Diane & Alan Buchanan
Built by the Catalina Aquatics Company of Redondo Beach in the 1950’s these paddleboards were popular in Newport Harbor as late as the 1980’s. The majority however simply deteriorated and fell out of use. This board weighs close to 75 pounds and is made primarily of 2″x 4″s and plywood, not fancy and certainly not built to last in salt water. This board survived because my dad, Charles Buchanan, glassed it years ago, probably in the mid 1970’s. As a result, this is one of the very few to survive to this day. And, certainly one of the very few to survive with it’s original paddle. The hollow wooden board was based on the design of Tom Blake’s open ocean racing boards that were used for Catalina to LA races. Blake spent lots of time in Newport Beach in the early years and is rumored to have lived in the caves in Pirate’s Cove for a time. He spent summers paddling boards like this around SoCal to promote the sport and the company. The board is still very usable and will be part of a cross channel relay paddle later in the summer.