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.

Art Park Byron Bay meets Thalia Street Laguna Beach

 The world is a small place these days and people are collaborating on projects everywhere. It is great to see this spirit has crossed the ocean for these guys , Paul McNeil ( left ) and Ben McTavish ( right ) from Byron Bay and the Thalia Street Surf shop in Laguna Beach. I don't think their Scottish heritage has anything to do with it.

About the board:
Being based in Byron Bay, Art Park is of course surrounded in surf and surf culture. “We try to surf everyday and making arty surfboards was definitely on our ‘things to do list’.” Paul McNeil (Art Park co-creator) had previously been one of the creatives behind the influential surfboard company SEA Surfboards and had also done an art series of boards with Bob McTavish. This of course led to Ben Mctavish a local ripper and surfboard royalty. The two have been collaborating on various projects for 4 years and when the idea of a Thalia Surf board came along they decided on this hot little single fin. Its the first official Art Park/Ben McTavish surf board and everyone is stoked with how it looks and keen to ride it, but that honor will go to some other lucky surf rat. Your welcome.

About the Shapers/Artists:
Paul McNeil/Artist: Legend of the board, high Lord of Byron aka The Mayor, distinguished artist and ART PARK co-creator. Paul is a highly influential and widely published Australian artist with exhibitions in NYC, London, Melbourne and Sydney, several books under the belt, and a long list of collaborations with the who’s who of the Australian and international rock, surf and garment worlds. Based in Byron Bay and one of the creatives behind the influential SEA surfboards Paul’s distinctive board art is widely sought after. These days ART PARK keeps Paul more than busy, but he is more than happy to dip his hands in resin and produce the odd surf beauty.

Ben McTavish/Shaper: Born Lennox Head 1974. There was a shaping bay in every house we lived in, I used to clean them. I watched dad shape my 1st board, an old twin fin Bluebird knee board. Shaped 1st board at 16, a 5.10 ratty thruster. Since then I have hand shaped over 4000 boards and production shaped around 10,000 for the McTavish brand. I’d been lucky enough to do some stuff with Paul/Art Park of recent times and was always a massive fan of his work with Dain and the guys at SEA, its just a surf board but its unbelievable how much love and effort goes in to getting this all to work and not be too excessive, my department seemed simple a 5.10 “Diamond Sea” flex fin, the rest was in Paul’s hands and the skills of the McTavish factory. One of those boards you really wish you could keep… perfect combo of art and function…proud.

To enter the competition click HERE
or visit Thalia Street
or visit Art Park

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