American sculptor and woodworker Steven Beck creates a series of bronze sculptures with wood surfboards. From his home in Waikoloa on the Big Island, Steven has crafted exquisite sculptures featuring different eras in the evolution of the sport starting with early Hawaii. Earlier in his career, Steven worked at Industrial Light & Magic in Los Angeles. There, he was surrounded by the most talent model sculptors, which led him to pursue his own passion for sculpting.
The year is 1934. The place… Waikiki. The local boys are still riding long, straight, finless surfboards, much like their forefathers did. These redwood planks, while great for going at slight angles for long distances, have a tendency to slide out, tail-first, when pushed. Given this, the style of the day is to stand and go, staying more or less on the shoulder of the wave for as long as it will last. Frustrated by this lack of maneuverability, a group of scrappy teenagers dubbed the Empty Lot Boys, think there’s more to surfing than just standing there. After an extra challenging day, they take an axe to their boards, streamlining them to make them more hull-like, like a canoe; they plane down the rails, making them softer and less likely to catch on a wave’s face; finally, they carve a V bottom into the now narrowed tail sections, creating a fin of sorts! Though needing lots of coercion and precise balance to steer them, finally a surfboard can be turned on a wave. The boys are ecstatic. “These things really get you into the hot curl!” one is later heard shouting. Though fins won’t be incorporated for decades, this accidental leap in hydrodynamic design marks the beginning of the modern surfboard.
Measurements: 38 inch W x 12 inch D x 22 inch H
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