Surf Craft – Design and the Culture of Board Riding is an exhibition at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park, San Diego, exploring board design from a previously unexamined perspective: in the context of Soetsu Yanagi’s mingei philosophy of the importance of craft. Through this lens, the exhibition captures the influences behind American design in board riding, from the alaia boards of ancient Hawaii, to obscure surf bathing boards of England, Japan and Africa, to post-war hydrodynamic planing hulls of Southern California. Innovative board-shapers and surfers of the past and present will be highlighted, including legendary surfer Bob Simmons, who died at Windansea in La Jolla in 1954, and renowned San Diegan Carl Ekstrom. Exhibition open through January 11, 2015. The book Surf Craft is available through the UCSD Bookstore and will be available for purchase at the talk.
Richard Kenvin is Director of the Hydrodynamica Project. He writes for The Surfer’s Journal and is the guest curator of the Surf Craft exhibition.