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We are just about to launch a whole new platform to track and write about the history of surfing, before we stood up!!

The site will be called The Ply Riders Surf Club and is set to launch in the next few months - please email sally@plyriderssurfclub.com if you would like us to let you know when when the site goes live.

It seems to us that the history of surfing from 1921-1962 has NEVER been told in this country. It gets a page in every surf book, but we want to tell the whole story. Who made the boards, who rode them, which boards were made where and how did they come to the country. Why did boards from Perranporth, Newquay and the Isle of White differ?? 

These days most people think that surfing is all about catching a wave standing up on a board, but before the early 1960s Surfing in the UK meant catching a wave lying down on a thin wooden board. It was also known as Surf riding and it was the original British Surf Sport.

Catching a wave on a wooden bodyboard is much quicker and easier to learn than stand up surfing - its a sport that can be enjoyed by all ages and abilities in shallow surf as well as out the back. If you've never done it before - see our top tips page for a beginners guide to bellyboarding. 




Sally set up The Original Surfboard Company in 2008 on a mission restyle and revive the use of these original wooden surfboards.

Sally had spent all her childhood summers living by the sea at Porthcothan Bay in North Cornwall. She had been surf riding on the little wood boards since 1965, when she was five. She and her sister Jane would spend hours in the sea every day - without wetsuits.

When the foam boogie boards first arrived in Cornwall in the early 1970s the sisters did try them out but they gave them a rash and it felt like being on a raised platform rather than in the wave - they also blew away in the wind or in the surf -  so they soon returned to the wood boards. 

When a few of the family boards snapped in 2007 Sally had no idea where to buy new ones as by then the foam boards had almost entirely eclipsed the wood boards.  Sally found out that Charles Pearce and sons were still making boards in the tannery at South Molton - as they had been doing since the early 1960s. She went to meet Dick Pearce in the autumn of 2007. He told her that the shops kept telling him no one wanted to buy them anymore.  He was happy to make boards for Sally that she had re-styled and re-branded and available to buy online on the website she set up in June 2008.

Sally's inspiration for setting up the Original Surfboard business was to preserve and revive this type of surfing along the North Cornish coastline but Since 2008 The Original Surfboard Company has sent boards worldwide to Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Africa, the United States (including Hawaii) Canada, Israel, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the Channel Islands.

in 2009 when Sally met the legendary surfboard shaper Tom Wegener it inspired her to have boards made to her own specification using higher grade woods. Tom and Sally formed a friendship and began to research the world wide history of these boards. Tom's tenacity led to discovery that there had been wooden surfboard riding in Japan in the 1800s