Charlie Force: SUP pioneer in 1953

The pioneer of standup paddleboarding in the United Kingdom has passed away at 82. Charlie Force shaped a hollow wooden surfboard and rode it in 1953.


The British surfing community is still mourning the loss of one of the most important wave riding icons the country has ever produced.

Back in 1953, standup paddleboarding was still new to many surfers in the world. Charlie Force broke the trends and built a hollow wooden surfboard that was successfully tested in Newquay Bay.

The inspiration came from Australia. Force, a carpenter and builder, saw an Australian lifeguard enjoying a ride with a rectangular board, in a magazine. After finishing the surfboard shape work, he had designed a square-nosed 10' longboard.

"The board was really quite stable. It didn't take too long before I learnt how to pick up speed and catch some waves. It was a new sensation. Really fun!", said Force in an interview.

Later, Charlie Force would design a sailboard and four-wheel-drive submersible, showing his passion for oceanic inventions.

"The Surfing Tribe", a book by Roger Mansfield, unveils the complete story of Charlie Force's life. Also, discover how to shape a surfboard.