surfing museum exhibition
international surfing museum huntington beach


Surfing Exhibit - Surf Fin' at Huntington Beach Surfing Museum California



Huntington Beach, CA--From sharks to skegs, rudders to turbos, surfboard fins have evolved into a variety of shapes designed to master the waves in more effective ways, ultimately pushing the limits of surfing. On exhibit at the International Surfing Museum in Huntington Beach is a collection of fins instrumental in advancing the sport to its current heights.  Billed as the "first-ever" museum exhibit of surfing fins, the display is best enjoyed and understood in the context of towns such as Huntington Beach where the surfing industry is important to mom & pop businesses who've carved a living by inventing and manufacturing surf products, and through individuals who've made a career out of surfing, itself.



Fins would have little meaning, if not for the likes of local surf legend, Bob "The Greek" Bolen. Known for winning numerous surfing competitions, his participation in the development of fins is significanthe invented and commercialized the super-charged turbofin that's risen in popularity recently. As a world class surfer whose shop, Huntington Beach Real Estate, displays the unique, see-through fin in environs that look more like a surfing museum than Real Estate office, Bolen exemplifies the home spun talent so abundant in the surfing industry. The surfer / Realtor's fin designs are part of the "first-ever" collection. See Bolen's Fin Display



Surfin' - Direction of a Sport, documents the development of fins in a rare collection that not only shows the original 1935 invention, but its numerous size and shape modifications over a 71 year period.   Along with original wood-carved or molded fins, replicas from the 1950’s through the 1990’s of Hatchett, Brewer and Bat fins  made from exotic woods by local artist, Jim Angeley, are shown. 



It all began in 1935 when Thomas Blake, surf pioneer and a seminal force in the history of the sport, walked past a decaying speedboat on the beach. He removed its aluminum skeg, covering its hard edges with a piece of wood. He then attached it to the bottom of his surfboard and took it out for a trial run to see if it would act in the same manner as it did on a boat. Would it keep him from skidding out on sharp turns and help him steer his board on a critical slide? It worked! Blake's invention was an instant success that's evolved ever since.



The exhibit and surfing museum offer insight into a culture and lifestyle, according to Gary Sahagan, who works full time as museum director.  "It definitely appeals to a niche market," he says. "But the good news is that our diversified offerings...videos, souvenir merchandise, music CDs and surf band concerts appeal to a much broader audience, and we're becoming quite popular." Sahagan has noticed a resurgence of interest from youth, teens and young adults who are visiting the museum exhibits and sharing their thoughts on what surfing means to them. You don't have to surf to love the surf culture and it's global, uniting force, he says.



To learn about surfing through exhibits such as this past exhibit or others featuring the surfing themed music of the Beach Boys, music and featured movies, "Riding Giants", "Five Summer Stories", "Endless Summer" or "Step into Liquid", Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum is open from 12pm (Noon) to 5pm Monday through Friday and 11am to 6pm Saturday and Sunday (hours change so please call before going!)  Suggested donation is $2/adult and $1/student. Location: 411 Olive St., Huntington Beach, CA 92648. Call: 714.960.3483.





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