Tom Blake Redesigns the Sport

Wisconsin-born Tom Blake had been riding waves for less than five years when he won the Pacific Coast Championships, but he was already closing in on Duke Kahanamoku as the most influential early-modern surfer. While the gracious and sociable Kahanamoku provided surfing with its emotional center, Blake, restless and nearly humorless, became the sport’s great innovator. He redesigned the surfboard. He changed the way surfers looked. He transformed wave-riding into something broader and more co...