Dale Velzy Malibu Chip surfboard made in the early 1950s

Description (Brief)
This is a Velzy, Malibu Chip surfboard made of balsa with a layer of fiberglass on the surface and a 10 inch fin on the underside. The Malibu Chip, incorporated Hawaiian board designs, into West Coast board designs, meant to accommodate the California surf which was much different than the Hawaiian surf. The west coast surf was choppier and smaller than that of Hawaii which allowed the ‘chip’, which was a much lighter and smaller board, to make quick turns. This style of riding became known as the “Malibu” style which differed from the old style of riding the wave straight into shore without much maneuvering on the part of the rider. The ‘Chip” became popular with girls because it was smaller, lighter and easier to carry into the water which helped propel the surfing boom of the late 1950s.
Dale Velzy began surfing in 1935 and was soon shaping redwood boards for his friends in his hometown of Hermosa Beach, California. In 1949 he opened Velzy surf shop often thought to be the first one of its kind. He landed in Venice Beach in 1954 to team up with friend and board maker Hap Jacobs and by the end of the decade Velzy-Jacobs Surfboards had five locations on the California coast and Hawaii. According to The Encyclopedia of Surfing, “Velzy was most known for creating the “Pig” which dropped the board's wide point back toward the tail, further improving maneuverability—was another key step in surfboard design evolution. ‘It changed the sport,’ Quigg later said. ‘Suddenly you had thousands of these kids out there riding pigs. There was a time when you couldn't even sell a board in California unless it looked like a Velzy.’” In the 1950s, Velzy was the largest manufacturer of surfboards but through loose spending and bad accounting practices he had lost it all before the boom of the 1960s took hold. Velzy’s influence and gregarious presence in the surfing community remained strong until his death in 2005.
Object Name
Physical Description
wood, balsa (overall material)
fiberglass (overall material)
overall: 10 ft x 23 in x 10 in; 3.048 m x 58.42 cm x 25.4 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Snow & Surf
Sports & Leisure
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Sport and Leisure
Snow & Surf
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Media

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