Makaha Surf Contest

Grand Prix start for the Makaha surf contest – or maybe this was a paddling race? This is the mid-1960s from the look of those boards – which are now worth thousands and even tens of thousands to collectors in the 21st Century. In 1966, Finney and Houston’s Surfing: A History of the Ancient and Hawaiian Sport explained the format of the contest: “Contestants compete in four divisions: Senior Men, Junior Men (seventeen years and under), Women and Mixed Tandem. Entries may total 150 surfers or more, with several heats in each division. Because the heats in each event last and hour, the contest is one of stamina and paddling speed as well as riding ability. The winner is the one who can paddle fast, catch the most waves, handle them well, and ride them past the inside buoy.”