Mixed Plate
Gliding Gilbert -- 7/18/98

Gilbert Lum, innovator

About seven years ago, I remember seeing a guy in Waikiki who had a very odd bodyboard with an attached hydrofoil. Must be some local beachboy playing around, I thought, and dismissed it as silliness.

But just this July (1998) after a fun session at Diamond Head, I talked story with the very same guy. His name is Gilbert Lum, and hes a local paipo boarder whos been experimenting with hydrofoils for many years.

Gilbert has been using parts of broken surfboards and been putting together fiberglassed "paipo/body boards" with various foil configurations. His latest board has a beautiful green finish with a concave foil set six inches below the board. Total cost: about $40 in materials.

He frequents Populars and other Waikiki spots, but loves Diamond Head the best, favoring waves in the 2-3 foot (Hawn) range. Gilbert claims that at that size, he can easily outrun longboarders. He said the board takes a bit of getting used to, but the hydrofoil works well, lifting the board out of the water during full trim speed.

So the next time you see a paipoboarder coming at you with his board levitated out of the water, get out of the way. Its probably Gilbert, a true innovator in surfing. By the way, Gilbert is 73 years young.

Aloha from Paradise,