AGOOD diving board is an asset to any summer camp or swimming pool, but a suitable plank is apt to be expensive. The Forest Products Laboratory of the United States Forest Service at Madison, Wise, has developed a comparatively inexpensive type of laminated board, which, in actual use at a public beach, has outlasted ordinary boards five to one.
The experimental boards were made of southern yellow pine. Small knots are permissible if not within 24" of the fulcrum. The laminations are 2" wide, tapering in thickness from 3" at one end to 13/8" at the other. They can be cut most economically by ripping 2" by 6" planks.
Cold-setting casein or resin glue must be used, with plenty of clamps to hold the laminations together and keep top and bottom surfaces in line. Use glue only; do not attempt to bolt the laminations together.
To protect the glued joints, the top, edges, and ends of the board must be covered with rubber matting. A low grade is preferable because the rubber contains more fiber and tar and can therefore be glued more securely to the wood with casein or resin glue. Coco matting should be fastened over the rubber to afford a nonslip footing.
The use of a pipe as a fulcrum should be avoided, for it concentrates shock loads over too small an area of wood fiber and leads to early failure of the board. Use the broad, slightly rounded wooden fulcrum shown.
Properly made and covered, this board should give years of service. The wooden fulcrum is adjustable.
RIDING the ocean breakers on surfboards made of cloth is a novel sport that is becoming popular at a California beach resort. Looking like a giant's pillowcase, the "boards" are made from four yards of good-quality muslin, which becomes air-tight when wet. The cloth is doubled lengthwise and sewed along both sides with a triple row of fine stitches. Around the open end a strong hem is stitched. In use. the bag is first thoroughly soaked, and then filled with air by holding it open to the breeze or running a few paces with it. With a quick downward motion, the open end is pushed under water to trap the air and twisted shut like a paper bag. The rider then grasps the twisted end and takes off into the swells.
Above, ready for the waves. Below, a group of enthusiasts ride toward the shore on their odd pillowcase mounts.
Running with the cloth surfboard to "balloon" it full of air before use