New Zealand from the 1960s




Dave Jackman and Tony Butt, with one of Dave's paipo. November 2011.


Peter White, Tony Butt and unidentified paipo rider - Muriwai, 1967. Photo courtesy Peter White.

The 1960s

Dave Jackman, an Australian surfer permanently moved to New Zealand in 1963. He had been exposed to the Paipo Nui style boards from trips to Hawaii and went on to ride a slightly, narrower and longer version (see above photo). Peter White had also visited Hawaii and brought back a Paipo Nui board, which he copied and sold to fellow members of the Muriwai surf club .Tony Butt bought one of the boards which he used over a 15 year period around Muriwai. Below is a 1967article featuring Peter White.


Photo courtesy Peter White.
From Flett, N. (1967) Auckland Star

Photo courtesy of E. Bishop
Central Auckland Research Centre Auckland Libraries
Nga Whare Matauranga o Tamaki Makaura.

In addition, to Peter White and Tony Butt, other surfers included Gary Butt, Mike Lawson and 'Red' Luton. Below are photos of boards ridden by Tony, Mike and Peter. Al these boards were made from plywood, by Peter White using a wooden mould and clamps.


Tony Butt's board

Tony Butt's board

Mike Lawson's board

Peter White's board

Table of contents

Red's board hangs in the Muriwai surf club. In the photo below Peter White is holding the original Val Valentine Paipo Nui board he brought back from Hawaii. Charlie Straumietis also surfed at Muriwai. His father made him a similar style board which he eventually rode on his knees. He also added fins and when onto riding kneeboards which he continues to ride.



Red Luton's board
Photo courtesy Pauline Butt.

Peter White at Whangerai
Photo courtesy Peter White

There are few other accounts of bellyboards being ridden in the 1960s. Peter White recalls seeing a board made by him at Tauranga, while the Great Barrier Islands had been surfed by Maroubra surfers (Peden 2010) and Rocky Hall, from the South Island had surfed on a small ply bellyboard in Victoria (Callaghan 2010, Carson 2010) before returning to New Zealand. However, there remains an interest in riding and making paipo in New Zealand.



Peter White
Photo courtesy Peter White.

Section Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Paipos, bellyboards, lameroos, chestboards - what's in a name?
  3. Australia pre 1950s
  4. New Zealand pre 1950s
  5. The mixed fortunes of bellyboards since the 1950s.
  6. Cronulla and south
  7. Maroubra to Bronte
  8. Manly to Palm Beach
  9. the North coast
  10. Victoria
  11. Queensland
  12. South Australia
  13. Western Australia
  14. Tasmania
  15. New Zealand from the 1960s
  16. Final comments, acknowledgements and information sources