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.

New Fish Fry in the making

 Ben Di Donato lives in Cronulla. He came to the Alley Fish Fry at Currumbin this year and had a really good time.So he emailed me with the following...

" I've been trying to come for 3 years now and finally did,  I got 2 boards off Eden at Dead Kooks as well (stoked). It actually got me annoyed because the surf culture in Cronulla is almost dead. Its all about Al Merrick and Firewire thrusters and doing airs, which I can appreciate the skill required. I've been riding for 6 years and its only been fishes,logs and finless boards. So I don't really relate with them. I've been looking into it a fair bit and Cronulla has a rich history of longboard to paipo riding but no one knows about it is or what those boards are about.

I really feel passionate about spreading some knowledge and showing people that you can ride any board in any conditions even if it doesn't have 3 fins. So I want to hold a fish fry or something similar in Cronulla and thought i might ask you for some guidance or advice."

Well he has taken it further ...

"Inspired by recent events this year, namely the Alley Fish Fry in Currumbin QLD. I decided that my home beach of Cronulla needed more surf festivals. We get the short board and longboard comps and the occasional Redbull event. But these don’t appeal to me, I enjoy all forms of Fishes, Logs, Simmons and Finless boards in a non-competitive fashion. But don’t get me wrong, totally appreciate the skill involved. When I ride I get the look; the look of and the questions “does that even work” or “Cronulla doesn’t get the right waves for that”. It made me want to educate and show people that there is more out there then the 6ft thruster and that there are shapers that are redesigning the future for years to come. I would always say someone needs to do it. No one has. So with Grant’s blessing I will be holding the 2012 Wanda Fish Fry here at Wanda Beach in Cronulla. So watch out after winter.
This board is my first I have made, its a Paipo inspired fish. I free handed the design, and shaped it in 3 hours. Next swell I’m taking it out"

… this is what the Wanda Fish Fry is about.

Check out what Ben is up to and get behind him when he sets a date for his first event.

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