Refinements in Surf Board Technologies over the Decades

Surfboard Technologies pic
Surfboard Technologies
Image: popularmechanics.com

Based in Sonoma, California, Jon L. Curry is a general contractor who undertakes historic renovations and builds custom homes. He also sits on the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art (SVMA) board. Having learned to surf under the tutelage of a well-known big-wave surfer, Jon L. Curry has an interest in an upcoming SVMA exhibition on the evolution of American wave-riding boards from the 1940s to the present.

By the 1940s, surfing had been present in California for three decades and had evolved from using bulky Hawaiian-style boards made of redwood to the sculpted, mass-produced “Cigar Board” of the 1930s. Balsa wood had come into use, bringing the weight of a surfboard from 100 to 30 pounds. Tapered tail ends gave wave riders greater control. Tom Blake introduced the fixed fin in 1935, setting the stage for the next major leap forward: the use of fiberglass instead of wood following World War II.

George Downing of Hawaii designed a method of creating boards from shaved polyurethane, with a fiberglass finish, that yielded “gun” longboards that could handle even the largest North Shore waves. In recent years, this basic model of the modern board has been further refined. In 2012, Global Surf Industries combined layers of coconut husks and fiberglass over an enlarged polystyrene core to create the lightest and strongest board to date.

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Mountain Biking in Sonoma’s Jack London State Historic Park

Sonoma’s Jack London pic
Sonoma’s Jack London
Image: jacklondonpark.com

Building quality homes throughout California’s wine country, Jon L. Curry maintains a respected Sonoma County contracting enterprise. In his free time, Jon L. Curry enjoys outdoor activities such as mountain biking, and he takes advantage of the numerous trails the region has to offer. One of the most popular Sonoma biking spots is the Jack London State Historic Park – Sonoma Mountain Back Country Trail.

Accessible year round, the steep 8-mile trail is largely made up of fire road. It offers ample shade as it traverses a mixed terrain of madrone, wildflowers, and grasses. It also passes through cool redwood groves with ferns underneath. Deer are common, with occasional mountain lion sightings in the area. On clear days Mount Diablo can be seen.

Those in search of a piece of literary history can take Lower Lake Trail up to Upper Lake trail, which places them in the vicinity of Graham Creek. This trail takes in a number of redwood fairy rings, which grow up around the base of old growth trees that have fallen. The author Jack London wrote about this spot in his classic Sonoma novel The Valley of the Moon.