Shoe Kneeboard/surfboard

I was wondering if anyone knew anything about or had any pictures of shoe style kneeboards. i’ve read that larry sheflo and bunker spreckels used to ride them stand up. i also saw there is a picture of richard pollack surfing on in the new surfer’s journal.

Back in the early 70s, Newport Paipos had a model called “the shoe” that featured a scooped out deck. Cannot find photos, though. I’ve got some in my Surfer mag collection but it would take some time finding them…

I made and rode several “Shoe” style kneeboards in the early 70s. Mine were about 4’10" x 22" x 3" thick before scooping out the deck for the knee wells which would be about 1-1/2" deep. The tail was about 12" diamond. Flat bottom, two big double foiled home-made glass fins with no cant or toe-in. I mean LARGE fins - like 8-9" deep. Less would spin out at inopportune moments. The knee wells would start about 2/3 forward and run out the tail.

I suppose you could gin up something like it on Aku Shaper… hmmm, the knee wells would take some doing, but I think it could be done…

I was never aware of anyone in particular that had their name associated with the Shoe or it’s kin, and in those days I paid close attention to the surf press. But, then as now, there was very little coverage of actual kneeboard riding. I did get into Surfer once, though, in the back of the issue with Lopez’ going off the top at Bowls. 1972?

Never heard of anyone riding standup with a Shoe. I recall seeing pics of Vinny Bryan on a short board with a foot well .

I shaped entirely by hand, except to use a disc sander to rough out the knee wells.

The wells were a big advantage when it got at all bumpy - with a normal convex or flat deck in chop, it could be hard to keep your knees in place. And for the sake of your 'nads, you didn’t want to be bouncing around. I recall one day at smallish Waimea…

I sorta disparage the length and volume of some of today’s kneeboards, but to each his own. Less volume comes in REAL handy when you can do an extended duck-dive-swim-along-the-bottom-20-yards at Pipe.

Wrist leash to glass loop at the nose. Humbug when paddling. Super Extra Large blue Duck Feet.

I rode at Makapuu, Sandy Beach, and various places on the North Shore including V-land, Rocky Rights, Gas Chamber, Ehukai, and if there were less than 15 guys out, Pipe. I rode Pipe quite a bit - fancy that - on weekends, too. If it got DOH, I bodysurfed, which at Pipe is kind of a losing proposition because you seldom make a wave. Sure got a lot of behind-the-curtain action time, though.

I remember one day sitting on the beach at Pupukea. I had a new board, and hadn’t even sanded smooth the fin glass-up. Needless to say, it hummed a bit and was jagged as hell. Some little blonde surf rat about three feet tall walked up and watched me for a while, finally he said (out of the blue) “Do you know who MY dad is?” I allowed I hadn’t any idea ( I was thinking “and I don’t care either” but skipped that… “My Dad’s BILLY HAMILTON!” So I presume this was Laird at an early age.

Now I’m an old fut and I don’t think my knees could take it. They don’t bend so well anymore, and what would be the point? All the moves that were exclusive to kneeboards then, and more, are commonplace on today’s shortboards.

One of the most impressive demonstrations of surfing that I can remember was by Larry Sheflo on a Shoe at Malibu. On wave after wave he just shredded… carving arcs off the top as hard as off the bottom all the way to the pier. You could tell he was totally amped - he kind of had a twitch going as he ran back up to the point after each ride. He attended the same church as I did and I had the chance to meet him once. We didn’t talk about surfing and he had no idea that I had been observing his rides that day. The Shoe was way ahead of it’s time with S rails, concave deck and three fin boxes. Single, twin or triple fins were possible. There was an attempt at marketing it as a stand up/kneeboard hybrid. This was long before the thruster was invented by Simon Anderson.

I think Ron Romanosky (Newport Paipo?) shaped one version and Con Surfboards had another but I’m not certain of that.

Kirk Putnam posted in an old thread that Larry Sheflo was connected with a swimming pool company.

Maybe someone with an old magazine collection can confirm? (early 1970s)

Here’s one we made in the early 70’s



Cool pix…wish I had taken some of the kneeboards I was doing under the Owl label circa '71-'74. They were shoe type, concaved decks with enough edge for guys to have a rise to wedge their knees against in turns. Paul Nussbaum ripped on his crown tail single fin (semi Greenough-ish) at Rincon, and I’m pretty sure I sunk nylon rope handles in his along with quite a few others. Big single fins. I also shaped the fishy type with deep cut tails and domed fins. I put padded decks on a few of them.

