Shortboard Revolution

Surf Design 1967—1984

August 19, 2011 – April 22, 2012

Curated by original Z-Boy and celebrated Malibu surfer Nathan Pratt, the exhibition traces the evolution of the surfboard from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s, showcasing the shapers, designers, artists and riders that created the phenomenon known as “the shortboard”.

Through the display of colorful, vintage boards and iconic imagery, Shortboard Revolution illustrates the evolution of the modern surfboard. Highlighting the period between the Gidget Era “Malibu Chip” longboards and contemporary high-flying aerial performance boards, the exhibition emphasizes the surfboard’s rapid, yet substantial technological and design developments—developments that allowed surfers’ capabilities on a wave to be limited only by their imaginations. From the earliest Vee Bottom boards of the 1960s to Pintails, Guns, Super Shorts, and Wingers, this exhibition offers a variety of boards and images that spotlight the innovations that changed surfing forever.

Nearly 70 rare and antique boards by surfing legends and visionaries such as Tom Blake, George Greenough, Dick Brewer, Miki Dora, Jeff Ho, Mike Hynson, Horizon’s West, Tom Curren, Bob Hurley and Al Merrick—assembled from the world’s finest collections including Bird’s Surf Shed, the Jason Cohn Collection, the Hischier Family Collection and the Surfing Heritage Foundation—illustrate the timeline and development of the shortboard.

The Heritage Museum will also present a 1980s-style Shaping Room; dark blue with date-specific florescent lighting, it will contain numerous blanks, which will be worked on by several well-known shapers (including Bob Hurley and Nathan Pratt) during the course of the exhibition. An additional history gallery will host covers of Surfer Magazine, each image representing one year of the 1967 to 1984 exhibition.

Historic photographs by Art Brewer, Jeff Divine, Steve Wilkings, Bernie Baker, Tony Friedkin, David Darling, C. R. Stecyk III and many others document the movement and its personalities. Guaranteed to resonate with visitors of diverse backgrounds and experiences, Shortboard Revolution is not to be missed.

This exhibition was funded, in part, by a major grant from Hurley, and additional funding from Wells Fargo, Copyland, the City of Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Department, The LLWW Foundation, The Fairfield County Foundation, The Victorian/Calamigos Ranch, Dawson Design, as well as generous corporate, foundation and private individual donations.