Feb 1, 2013

From David and Rod...


John Clark Discusses The Six Types of Hawaiian Surfing:

1. He'e Nalu (board surfing);

2. Pakaka Nalu (outrigger canoe surfing);

3. Kaha Nalu (bodysurfing);

4. Pae Po'o (bodyboarding);

5. He'e One (sand sliding or skimboarding); and

6. He'e Pu'e Wai (river surfing)

The entire piece is worthy but the 'He'e One' section starting at 23:14 includes 1930s footage of Hawaiians riding mattress covers or pillow cases from the new hotels. See a guy ride off the beach into waves and back on a pillow case. You also have to love the guy in the 30s video who goes 'He's One' without anything underneath. John is a great historian and surfer.

See his book Hawaiian Surfing: Traditions from the Past,


...and other contributions, e.g.


Maybe this will inspire a 4GF Pillow Case model? Or maybe the more 'advanced' UK Mat Surfers will just go back to the future and start going 'He'e One" craftless. I am certain that only pub time is required for preparation.



Hi all,

After listening to some of the arcane arguments about what is and what is not a paipo and the same for a bellyboard, what is "true" paipo surfing, etc., maybe one could argue the only "true" mat surfing is pillow case riding ;) John Clark is captured in several videos on the Internet. Great job and great book.

Great guy, too.


Paul and Rod,

I am thinking my window for craftless He'e One has passed. However, I am going to go back to the future and try some pillow case riding. That is akin to sculpting ones own Piapo from wood.. perhaps most like the straight plywood variety. Simple is good. I wonder how they might have sealed the pillow cases .. if at all? In the beginning of John's video he discusses how the Hawaiians waterproofed their paper like swim cloths (covers). I wonder if the same oils were used for the pillow cases? Maybe "real" mats are pillow cases prepared like oil skin coats. Hmm, even cotton canvas tents swell with water and remain dry inside, without sealants .. that is, until you touch the wall.

Speaking of surf bedding invokes the image I see every year camping on Assateague Island. At least one camper tribe successfully surfs their queen sized camp bedding air mattress. Fun picking up where a 4GF UDT leaves off. Will make a point to get some pics this summer.

In the mean time .. I might swing by Bed Bath and Beyond and check out some some surf mats.




Piskian said...

Chreest on a moped,we tried this yonks ago.
Me nips are still as raw as sushi.
Calico rashies de rigeur!
You forget we invented modern surfing on coffin lids in Edwardian times.Bleddy colonials.

David from Philly said...

Don't shoot till you see the whites of their eyes and their raw nips. Easy to see why the colonies are free.

Anonymous said...

The pillow case would probably stay inflated just being wet. I remember my survival at sea course, where we had to blow up our shirts in the water to save energy, and (surprisingly) they stayed inflated no problemo.