An aquaplane is “a board ridden by a standing person and pulled by a motorboat for entertainment” (www.lexic.us). This “Arro-Plane” was probably made by a water ski manufacturer, and has fantastic graphic appeal – painted with a long arrow shape that is crowned with an Indian head (think arrowhead) in strong red, white and blue colors. The condition of the paint decoration with minor scuffs and wear indicates that the board must not have been used much. In addition to being a cool piece of vintage sports equipment, this board has all of the attributes that are desirable in vintage trade signs.
It is 71” long x 24” wide x 2” thick, and is quite heavy – about 35 pounds.
A rope harness would have been attached to the two side rings, and then a tow rope would have extended from the front of the aquaplane to the back of a motor boat. The light blue patches near the back of the board are sand-painted to provide grip for wet feet.
This following rather comical vintage illustration shows aquaplaning technique during a thrilling ride behind what looks to be about a ten horse-power motor.
We also found a few 1924 vintage photos of aquaplane athletes that show the basic technique of board riding, as well as some fancier tricks.