The greatest minds went river boarding.


When I was in high school, my friends and I would go down to the Salt River, tie one end of a ski rope to a tree, and the other end to our home made river boards. These were generally three foot diameter circular pieces of plywood, carefully and lovingly designed, painted and created by me and my friends. We’d throw the board into the middle of the river (this used in the broadest sense of the term, since Arizona isn’t too well known for flowing bodies of water), jump on and ride the current. We’d jump the board and do tricks like head stands, hand stands, back flips, etc. It was the source of very fond memories.

Well, imagine my surprise, when looking up some information about Wernher von Braun for a school paper today, and here he is, “water-boarding” in the middle of the Tennessee River! Wernher von Braun, enigmatic rocket man! Creator of the U.S. missile and space program! Rocket genius! and River Boarder! Awesome!

Wernher von Braun on a river board

Stuhlinger, Ernst. Wernher Von Braun, Crusader for Space: An Illustrated Memoir. Malabar, Fla: Krieger Pub. Co, 1994, page 39.

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