People have made surfboards for centuries. Standing alone, these boards are often striking examples of functional design. Together, they tell a compelling story about the evolution of an important American art form. Traditional craft, cutting-edge engineering and minimalist art converge in the Museum’s new exhibition devoted to surfboards built from the late 1940s to the present day. Surf Craft chronicles the evolution of surfboard design featuring American makers and shapers of all kinds of wave-riding boards. It explains how meticulous hand craftsmanship can inform modern high volume commercially made surf craft.
The surfboard, historically a handcrafted object, ultimately gave rise to foam and fiberglass board construction, often produced on a mass scale. However, many contemporary shapers are now recognizing and tapping into the design principles found in the traditional boards.
Surf Craft originated at the Mingei Museum in San Diego, CA in 2014, where is was curated by San Diego local, Richard Kenvin. In 2015 the exhibition traveled to the Long House Reserve, in East Hampton, NY.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website