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 Polynesians who made it to Hawai'i also brought their customs with them, including playing in the surf on paipo (belly) boards.
Although Tahitians are said to have occasionally stood on their boards, the art of surfing upright on long boards was certainly perfected, if not invented, in Hawai'i.
The Men sometimes 20 or 30 go without the Swell of the Surf, & lay themselves flat upon an oval piece of plank about their size and breadth, they keep their legs close on top of it, & their arms are us'd to guide the plank, they wait the time for the greatest Swell that sets on Shore, & altogether push forward with their Arms to keep on its top, it sends them in with a most astonishing Velocity, & the great art is to guide the plank so as always to keep it in a proper direction on the top of the Swell, & as it alters its direction.
If the Swell drives him close to the rocks before he is overtaken by its break, he is much praised."Source: Lt.
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.The term appears to have been coined by Hawaiian surfers in Waikiki circa 1900, where it was commonly used to mean bodysurfing or bodysurfing with a small wooden bodyboard.The literal translation of pae po`o is "ride [a wave] head-first", or in other words, bodysurf, and a papa pae po`o was a bodysurfing board, or what surfers today call a bodyboard.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.Certainly, Oceania, if not Polynesia, was the center of wave riding since ancient times and into the present.