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.

The Bobsled by Bob Mctavish

After nearly a decade of FISH boards getting us long boarders back on shorter equipment, there is a new solution on the horizon… The BOBSLED!

Fishes are fine if you surf them flat, and are happy to move your back foot around between manouvres, so you can get power into those fins right out on the rail. But if you wanna jam more VERTICAL, the fish doesn’t really wanna go there. The BOBSLED solves this problem by pulling the tail width in, and closing up the fin-spread, allowing you to snap from rail-to-rail instantly without moving your foot to find a point to dominate your fins. In other words, the Bobsled surfs like a regular board, but with paddle power supplied by a wider mid and nose template, like a fish.

But how do you make a wider board roll fast onto it’s rail so it can go vertical? The answer there is the classic McTavish bottom shape: Concave down the centre for LIFT, then BEVELS along the underside rails to soften it’s feel… instead of a cranky flat or full rail-to-rail concave, the bevels make the board feel NARROWER, and allow easy banking onto the rail into the turn.

The RAILS are boxy, carrying more paddling VOLUME out to the edges where thay can displace some water. No point in having a board measure 3.5 inches thick in the centre if the deck is heavily rolled, shedding all the volume and creating an uncomfortable rolled feel underfoot.

The fin set-up is pure QUAD, the fastest, best feeling combo on the planet! (But only if you get the fin-spread right, as we do. We’ve tested our quad spread on our team, from young short-board shredders all the way to us older vast experienced surf designers.)

LENGTHS are ranging from 5’5 (like the one I made for Slater) all the way up to the mid sevens. It’s that VERSATILE.

The BOBSLED… The new bankable, fast reactive high-speed shorter-board from the McTavish Team.

Fishie kind a day

More Japanese Fish Fry 2009 pics

Gold Coast shaper Woody Jack had a range of boards he took with him

A big thanks to Yutaka Ono for sending these shots of the Japanese Fish Fry 2009. A wide range of different craft as well flex tail longboards, spoons and a see through longboard.

Something different ?

Local Gold Coast shaper and artist Richard Harvey has had these in his sketch book for a while and finally found time to make it happen.  The Alaia Sandle,  a cross between the Hawaiian Alaia surfboard and the Japanese Geta Sandal. Made from laminated cedar and pine with jute rope straps. See them along with other timber boards and surfing paraphernalia at the Wooden Surfboards Day Sunday 9th August - The Currumbin Alley Gold Coast   and

Fish Fry Japan 2009

All the pics below were kindly forwarded to me by Dave Verrall / Diverse Surfboards (above) from the Gold Coast who went to this years Japanese event.

Looks like they they had a fun day and a good turnout. A big thanks to Dave.

The Wood Biscuit by Grain

The Wood Biscuit

" Grain Surfboards and Channel Islands Surfboards are pleased to announce a new partnership. Using our tried and true wood construction method, we'll be rendering some of the Channel Islands surfboard line using sustainable-yield cedar, low VOC epoxy, even bamboo cloth instead of glass for those who want it.  We're starting with Rob Machado's board, the Biscuit, a stubby wave-catcher for knee to head-high surf.  Our first size will be the 6'2" with more to follow. Soon, these boards will be available as kits as well.

Working with CI to deliver wood versions of their boards is really exciting for us and inspires us to think about the unusual nature of this project.  We're tempted to make some comparisons with the arrangements some well-respected shapers have entered into with epoxy pop-out factories. Where pop-outs are machine made, our boards couldn't be more hand-crafted. Where pop-outs can feel corky, ours are solid with great glide and speed. And with more and more boards made overseas (where environmental laws are often lax) being able to get a board made in Maine by folks who make their impact on the planet a daily conversation is becoming a revolutionary choice."