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The evolution of the surfboard- from traditional Hawaiian folk designs to masterpieces of mathematical engineering to mass-produced fiberglass. Surfboards were once made of wood and shaped by hand- objects of both cultural and recreational significance. Today most surfboards are mass-produced with fiberglass and a stew of petrochemicals- moving (or floating) billboards for athletes and their brands- emphasizing the commercial rather than the cultural. Surf Craft maps this evolution- examining surfboard design and craft with 150 color images and an insightful text. From the ancient Hawaiian alaia- the traditional board of the common people- to the unadorned boards designed with mathematical precision (but built by hand) by Bob Simmons- to the store-bought longboards popularized by the 1959 surf-exploitation movie Gidget- board design reflects both aesthetics and history. The decline of traditional alaia board riding is not only an example of a lost art but also a metaphor for the disintegration of traditional culture after the Republic of Hawaii was overthrown and annexed in the 1890s.In his text- Richard Kenvin looks at the craft and design of surfboards from a historical and cultural perspective. He views board design as an exemplary model of mingei- or art of the people- and the craft philosophy of Soetsu Yanagi. Yanagi believed that a designs true beauty and purpose are revealed when it is put to its intended use. In its purest form- the craft of board building- along with the act of surfing itself- exemplifies mingei. Surf Craft pays particular attention to Bob ... Please click here to ask a question
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