Paddleboard pioneer Charlie Force dies at 82
Pioneer British paddleboarder Charlie Force dies at 82
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 24 November, 2012 : - - Charlie Force, a pioneer of standup paddleboarding in Britain, has died age 82. Way back in 1953, he designed and built a hollow wooden surfboard which he successfully rode in Newquay Bay, some 50 years before SUP surfing became popular in the UK. A carpenter and builder by trade, Charlie came up with the design for his board after seeing a photo in a magazine which showed an Australian lifeguard paddling a ‘cigar box’ style board.
His finished creation was 10 feet long by 26 inches wide, with a square nose and a narrow tail. “The board was really quite stable,” said Charlie, speaking in an interview in 2010, “it didn’t take too long before I learnt how to pick up speed and catch some waves. It was a new sensation...really fun!”
A born inventor, Charlie’s experiments constructing ocean-going craft didn’t stop there. A few years later he designed a prototype sailboard, and in the mid ’70s he built a four-wheel-drive submersible which could be driven along the seabed underwater.
The full story of Charlie Force’s pioneering contribution to SUPing in the UK is told in the book The Surfing Tribe by Roger Mansfield.
Source: Orca Publications
Author: Chris Power
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