At least four of the old men mentioned the sport of surfing, as follows:—“The young Maoris would swim out with a short board, put it under the chest and shoot in on the waves.
I remember round at Kakararua (Hunt's Beach, Westland) we were at it, and a white man named Baker would try it.
This book on surfing for life is written by an older man, especially for the late-1960s era. I am also a confirmed surfer." This is in contrast to the youthful, rebel stereotypes of the era.
I realise that the Bellybogger is not everyone's answer to surfing.
But, I believe there's a small group of enthusiasts out there who still know what the art of bellyboarding and bodysurfing is all about.
I was round at the West Coast diggings, and the beaches there are very suitable for it.
Another sport was when the boys would take a tawai (a kind of canoe) out and come in through the surf.
In the glossary defines paipo, but not bellyboard, "Paipo: the Hawaiian term for a bellyboard.
See Chapter 9." There is no real discussion of board lengths, widths, thickness or plan shapes.
He was a descendant of the people who came south in the Makawhiu canoe.” The late Tare te Maiharoa said:—“Take kelp off the rocks and dry it as for pohas or kelp bags [to preserve birds in].
Take two of these bags and tie them together about two feet apart.
He was a big, heavy man, and when he came in his board struck the shore and almost stunned him.
His chest was rather severely hurt.” “The board used in surfing was called a papa, and it requires certain practice to use it.
Blow them up, and having got them out beyond the surf, put one on each side of you from the armpits to the hips, lie on the flax connecting them, and come in with the breakers. This was an old pastime at Moeraki, Waikouaiti, and other good beaches, and was called para.