Ancient Hawaii Surfboards: Replica of Vintage Wooden Surfboards and Longboards - Replica of vintage surfboards: The wooden surfboards were also known in Hawaii as Papa he‘e nalu. Traditional boards were shaped from a number of different types of woods and ranged in size from a few feet to more than 16 feet. Surfing was brought to the world's attention by Olympic champion, Duke Kahanamoku in the 1920's and 1930's. Surfing was a deeply spiritual affair, from the art of riding waves itself, to praying for good surf, to rituals surrounding building a surfboard. Surfing was not only a recreational activity, it was also a training exercise for Hawaiian chiefs and a means of conflict resolution.