Four types of papa he'e nalu rode upon the waves of long ago.
Listed in order of length, from longest to shortest, these surfboards were the: super-long olo (O-lo), kiko`o (key-CO-oo), alaia (ah-LAI-ah) and paipo (pipe-oh) bodyboard.
Certainly, Oceania, if not Polynesia, was the center of wave riding since ancient times and into the present.
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In everyday conversation, pae po`o was often shortened to pae po, which is common among Hawaiian words that end with double "o's," such as Napo`opo`o on the island of Hawai`i, which is often pronounced Napopo.
The popular spelling used today, paipo, was coined by Hawaiian surfing legend Wally Froiseth, who, besides being an excellent surfer, was an exceptional paipo board rider who was famous for standing on his twin-fin board while riding big waves.
SH&CC Caption: One of Laird Hamilton's hydrofoil boards, a Dyno kneeboard, a '70s Victoria Skimboard, a '60s "Paipo" bellyboard, a Hawaiian plywood, fiberglass and resin paipo, a balsa twinfin bellyboard, some swim fins (including 1 of Mark Cunningham's), a Mc Donald's tray, a canvas mat (good for rashes from neck to knees), an early Boogie Board, a Hawaiian bellyboard (popular with visiting tourists in the '30s, '40s & '50s), and a Peruvian Caballito de Totora. Looks like a foam/glass board and the rider is wearing a pair of Da Fins swim fins and paddling gloves. Jeff Chamberlain test riding his newest board, "Mega Platter," one of many in his paipo experimentation adventure.
Unidentified paipo surfer at Maria's Point, Rincn, Puerto Rico, March 18, 2016.
He is also an avid bodysurfer and one of the founding fathers of the Sandy Beach Bodysurfing Championships in 1972, and was the head judge (and a competitor) until 1989. During the early 1900s, the term paepo'o was commonly used in Waikīkī, and it meant riding a wave with only the body.