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.

Byron Bay Surf Festival

Bring Them To The Beach
At the heart of experience is change. To stagnate is to bid farewell to a lifestyle of excitement and pleasure; revoke experience and the vibrancy of life slips away.
The second annual Byron Bay Surf Festival invites you to reawaken your experience of surfing with the Freestyle & Stoke Surf Sessions and Swap Meet.
An increasing abundance of swap meets around the world has seen surfers bringing together their collective quivers to swap, trade and sell boards no longer used or fallen out of favour – a cheap, if not free way to breathe new life into paddling out. The Surf Swap Meet is without restriction or parameter – simply bring a board, take a look, buy, sell, exchange or even walk away empty-handed engorged on a plethora of eye-candy.
Taking place right on the sand at Byron Bay’s Watego’s Beach, as with so much about the Byron Bay Surf Festival, the Surf Swap Meet is rare, if not unique, in that it provides an opportunity for potential new owners to try before they buy. The sheltered bay at Watego’s provides the perfect testing ground for would-be buyers or swappers, allowing as much a showcase of boards as a retail event.
There is always a board in the back of the garage or under the house gathering more dust than the rest, not necessarily because of any lack of love but just that others have taken preference. Whatever it may be, thruster, log, paipo, fish – anything at all that floats – the Byron Bay Surf Festival offers a venue for you to show off and share.
But the day isn’t confined to a barter-fest. Celebrated shapers from around the country, including , Classic Malibu, The Critical Slide Society and Morning Of The Earth Surfboards, along with California’s Ryan Lovelace and Toru Handplanes of Japan will be offering test-rides of many of their models, a rare chance enabling you to ride a swathe of different craft to expand your awareness of board design.
To inspire you further, The Freestyle Surf & Stoke Surf Session draws together a collection of professional and renowned surfers to display their talents and, hopefully, encourage them to step out of their comfort zones. Former ASP World Tour surfer, ‘Top-44’ contender and proud Byronian Danny Wills was last year coaxed by Tom Wegener to ride a finless alaia for the first time. Wegener was absolutely overwhelmed with excitement, the beach’s onlooking crowd also thrilled at the elite professional shortboarder showing his consummate abilities on equipment so far removed from his usual craft of choice.
Expanding further the day’s experiences, Toru is offering a free handplane workshop. The Japanese master craftsman has travelled his country’s coastline on a bicycle and bodysurfed and shared his handicraft with the masters of the alternative Keith, Dan, and Chris Malloy. Bringing his tools and skills to the beach, he will be whittling and educating in the art of handplanes, presenting his pintsized surfcraft and helping anyone interested to create their very own.
A day rich in camaraderie and experience unfolds on the final day of the three-day Byron Bay Surf Festival, Sunday 28th October. A nominal administration fee of $5 per board will be charged for those wishing to sell or swap their boards, but all other events for the day are entirely free of charge.
Join, share, enjoy. Byron Bay Surf Festival takes place on 26-28 October. Visit www.byronbaysurffestival for further information, a program of events and the latest festival news and announcements.
 I went to the first one last year and had a great time. We are booked to spend the weekend there.


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