Ancient History - The Gondola (Part 3)
Over the last few weeks, we have been paddling a little further into the history of Ancient SUP to see if we can unravel where it all began!
We spoke about the Peruvians with the 'Caballito De Totora' aka 'Little Reed Horses' which they have used for over 3000 years.
We spoke about the Israelis who SUP on a vessel since 800 AD known as the 'Hasake' and is even been adopted by the lifeguards in Israel who use it as a rescue craft to save people's lives!
Today we are going to take a closer look at the Italians with the famous Gondola which some say the first launch was in 697 AD on the Venetian Canal
Here are some fun facts about the Gondola:
Greece, Malta, and Turkey all claim right to the naming of the vessel Gondola. However, it was the Italians that used it and still use today to taxi locals and tourists around Venice.
The Gondola is carved out of 280 hand-made pieces using eight different types of wood (Lime, Oak, Mahogany, Walnut, Cherry, Fir, Larch, and Elm).
According to the first manuscript recorded, this water vessel measured 8-9 meters in length (so slightly bigger than any SUP, or even a party SUP - probably resembles more like the vessel Chris Bertish used to SUP the Atlantic). *Nowadays modern Gondola is slightly longer than 11 meters to transport more goods as well as tourists!
The Gondola has something called a 'Ferro' on the front which is made from metal, it's not only for aesthetics, as it's used to limit the damage (maybe we need these on our SUPs sometimes )
The paddle is around 35 feet in length and weighs a whopping 500kg, and that's why it has oar support called a Fórcola (I'll think we'll just stick to paddling with Carbon)
So there you have it, was it the Italians to SUP first?
Let the mystery continue....with next weeks post the turn of the Welsh
Could anyone think what vessel it might be?