Guys stood up on those boards and the main range was 5’0-5’4" but I also made a pintail gun for Ron Lincoln which he took to Hawaii along with his crowntail.

OK, I went through my Surfer Mag oldies but all I could find was this ad for Newport Paipo (November 1976 issue):

Not sure you can actually read what’s written: “Our experimenting resulted in a radical two-in-one board called the Shoe. It was designed to be ridden like a kneeboard or a surfboard…”

I remember quite well other ads with actual photos of the Shoe but couldn’t find them… Sorry.

It took me a while to find these but here you are, The Newport Paipo Shoe’s

Surfer Mag May 1971

May 1971

December 1971

Hey guys -

Thanks for those links. Seems to have been settled.

Were Newport Paipos ever made in Newport Beach? The address in the ads shows Santa Monica.

All the ads I have or remember say Santa Monica.

I think Newport probably just sounded better and the wedge kneelo’s were getting quite a bit of press back then, so that may have something to do with the name…

“El Paipo” was around about the same time with similar boards and they were out of the Costa Mesa/Newporche area.

They were both around for years and made some pretty cool alternative boards.

BTW I think the red and blue board posted by John is not a Shoe but instead looks to me more like a Con Duece with the sculptured raised deck.

Hey, there is one for sale on the front page, together with two Con Deuces… Coïncidence? I think not…

5'2" Sheflo "Shoe" by Newport Paipo ID: 4538

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Price: $1500.00 USD fifteen hundred U.S. dollars
Shipping & Handling: $0.00 USD
Quantity Available: 1
Posted on: Saturday, May 30, 2009
Seller location: Venice , CA


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5'2" Sheflo "Shoe" by Newport paipo, #2370, ealy 70's very rare specialty board made famous by gifted surfer Larry Sheflo, 16 1/8 x 21 1/8/x 17 1/4 x 3 1/4"(outside of concave) to 2 5/8" (interior of concave), 2 FU boxes (sorry, no fins), never ridden, pristine condition, a couple of surface snackles that can easily be attended to yield a showroom specimen. This is in mint original condition and has not been restored or even re-glossed, more photos upon request.

These are neat boards. Kendog, any more pics? What is the bottom contour? Any bottom and/or rocker pics?

This has always seemed like a neat fish variant to me and if you narrowed the concave and ran the scoop all the way back and up into a kicktail…a true front-footer’s skateboard – I’ve been meaning to do that exact thing with this design for a long time, but I’m finally getting the backfoot thing down…

The Bing is classic, such a beautiful green tint! Here’s the Avocado Joe Bauguess made for friends of mine, keeping all the fine work the Campbells and Bing did (and are doing) flowing along.



“BTW I think the red and blue board posted by John is not a Shoe but instead looks to me more like a Con Duece with the sculptured raised deck.”

Hi Unclegrumpy -

Right you are. My mistake. It definitely looks to be a Deuce.

The ads posted by Kendog on the homepage show a couple of nice Deuces by Con and a pristine Shoe by Newport Paipo for sale. It is the Deuce design that has the stepped rails.

Thanks again to you guys for posting those ads and setting me straight.

More sunken decks from Surfer Magazine ads circa 1972

This one from the previously mentioned “El Paipo” from Feb '72

I believe the ad copy that reads "totally new process " probably means pop out. But you can drive over it!

I had a kneeboard around this time with a similar design shape.

Worked pretty well in point break type waves but sucked gas in the beach break stuff.

This ad for the Gordon and Smith “Waterskate” is from April/May '72

The ad copy mentions their collaboration with Tom Morey on this design.

Yeah i’m loving all this stuff and thanks for the pics and info. does anyone have any shots of people stand up riding them?

Dick Pollack absolutley ripped Sebastian Inlet on a Shoe about "72. There are photos … I wish I had them to post. The “New Process” was a rotomolded polyethylene with a urethane core. Dick Lippencott put that program together with a few of the Huntington Beach crowd and they did some ads. They all delaminated and the new process was done. They made pretty good speed bumps though.

On the way up to Sacred Craft I saw a classic board collectors’ thing going on at the Reel Inn across the street from Topanga. I made an impulse buy of a board that looks a LOT like what people have posted here, though it’s not a SHOE. About 5’ and 19" wide, 3" thick with a very pointed nose and dished deck for the knees, diamond/square tail. The guy said it could be ridden as a paipo or kneeboard. If anyone is interested I will sell it to you for a very reasonable price - PM me.

Oh, the shaper is Okazaki, assume that means Guy Okazaki! Looks like an early 70’s vintage.