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.

Rasta in Sumatra

He may not be on a fish in all these shots but you just know the guy can charge on anything and these shots sent to me were too good not to share.

There has been some nice waves down Byron way

The most easterly point of Australia ...

Just nice foe an outing on the fish.The air is getting colder but the water is still nice and the wind is mostly offshore this time of year. Thanks Levi for the shots. If you want to get some nice daily images of the Byron to south Gold Coast , then check him out and subscribe.

New York Fish Fry report

Here is Steve Pendarvis on the beach for the New York Fish Fry 2010.

Steve and Cher said they had a great time even though the surf was very small and the water achilly 49F that is less than 10C. Bloody cold.
The East River Fish Taco cook off was a big hit I am told. It was hosted by Mollusk Surf Shop New York

Looks like Josh Hall checking out the boards on the day.

The following story is from

" On a blustery, surfless Saturday, May 15th, fish enthusiasts enjoyed a powwow of sorts at Grand Blvd. in Long Beach, NY. It wasn’t the surf that brought wavesliders from near and far out of the woodwork, but rather a mutual appreciation for the fish design and other well-crafted surfboards, a chance to catch up with old friends and meet new ones, and an opportunity to talk story and enjoy the New York springtime yearned for by those cooped up all winter long.

Fish Fry(e)s — the (e) honors legendary San Diego fish proponent Skip Frye — remain a time-honored event celebrating subsequent design offshoots from the original twin-keel model, and for the past four years New York has hosted a Fry(e) in Long Beach that’s attracted some of the best modern-day craftsmen in the game. This year saw New York’s adopted west coast paisan Josh Hall, along with ride-anything stalwarts Steve and Cher Pendarvis. New York not being one of the most conventional surf destinations to have such minds in attendance means that a lot of the design insight shared falls into the priceless category. But enough about that…

The weekend really went down like this: knowing that there wasn’t going to be much surf on hand, I indulged in the drink the night before the Fish Fry(e). And as it’s known nothing good happens after midnight, I awoke bleary-eyed after only a few hours of sleep and hit the road to Long Beach with coffee in hand.

Immediately upon arriving at Grand Blvd. it was a reunion of friends I haven’t seen in some time, and after high-fives and hugs in the parking lot it was time to cruise the beach and check out the boards on hand. It was pretty much a hot rod show of the avant-garde in surfing, with some mind-blowing works of art on the beach. Earning top honors were a Skip Frye model, a few Pendoflexes, Lis fishes, Pavels, Josh Halls, and, representing for the home team, Mark Petrocelli’s Faktion Surfboards. Everyone was geeking out and talking design theory, but I slunk around protected by a dark pair of shades. A few of the homeboys and girls ventured out into the surf, despite it only being about a half a foot, and when I walked down to the shoreline to take it in I saw Dutchie prone out on a piece of foam and get a cover up. Stoked on that, I retreated under the boardwalk, where Tommy “Snapwater” Colla set up a boom box and reggae laced the airwaves.

With the fuzz already paying the Fry(e) a visit because they saw a poster and thought there would be a BBQ on the beach, we sought refuge under the confines of the boardwalk. A cooler of coldies emerged from the sand and the boys kicked back and enjoyed the Saturday afternoon. As I was leaving the beach, Steve Pendarvis’ wife Cher was donning a wetsuit and heading out for an optimistic surf.

After that, grinds were in order, so Josh Hall and I bounced to Gino’s before hitting the road and enjoyed some fine pizza and good conversation on our way back into NYC — in fact, I’m pretty sure Josh ate pizza while he was here for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Stuck in traffic, I thought it would be apropos to give him a rundown on New York’s hip-hop history, which brought us all the way up to pulling into Brooklyn. Mollusk Surf Shop NYC was generous enough to host their East River Fish Taco Cook Off in conjunction with the Fry(e), with three of New York’s finest chefs doing battle in the street to see who would walk away with the title of best taco. Not sure who the winner ended up being, though the Lobster Roll Taco got my vote and I think the whole thing ended in a tie.

