Tom Blake (March 8, 1902 – May 5, 1994) was the American inventor of the hollow-core surfboard. Following his first experimental hollow surfboard in 1926, his innovative, hollow-core surf/paddle boards dominated the surfing world until the late 1940's. It became standard rescue equipment in California's early lifeguard corps.
In the 1930's he made the first major design advancement with the invention of fins. Before this, a surfer had to use his back foot to make the board turn. link Images © Rick Griffin