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 Garrett Finless

Local Gold Coast shaper Chris Garrett has done a couple of trips to Bali and spent quite some time in the bay at Deus. On his latest trip he got very adventurous and very creative to say the least. The results speak for themselves as you will see.

Shaping it is one thing , finding a glasser and sander that is willing to finish it is another. Nice job.

Complex springs to mind...

Hand shaping at it's very best. This is the art of handshaping in the highest order. There are not too many people that would even know where to start. 


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!

Aloha Simmons by Sean Wilde

What's 5'2" with green skin and a big fat arse?
Aloha team rider, Cam Gray's new flying carpet, that's what!
We just picked up Cam's new Aloha board from the factory and it looks like way too much fun.
It's 5'2" x 22" x 3" of section linking, foam climbing sickness.  With super speed flat rocker, 'S' deck foam distribution, single into double concave under your front foot and rolled V out the back, you'll be steppin' off onto the sand every time.

The Snowboard / Fish cross

Do it yourself...

 I met Blake Norrish at the Alley the other morning. He was heading out for a surf with his dad. Got talking to him about the board he had with him and it turned out he had built it himself.

 After the surf he was on the plane back to Melbourne again for the year. But he promised to send these pics here to share. So good to see guys having a go and doing it themselves. It is such a rewarding experience and the connection you then have with your surfing is very special. And I am sure it will not be your last.

  " I outlined the shape after drawing on the ideas of Bob Simmons, Ado from Rake and Tyler Warren's bars of soap but kept the nose pretty square just to experiment. Hull entry to flat to single between the fins. Hand foiled marine ply keels."

  " Prayer flag inlays on the bottom and a few laminates on the deck including an artwork by Michael Hsiung with alfoil beneath. The teeth are my crazy obsession, currently studying with a goal of becoming an orthodontist. Dimensions and a sexual innuendo on the stringer and she was done.

So far has performed well with a few sessions at Snapper, the Pass and the Alley.

The whole experience has been so great to learn all that is involved in making a surfboard and I feel I can only improve from my mistakes and am keen to get back in the shed and craft some more. Currently sussing out using a decent bay to create some more dust.

Cheers and all the best for the Fish Fry, I only wish Vic wasn't so far away!

The 9ft " Pelican Glider "

 John Cherry's younger brother Frank with his new Pelican Glider - the name given by John to his Simm-21 model when they are over 8 foot long.
 Great looking hand foiled wooden fins by John of course
 Pretty happy looking bro I would say and why not.
"  It has a low, relaxed rocker, with very subtle single-into-double concave.  He has a 7-0 and and 8-0 simm-21 as well."

 Frank rode it Tuesday and Wednesday up at Rincon with a solid 6-8ft swell running.  He got all the waves he wanted, some of which were 300-400 yards long!  He says it really hauls ass down the line

" I tried to talk him out of “shark lure” black as the color.  But he wouldn’t hear of it.  Rincon is right in the middle of “the red triangle” in the winter months.  I guess the great whites weren’t biting (busy breeding and feeding on seals) those days.  A good thing."

Short and funky

The boys in Sydney are vamping it up with these little numbers. Sean Wilde and Mark Gnech have quite a following with these wee craft. Check them out at :
and :

Single fins at Burleigh

The 15th Annual Burleigh Single Fin Classic was run last weekend and it is great to see what modern surf style and old boards can do.

15th Annual Single Fin Festival Burleigh Heads from Billabong on Vimeo.

The Fish Fry in POC magazine

This is a piece written by Shannon Denny in the UK about the Fish and the Fish Fry. If you would like to check it out :   POC

Single to double

Sweet little board from Bernardo Sodrefrom Brazil - 5'10'' X  20" X 2 1/12". To checkmout what else he is up to :

A nice selection of Kiwi Simmons

Noe Bridler from New Zealand sent me these great looking simmons that he has been building for himself and customers.
  " I thought I'd share some of my backyard creations, noticed you said there's not many mini simmonesque boards over this side of the ditch well that's true. So I focused mainly on them with the images, been shaping a few short ones for myself and then some mid size ones for customers. I do wooden tail blocks and linen deck inlays etc focusing on a handmade one off custom board.
Anyway cheers for a great blog and happy new year! "

Check out his other boards at :

The Gold Coast, yes it gets crowded but we sure get some fun swells.

We have had a great run of swell and Noosa and Byron didn't miss out as well. But it has hung in here much longer with some great banks , 25c water and crystal clear to boot.

You have to love what this guy does...

The Waxa Chip

 I just love the antique , rustic glass job. It really siuts these boards

These are Waxa Surfboards new Chip  model, which is Scott Robinson's take on the mini simmons. Each of these boards has been completely hand made by Scott including the fins. Pictured is a 4'10 , 5'2 , 5'0.  
Scott embodies exactly what the Fish Fry is about. Someone applying art , design and craft to build great looking boards by hand. Old school with a modern twist just how we like it. Can only hope he makes it to this years Fish Fry.

If you would like to see more of Scotts great boards and old school logs , you can check him out at :