I was then regaled to the basement of the venue, where I slung beverages provided by Blue Point Brewery until the well ran dry and I again got to mingle on the street. Up until this point, I hadn’t gotten to talk much with the Pendarvises, but I was antsy for my opportunity. After a proper introduction, I talked story with both Steve and Cher for some time and was amazed by how kind and grateful they were to be a part of such an event so far from their home. Steve had me in stitches as he was so animated in his storytelling, whether it be design theory, reminiscing about stashing his boards in the bushes at a San Diego surf spot as a kid and riding down to surf after school, or being catapulted in the air by his flex tail surfboard at Hanalei Bay. Cher is also an absolute sweetheart and is the total embodiment of aloha. Both have surfing roots that run so deep and have been such integral parts of our sport’s rich history, so it was truly an honor to meet them.

As the party was in full swing, we kept an eye open for the boys in blue that lurk for the unsuspected partygoer carrying an uncapped beverage on the street. We grabbed some brown bags and kept a vigilant eye out while talking some more, before everyone parted ways at the end of the evening glad we had all developed a cross-coast bond. After a quick cleanup, the party commenced and another New York City night ensued.

Although there was no surf, the 4th Annual New York Fish Fry(e) was a total success. It’s great that an event like this is gaining momentum in the metropolitan area and heads are busy getting jazzed on quality board design and theory. For next year though, a little bit of waves wouldn’t be bad."

For more on the New York Fish Fry(e) and to stay abreast of future events, visit

Fish Fry New York this weekend - All the best guys

The New York Fish Fry is on this weekend and I would like to wish them all the best.

The Fish Taco Cookoff on Saturday is also not to be missed by all accounts as well. So if you are in the area or have plans to go send us an update .

More Simmons , this time from Spain

I have just been sent these great looking boards by Jose M. Rodriguez and he would like to show us the work of a friend of his, a great Spanish shaper. His name is Nacho Agote ( ). " He makes beautiful mini simmons boards!!!! "

This looks a lot like the handy work of Tristan

The Simmons ride review

As you will have seen in previous posts , I have shaped a couple of Mini Simmons boards. One for good friend Johnny T a 5ft 8" x 23" stringerless styrene with bamboo fins.The most recent experiment , a 5ft 4" x 22" with bamboo fins. Both clearly too small for me to ride , so I asked John to write a few words on his thoughts and experiences.

" When Grant first began discussing Project Simmons I knew immediately that I was interested. The simple fact that Bob Simmons had conceived this design back in the late 1940’s was enough for me to realise that I could find a deep connection with this style of board and that it was something that would fire my enthusiasm and imagination.
Coming down from a 9’6” log to a 5’8” Simmons was in itself a challenge, but I figured that since I had a life long association with skateboarding and a respect and admiration for the 1970’s,‘Town’ crew that included surfers Larry Bertlemann, Dane Kealoha, Buttons Kaluhiokalani and Mark Liddle, as well as the Z-boy skateboarders from Dogtown, that this low slung pivotal style would be a great resource to draw inspiration from for developing a technique necessary to ride the Simmons.

Grant and I conceived the first Simmons configuration as a styrene stringer-less epoxy job with a truly Bob Simmons inspired hulled bottom flowing into a concaved out the rear between the two bamboo keel fins. We kept the traditional s-deck profile but added extra thickness to allow for my transitioning down from log riding and also to enhance the craft’s paddling capacity.
The first trials began in messy conditions at Narrowneck on the beach break inside the sandbag reef. At first the length of the board daunted my best paddling efforts and then the buoyancy of the styrene hampered my ability to engage the board into the face of the waves, but once I become more familiar with the feel of everything I began to settle into catching a few smaller sliders. Each of these though felt like I was fighting for control until out the back a larger left set loomed into my path, I paddled hard and hooked into my backside for a rail grab decent down the face and then in a moment of inspiration I pulled a very tight bottom turn and the Mini Simmons was off like a rocket, blasting up to the lip for a sharp top turn slash that literally took me by surprise, at this point I was stoked and convinced of this little craft’s future potential. I rang Grant immediately blabbering insanely about the possibilities.

