, paipo.




Dick Ash bellyboards. Photo courtesy Dick Ash.


Balsa bellyboard made by Dick Ash.

Dick Ash and bellyboggers.

Dick Ash Bellybogger. http://www.bellybogger.com


Ad. for Dick Ash bellyboards.


Jet bellyboard by Dennis Anderson.
Photo courtesy Gary Clist.

Further north, and an advertisement for a Tweed Heads Surfriders contest on April 1973 included division for the "neglected" (Unknown 1973). In more recent times Jon Jenkins and Jeff Latham ride prone around Cabarita. Jenkins makes Tube Rocket boards and acknowledges a debt to Glen Winton in relation his quad finned boards. A more recent entry is Al Bruce's twin fin/quad stringerless EPS boards with hybrid cloths, carbon/basalt cloth to the deck/rails and fibreglass/carbon insert on the bottom. Native paipo.



Glen Winton inspired quad finned Tube Rocket.
Photo Jon Jenkins

Hull entry single concave Native paipo
Photo Al Bruce

Hull entry single concave Native paipo
Photo Al Bruce

Extras



Lewis Hayward board
Photo Lewis Hayward

Originally the board was going to be finless
Lewis Hayward



Lewis Hayward bellybogging
Photo Lewis Hayward

Lewis and bellybogger
Lewis Hayward

Lewis Hayward bellybogging
Photo Lewis Hayward

Section Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Paipos, bellyboards, lameroos, chestboards - what's in a name?
  3. Australia pre 1950s
  4. New Zealand pre 1950s
  5. The mixed fortunes of bellyboards since the 1950s.
  6. Cronulla and south
  7. Maroubra to Bronte
  8. Manly to Palm Beach
  9. the North coast
  10. Victoria
  11. Queensland
  12. South Australia
  13. Western Australia
  14. Tasmania
  15. New Zealand from the 1960s
  16. Final comments, acknowledgements and information sources