S. Newman Darby of Pennsylvania is generally credited with inventing the sailboard. He'd worked on some prototype of the sailboard beginning in 1948, but finally finished it to his satisfaction in the 1960s. He began selling his sailboards in 1964, but did not patent the design. Consequently, others developed similar ideas, and the first actual patent for the sailboard was filed by Jim Drake and Hoyle Schweitzer in California in 1968.
Sailboard in Days of InfamyEdit
During the Japanese occupation of Hawaii (1942-3), surfer Oscar van der Kirk hit on the idea of putting a sail on his surf board. He asked local handyman Eizo Doi to build the proposed "sailboard". The new craft proved a success.
Inevitably, others adopted van der Kirk's idea, and sailboards started to appear all over the island in short order.
Van der Kirk found that the commonality of sailboards made the idea impossible to patent.