It all started with the fish when the innovative shapers and board builders out there decided to revisit the past for some inspiration. In doing so they brought back some lost skills such as resin tints and hand foiled fins.The Fish Fry has been a place for these fine craftsmen to showcase their skills. We have seen some amazing boards as shapers have pushed the boundaries over the last few years. As this new look at the fish has evolved to its many forms, it has influenced other shapes and designs along the way.This has spawned a renewed interest in other board forms by this same group and a wider following.Notably the Mini Simmons, Hulls, old school Logs and Pigs. It is pleasing to note that there are an increasing number of people building their own boards as well.All of this is to be applauded and celebrated as a positive for surfing.So it is only natural that these shapers and board builders continue to share their skills with us and include these other shapes at the Fish Fry.It has truly become a melting pot of ideas for like minded people.

Saturday night before the Fish Fry

 The 2012 Fish Fry night at the Gold Coast Surf Museum

This year we are most fortunate to have a special guest in Dick Van Straalen, who many of you will know from his time here on the Gold Coast as a shaper of note. But first up Dick would like to share a very rare film that he was a part of. " The Surfing Years " is a great little movie of Dick and some friends, taken in 1964 when Dick was a 20 year old doing what we all dream of. Tossing in the job, jumping in the car with some mates and couple of girls, and leaving Sydney behind for a surfing road trip to Noosa Heads. The movie is a classic and has some great footage of early Crescent Head, Byron Bay and the Gold Coast on the way to Noosa. This is the same trip many of you will have no doubt done yourselves and you won't be the last to take this journey.

 Dick started shaping for Shane Surfboards in Eastwood, Sydney in 1962, got married to his wife Anne in 1966 and moved to the Gold Coast in 1969. He has shaped boards for many great surfers and is known to this day as one of the innovators of the surfboard industry.

 Well known in recent times with his turning the fish design into a very progressive and high performance shape in collaboration with feedback from  Dave Rastovich. Together they raised the profile of the Fish, and in turn they were a large part in sparking my own interest in the Fish that started this whole event. Dick is a traditional hand shaper and still shapes a couple of boards a day and aways has a healthy list of orders in front of him.

I am sure you will also find him a very interesting and insightful person. So after the movie there will be a chance to find out what makes Dick tick!

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