1 . Tom Blake was a creative and successful surf pioneer/designer, a creative legend in the history of the sport, who almost single-handedly transformed surfing from a primitive Polynesian curiosity into a 20th century lifestyle. In the process, he was responsible for preserving much of surfing’s oral history as well as resurrecting the streamlined surfboards of ancient times. Tom created the first “hollow” surfboard. At 15 feet long, 19 inches wide and 4 inches thick, it weighed less than 100 pounds an ultra light board for its time. Blake patented his “Hawaiian Hollow Surfboard” in 1930, and soon almost all racing battledores were hollow.
Not only did the hollow boards work well in the surf by staying a float and creating it easier to maneuver but they were the consummate lifesaving tools. Adopted on the mainland by the American Red Cross Life Saving Division, the Hawaiian Hollow Surfboard totally revolutionized water rescue techniques in the United States and around the world. This wasn’t enough for Tom Blake as he then went on to invent ‘surf photography now known and recognized as a common thing among many he bought a 4″xx” camera from Duke Kinkajou, created a waterproof housing for it and photographed Whisky’s surfers from his paddlers.
Published in National Geographic in 1935. Flake’s photos not only impressed and introduced a wider audience to the Joys of surfing but also inspired two young California surfers to take up cameras: John “Doc” Ball and Don James and both became legendary surf photographers. After this he then went on to give his surfing paddlers more directional stability, Blake created (and patented) a small, keel-like fin, although the importance of this invention wasn’t really appreciated until the late ‘ass when Bob Simmons, Joe Quick and others began to use them.
Blake also invented the sailing surfboard, a concept that presaged the windsurfer. Besides being a freethinking innovator and champion waterman, Blake was a visionary surfer, himself a prototype for an emerging lifestyle. Flake’s passion and enthusiasm as a surfer and designer shaped the fundamental steps of our surfing life as it is today, Blake was a highly successful designer in the world of the ocean and surf crafts. Without him surfing or other waterspouts such a kite surfing or paddle boarding wouldn’t be the same today.
In my opinion Flake’s passion and love for the water has driver him to become the most successful and creative surf designer to this day and has changed the life of many ocean enthusiasts . Whilst tom was building surfboards and ocean designs in the sass’s the technology he used was not all as snazzy as some you can get your hands on to date. In saying that too handcraft and design a surfboard the basic tools and techniques work best. As with my work, Tom Blake uses wood and materials to create his innovative idea’s to do with and push him to strive in what he loves most and has passion for, Surfing and the ocean.
To experiment and test ideas and designs to maximize the surfboards ability. Tom struggled at first with the production of his designs as the technology he could access was not advanced to create these rodents fast and precise. A few of the basic tools tom used to craft his hollow surfboard A. K. A the “cigar box” was: The hand plane: The bow saw: In my school project, the wooden hand board. I am using all of the same tools as tom but some slightly advanced and less time consuming such as the saber saw or Jigsaw where the bow saw was used and an electric sander where some of the sanding was done by hand.
Although to shape the board I am still using a hand plane, exactly the same as Blake had used in the production of his designs including the first “fin” the hollow surfboard AKA the “cigar box”. Blake had an extraordinary skill when it came to shaping anything and a saw of any type fit in his hand perfectly. Tom had an unusual sense of creating ideas from his mind and carving it out of wood perfectly. This is what helped him thrive to create such innovative designs with low technology. Tom is an inspiration of many shapers, surfers and surf photographers to this day and will always be remembered as “the man who shaped the surfing world”.
Flakes designs and models he made then went on to be factory produced as he sold the rights of the design off. The machine and technology then used to create these roads, waterproof housings for camera’s etc. Was then at a much higher standard and used mostly computer based and high tech machines. 3. There are a huge variety of career opportunities for Blake as he offers such a high range of skill and creativity in the design world, tom has a ability to apply attention to detail also a very special skill of being able to create and design what he imagines.
With toms variety of skills there are many careers and paths tom could have traveled into, things such as: Surfboard shaper -for tom this would be an underestimate of himself and his skill, UT he could easily pursue a life in shaping surfboards or surf crafts. For tom this was only a hobby side of his life to maximize the crafts for his passion of the ocean, and produce a new and improved surf craft so that everyone could enjoy the thrills of surfing and not have to carry a 200-pound board.
Architecture- if tom would have liked to veer his life into a completely different outlook and way of living he would have been very successful in the architecture design as he has the ability to imagine and picture designs in his head and make them real, in architecture this is important. Tom’s creativity would have successfully ordered him through things such as house design and building design. Not that tom would enjoy this, as it has nothing to do with his love of the ocean.
Photography- although photography is not looked at as a very high classed career option as there are so many photographers in toms time (sass’s) the idea of surf photography was pretty unknown and foreign, Toms ability to stand out from the crowd and think outside of the box would and DID help him to create a footprint in the surf photography world. The Idea of creating a waterproof housing for a camera so that he could take his Fussily camera given to him by his dad is Just the kind of innovative and different thinking photography needs!
Builder- Tom being able to picture where things could go and where things could be improved and how they could be improved would drive him through and kind of building, have it be construction, furniture, houses, functional or aesthetic, tom would be successful again with his ability to see where things go and need improvements. Toms picturing mind is a key step to any construction and design/production Job. Tom was a very quite child as he had lost his mother to tuberculosis at a young age and his father had given him to distant relatives as he was coping bad with the other’s death.
Tom’s quite persona lead to him writing down and recording most things he did. This was is important as Recording your work is an important key to the design world and without it its hard thrive in your area. Although Tom was quite he definitely spoke through his actions and designs! The nature of toms work was in many aspects impressive and enjoyable for tom as the satisfaction of being a part of the surfing world and remembered by everyone was what pushed tom. The passion of the surfing and the love of ocean were really shown through his work and designs.
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