Sunday, March 9, 2008

Paipo Riding

"A Hawaiian surfer cuts a fast right slide in standing crouch on the zippy skim or belly board at Kuhio pier, Waikiki."
Photo by Val Valentine
John Kelly: Surf and Sea (1965), facing page 192

Over the coarse of last month I've done a bunch of surfing with my hombre Franco. During one of our early morning sessions I found a piece of plywood on the beach and decided to paddle out with it and attempt to stand up and surf on it. The first wave I took was a success. I had no problem paddling in and standing up (Keep in  mind I was also in a full wintersuit with boots and gloves). Needless to say it was rad. I was hooked.

About a week after that session, Richard Kenvin came out to NY just to hang and surf with us. He and I did some talking about the "Casper" and the other Bob Simmons replica boards he had. I had told him that I had prior plans to shape one. I also told him I wanted to shape an Alaia and a replica of an old hawaiian Paipo. While in the shop one arvo the topic of Val Ching and the stand up paipo surfing came up. I told him about the day that I surfed the random piece of plywood I found on the beach and that sparked the whole Paipo convo. Richard was telling me that without even knowing it I was doing the same thing that Val did in the 1950's. I did some googling and found a video of Val stand up paipo surfing at "The Wall" in 1963. I don't know what it was but  between the session with Franco and the history lesson with RK, I was inspired to make myself a paipo.

A source gave me the dims of Vals board. I plotted the points and drew the template line the best I can. This is the replica of Valentine Chings Paipo that he rode in the video footage taken in 1963 at "The Wall".


  1. clams...
    thats cool.
    ride it yet?

  2. Negative mi amigo. The day hasn't come yet. Honestly I just finished it today. But I'm hoping to test it out soon at a near by point break...

  3. Val shreds with elegance!

    Well done Clams! That things must be fun...

  4. one question how big are the flooring tiles? 12"x12"....great job I'm jealous

  5. I am loooking to build alaia in MTK. Anyone know of a source for dimensions, or good photos?

  6. Great looking board! i was blown away by the Val Ching footage!!
    What are the dims of the boards and how thick is the ply you used? Would love to try build one myself!



  7. Hey Joe, Hozit going young buck, nice site? Thought I drop you a line and say aloha, keep on surf 'n, and have fun!!

    Uncle Val Ching