I have shared some of my California trip from this past spring in previous Friday field trips. Today, I am sharing the last – but certainly not least – of visited spots during my quick visit to the West Coast.
Today’s Friday field trip is to the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center in San Clemente, California.
Conducting some research on surfing history prior to my trip made the visit particularly interesting. I read the book Waterman: The Life and Times of Duke Kahanamoku by David Davis and was fascinated with Hawaiian surfing legend Duke Kahanamoku. To find out that Duke’s boards were part of the center’s collection was exciting!
Duke was the first to be inducted into both the surfing and swimming Halls of Fame and is considered the “father of modern surfing.” Being up close to Duke’s personal collection of surfboards – built in the day of wooden boards – was awesome!
These wooden works of art were magnificent to examine. The Flying “V,” circa early 1920’s, made from a solid redwood plank and signed by the legend was my favorite! It stands 9’ 4” and weighs 76 lbs.
This was one of Duke’s personal surfboards purchased from his estate in 1985 for $3,000. Built in the mid-1930’s, standing 11’ 6” and weighing 80 lbs., it was made from redwood, mahogany and balsa.
Dick Metz, the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center founder, served as our tour guide the day of my visit. A surfer from the age of eight, Dick helped inspire Bruce Brown’s landmark 1964 documentary surfing film The Endless Summer and surfing stories were in no short supply that morning!
If you have any interest in the surfing culture, I strongly recommend the Pulitzer Prize winning book Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan. (I read it on the plane ride home from California!)
Thanks for stopping by!
Have a wonderful weekend! Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie