Always click on the LEGENDARY SURFERS icon to return to this homepage. LEGENDARY SURFERS
A Definitive History of Surfing's Culture and Heroes
By  Malcolm Gault-Williams

This Introduction Updated:  16 July 2005


Introduction to THE MAIBU BOARD Chapter

Malibu Balsa

Aloha and welcome to this introduction to yet another chapter in the LEGENDARY SURFERS series. The Malibu Board tells the story of how the prototype for today's longboard came into existence in the late 1940s. While Bob Simmons set the stage for its development, his assistants and protoges Joe Quigg, Matt Kivlin, Tommy Zahn and Dave Rochlen came up with what is known as The Malibu Board. No one really knew what they had until Rochlen and guys like Melonhead (Porter Vaughn) and Leslie Williams started ripping Malibu apart with these boards. The whole story is covered in the booklet, available by ordering, below.

Malibu balsa image courtesy of Pods for Primates.

To Order "The Malibu Board" in electronic ebooklet format (delivered to your email address) for USD $4.95, click on the Pay Pal icon below:

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Contents of What You Will Receive:

  • 1946: Fiberglass & Resin
  • .. Fiberglass
  • .. Resin
  • 1947: Zahn, Quigg, Kivlin, Rochlen & Melonhead
  • .. Tommy Zahn
  • .. Joe Quigg
  • .. Dave Rochlen
  • The Darrylin Board
  • Other Joe Quigg Designs, 1947-49
  • .. 1st Pintail Gun, 1st Fiberglassed Skeg
  • .. Foam Prototype
  • .. Multiple Fins
  • .. Grey Ghost
  • .. Malibu Perpetual Surfboard
  • .. Nose Rider & Ridicule
  • 1948
  • 1949
  • .. Hot Curl Experiments
  • .. Foam Experiments
  • .. Simmons Styrofoam Sandwich Boards
  • The "Birdman" & The Malibu
  • Matt Kivlin & The Malibu
  • .. Dave Rochlen
  • Simmons Breaks It Off, 1950
  • Joe Quigg in Later Years

  • In the post World War II period, surfboards went through a period of radical change in weight, materials and shape. Not since Tom Blake first developed hollow boards in the late 1920s had wave riding vehicles gone through such metamorphosis.

    Bob Simmons, the "Father of the Modern Surfboard," was the primary person to introduce new materials that eventually made surfboards lighter -- materials like fiberglass, resin and styrofoam. His understanding of hydrodynamics resulted in surfboard designs that incorporated features we still enjoy, today -- like rocker, foam core, and multiple fin placement. Yet, he was not alone in his experiments with war-generated technology to improve surfboard performance. Significant in their contributions were Brant Goldsworthy, Jamison Handy, Preston "Pete" Peterson, Joe Quigg and Dave Sweet and Hobie Alter. Peterson would become the first one known to use fiberglass in surfboard construction. Sweet and Alter would, later on in the 1950s, become pioneers in the use of polyurethane foam.

    Joe Quigg -- a Simmons protege for a while -- along with input from Matt Kivlin, Tommy Zahn and Dave Rochlen, would become the creator of the Malibu Board... the precursor to the board that many of us still ride, today...

    Related Resources


    Read About Volume 1 of LEGENDARY SURFERS

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    TOM BLAKE: The Journey of A Pioneer Waterman

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