This is a way to get people to stop thinking about
art only as representational images. The boards themselves
are very abstract and elegant, but they are also a part of
our daily lives.
I grew up loving (surfboards) as beautiful objects
and sculptures, Grigg added. When people surf,
theyre actually feeling the wave and transferring information
from their body to their mind. These [board] shapers took
this information and created a whole new object that would
allow you to ride on these massive sources of energy. Its
Theres art in the board and in the soul of the
artist who makes the board, said Rainas father,
Ricky Grigg, surfer, author, and oceanography professor.
Nalu means wave, and Hawaii is famous for its tradition
of big-wave riding. Nalu presents dozens of rare
boards from well-known board shapers. Including Dick Brewer,
Pat Curren, and Mike Diffenderfer.
The exhibit concentrates on boards specifically shaped for
the colossal waves of Oahus North Shore. Many
of the boards were donated from the private collections of
Mark Fragale, Randy Rarick, Marcus Child, Joe Green of Surf
and Sea, Greg Lui Kwan, Johnny Moore of Strong Current, Andy
Taam, Roland Tang, and the University of Hawaii.
Fragale first began to collect surfboards in 1968. Back
then, boards were worthless, Fragale stated. Some
people would just leave them on the beach to be taken. Some
you could get for $25, some for a case of beer.
I always thought of them as art, Fragale added.
Today, these art pieces are very valuable.
Big-wave boards, also known as guns, can be traced
back to the late 1940s. Surfing originates from Hawaiian
culture, said Raina. We wanted to focus this exhibit
on the North Shore so there would be no question about the
boards being uniquely from Hawaii. The guns
are distinctly North Shore.
Boards from each of the major periods are represented in
the exhibit. There is an example of an 11-foot elephant
gun from when surfers migrated to Waimea Bay in the
early 1960s. The 70s were known for their lightning
bolt designs, the 80s for their colorful, commercialized
boards, and the 90s for their big-wave hunting longboards.
Theres basically significant examples of every
big-wave era, said shaper and collector Randy Rarick.
And having it down[town] here, I think, brings this