LAKE ARROWHEAD — Southern California’s waterways are regularly filled with recreational boats and personal watercrafts such as Jet skis, kayaks and standup paddleboards. The co-existence of these crafts and vessels has often created rifts among boaters and personal watercraft users. But the use of standup paddleboards in local waters is not a new phenomenon. In fact the standup paddleboards were a welcome addition to local waterways during the 1930s, according to historical documents published by Lake Arrowhead Yacht Club.
The yacht club, during Fourth of July festivities in 1934, featured an inboard speedboat race, outboard racing, aquaplaning, sailboat racing and an exhibition of Hawaiian paddleboards. (Fishing and canoeing events were held a couple days later.)
“[The year] 1934 saw the introduction of paddle board races to the LAYC regatta. Hawaiian paddleboards were gaining in popularity in Southern California, and were introduced to Lake Arrowhead in June of 1934,” Lake Arrowhead YC member and historian Phillip Homme wrote in a narrative about the Fourth of July celebrations in 1934. “At the request of LAYC, the paddle board manufacturer sent a group of five experts from Santa Monica and Venice to Lake Arrowhead to give paddling demonstrations and to assist with a paddleboard race hosted by LAYC.”
Powerboat racing, however, was the headlining event of the 1934 regatta held on the Fourth of July weekend.
“Power boating was extremely popular at Lake Arrowhead in the 1930s, drawing large crowds to view the annual races. LAYC’s headlining race was the exhilarating inboard motor speedboat race,” Homme wrote. “In 1934, fifteen entries competed for the B.I. Malouf Perpetual Trophy, racing in Chris-Craft and Garwood boats. The racecourse was laid out such that the speedboats would pass the Village boat docks twice during each lap. This circuit allowed the spectators to see as much of the race as possible from the Village boat docks and the adjacent shoreline.”
Lake Arrowhead YC charter member Edi Jaun won the perpetual trophy, according to Homme.