After a few more weeks I began to unfold the mysteries of the Simmons. I had come from a position of out of control looseness to a point where I could hold it all together and find a very smooth flow. My analogy was a skateboard with loose trucks. The real moment of truth however came at Snapper Rocks on a day when it was peeling endlessly through to Rainbow Bay. These were the first quality waves I had ventured onto with the Simmons. At first the fast late takeoffs were unsettling but once I had honed my focus I found that the moment I placed my feet securely over the rear keels the Simmons came alive, wide square tail driving, biting, tearing down the line with me piloting her glide far out onto the shoulder, her broad flat bottom and hulled front end lifting and floating over the surface of the water in a fluid series of very fast top to bottom s-turns, until crouched, I pressured my rear foot grabbed the rail and drove her screaming into an ass dragging sliding cutback, the tail drifting and throwing up a gushing fan of scattered white water, the direction change sudden, tight and purposeful. After an exhausting session of similar rides I was confident and assured that the Simmons would forever be a part of my quiver. I had spent a lifetime aspiring to a forgotten aesthetic, something gleaned from the movie screen as a teenager watching Bertlemann at Ala Moana and at Kaisers but this had been the first time that I ever felt in my mind that I had come near to achieving this archaic visual nirvana.

Grant’s next venture was a more streamlined Simmons, this one measuring in at 5’4”, with a sleek and trimmed out silhouette and shaped in glass and normal foam with a srtinger. I instantly liked the stripped down visual of this new board. While maintaining the classic Simmons s-deck configuration on top, Grant added concave in the bottom of the nose as opposed to the traditional hull; this seemed an appropriate contemporary design detail along with sharper rails and less bulk through the tail. This Simmons I christened at Currumbin just inside the point on that sandbank that seems to swing endless lines across to Lacey’s. My first few waves were a workout and this board was everything its predecessor was and then something; superfast and pivotal, but obviously due to its streamlined thickness it lacked the buoyancy and so I had to work twice as hard to keep her alive and engaged on the wave face. The next day I gave her another test run, this time at Little Marley. I was fortunate enough to catch the swell running all the way across into Rainbow Bay at about 2-3 foot, low tide and offshore. I couldn’t have found a better arena! The setup was perfect and the little 5’4” drove flat out down the line just ahead of the sand dredging foam. On almost every wave she powered superfast lines, my legs working like pistons to keep her slotted, grooved and channelled into the wall. On several waves I struggle to get to my feet set as the reduced length of the Simmons made the takeoffs even more crucial as well as the relative thinness of this board adding an extra dimension to the paddling experience and demanding a very thorough workout. However despite these small setbacks I discovered in this little Simmons a super fun surf craft with a huge capacity for speed, long drifting lines and driving pivotal turns, its wide flat underbelly gliding over the face, not dragging through it. After a serious three hour session for the Simmons and I, we both succumbed to exhaustion and washed up onto the shore where I lay with a grin from ear to ear, reflecting on a stoke and headspace I hadn’t felt in a long long time.

The Simmons? I think she was happy as well."

Thanks mate for sharing your thoughts and experiences. For someone who has only ridden old school logs for so long to step down to such a small and very different board and go so well has been amazing to watch.

John has a great little blog himself that you should check out :

" Papa Nui with his Simmons" art by Johnny T

Greenough inspired Velo Fish

At the fish fry there was a guy traveling up the coast in a bus who laid out a couple of great looking Greenough spoons and they got me thinking. It can be a little frustrating having a head full of ideas and doing nothing about them .So I decided that I would have to shape something as an experiment just for the hell of it. It is too small for me , but I have plenty of willing test pilots.

5ft 10" x 22" , not a lot of rocker...

The original spoon had a lot of flex in the solid glass bottom panel that flexed upwards to create a concave . So I have shaped the concave into the bottom front to back .

The idea was to squash the rail down to about 3" and give the deck some float and thickness. As the originals hardly float and are fairly heavy with all that solid glass. I Kept the hull bottom on the rails , but added the edge board and concave front to back.

A soft blend of many ideas and shapes coming together.

Still kept the concave spoon deck , but in a much more mellow fashion and at 2" thick it added the float that was lacking. If you look at some of the footage of the early spoons with just the hull bottom they really bounce around on the face. They were also lacking a little in waterline length at around 5ft 2". So I figure the flat edge board panel they later added acted like a planing plank on a speed boat and gave it something to sit up on and the added concave providing lift as well. I shaped the edge quite softly so as to not make the board track too much and blend everything together.

Anyway this is what it ended up like and the whole exercise has been very rewarding. I loved just carving away at the foam and look forward to the finished board glassed up.