Dimensions & Materials
- Total Length: 26” x 15 1/2”
- Shaped by Shea Somma from Somma Special Designs
What is a Paipo?
In this context, Paipo stands for the smallest of the planing wave crafts that came out of Polynesian culture. You may come across it also as, papa li ‘ili ‘i, papa pae po’o, pae po’o, or paepo. The contemporary standard spelling of Paipo is attributed to Hawaiian surf legend Wally Froiseth, who made and sold about 150 Paipo boards between 1956 and 1986. The language behind pae po’o is in reference to the wave riding style - to surf with your head first, meaning to bellyboard or bodyboard.
Paipos were typically made out of wood and were meant to be enjoyed by both children and adults. You can have fun riding it on your belly, knees, and for those daring enough, it is possible to ride standing up! Though the paipo board is an ancient surf craft, its popularity as a recreational art blossomed in the early to mid 20th century, predominantly in Waikiki. Their popularity spread to the American mainland with tourism and consumerism and paved the way for the modern boogie board and our beloved Spongers.
The Paipo board and surf style are still enjoyed and celebrated within contemporary surf culture and island heritage.
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