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British surfing pioneer Percy Blandford passes away at 101

Percy Blandford © Museum of British Surfing



Culture Updates

Percy Blandford passes away at 101 after years of influence on British surfing

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 11 January, 2014 -- Percy Blandford, who enabled hundreds of British surfers to ride their first wave with his hollow wooden surfboard design, passed away yesterday at the grand age of 101.

A naval architect from Newbold on Stour in Warkshire, he is known and respected worldwide for his home-build boat and canoe designs. Around 1964 Percy hit upon the idea of creating cheap, hollow wooden surfboards that surfers could make themselves at home.

In May 1965 his plans and instructions were published in the famous Boy’s Own Paper under the headline: “Make your own super surf board for £4″. At the time custom fibreglass surfboard cost around £30.

Percy was interviewed in 2013 by Museum of British Surfing trustee Richard Gregory for our oral history archive. He very generously donated his 1964 prototype hollow wooden surfboard which will be on display in our 2014 exhibition ‘The First Wave – surfers & their stories‘ as a tribute to his wonderful legacy.

Percy Blandford talks about his wooden surfboard design for the Boys Own magazine from The First Wave on Vimeo.

You can see a selection of images in the slideshow below showing Percy, his prototype hollow wooden surfboard and blueprints now on display at the surfing museum in Braunton, North Devon and the cover of the Boy’s Own Paper published in 1965.

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