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 Italian bar of soap

Jackie and I have just gotten back from a trip to Italy where we caught up with Marco Mazzini who organised last years European Fish Fry in Italy. He came out to the Gold Coast last year to the Alley Fish Fry.
He took us to meet his good friend Michele Puliti who is the one man band at Olo Surfboards.

Just prior to us heading off Marco had sent me this video of Michele shaping his first Mini Simmons. So it was good to see first hand how it had come out .

Check out his handy work :

Thanks to everyone

Well the jour­ney of the Earth­quake Surf­board has now had a happy end­ing. We wanted to thank every­one for the sup­port and well wishes over the past few weeks.

We were amazed at the unfold­ing events of the auc­tion. This resulted in hav­ing 9974 hits on Trademe with over 100 peo­ple watch­ing the auc­tion, which far exceeded all of our expec­ta­tions. The final bid was $2061.00 NZD, which will be mak­ing its way to the Red Cross.

The win­ner of the Earth­quake Surf­board and hand­made wall racks is a Cantabrian surfer. It is pretty fan­tas­tic to think the board will go to some­one who has per­sonal attach­ment to the City of Christchurch.

We are eter­nally grate­ful to those in the surf­ing com­mu­nity both in New Zealand and inter­na­tion­ally who embraced this cause. It was also hum­bling to get so many heart­felt mes­sages from those peo­ple who told us they were not from a surf­ing back­ground, their sen­ti­ments expressed to us greatly con­tributed to the sig­nif­i­cance of the Earth­quake Board.

Once again we wanted to thank everyone!!

Jelly Bean Simmons

A couple of fruity little numbers from Jessie Watson at Black Apache Surfboards here on the Gold Coast

4ft 11" Velosim from Ryan Lovelace

Ryan , a guest speaker at this years Fish Fry is one of the new wave of innovative , young gun hand shapers. Yes the future id in good hands.

Fish Fry Japan 2011

Saturday 28th of May at Shizunami Beach , Shizuoka

Dead Kooks

In recent years as guys have started experimenting with boards and what they are willing to ride , there has also been a significant increase in those same guys wanting to branch out and have a go at shaping their own boards. This is a great development for all of us. Eden Saul here on the Gold Coast is one of a number of locals that have taken up the challenge with planer in hand.

He loves to experiment and test ride all sorts of craft. His other job is as a paid lifeguard on our beaches. Check out what he is doing :

Surfboard shapers woorkshop

Richard Harvey here on the Gold Coast is a well known and long time hand shaper who has put together a series of classes to teach you how to design and shape a surfboard.I know there are lots of guys keen to have a go at shaping their own boards and this is a great way to learn from someone who has been doing it for a long time. I highly recommend this course.

" The Surfboard Shapers Workshop ® has found a location in Melbourne to hold an Introduction & Orientation course. It will run for three hours on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, at a date yet to be set, but will most likely be in August - September. The Introduction & Orientation covers Unit 1 of the Surfboard Shapers Workshop, plus a little more.
For those wanting to register their interest in the workshop please email for an information pack to with the subject heading "Melbourne Surfboard Shapers Workshop"

Outline of the course

3 hrs - Group Session
• The shaping bay layout with lighting, stands, racks and benches.
• Tools, what they do, how to use them and how to select yours.
• Building your own Shaping Stands
• Understanding the custom order form.
• Design elements.
• Understanding the fundamentals and character of boards and fins.
• Selecting the correct blank shape for your design.
• Creating templates
• Translating measurements
• Creating your own logo

A notes folder containing, tool lists, information on setting up a shaping bay, safety equipment, a set of diagrams for building your own shaping stands and a Surfboard Shapers Workshop DVD's (retail value $30) will be also be included.
Surfboard Shaping Stand kits and T-shirts will be available for order on the night.

For those interested this will then lead onto Unit 2 and 3 resulting in a surfboard that you have shaped for yourself from scratch. (see details below)

3 hrs - Individual Session
• Drawing & cutting your plan shape
• Using the planer - Safety ckeck list
• Rough shaping the bottom
• Rough shaping the deck
• Rough shaping the rails

4 Hours - Group Session
• Fine Shaping
• Rail shapes
• How to shape Channels and Concaves
• Tucked under edges
• Checking for bumps
• Gauze rails
• Stringer heights
• Marking fin positions
• Final dimensions check and ID
• Shape ready for glassing

" As I have had interest in the Surfboard Shapers Workshop from other areas, if you are from either Sydney, Adelaide or the Sunshine Coast and are keen in attending a course in your area then please email with the subject heading of your city, example: (Adelaide - Surfboard Shapers Workshop) and if there is enough interest for your city then I will investigate a suitable location and time."

To contact Richard :

0414 557 624

Now this is a fish

Here is an 11 foot keel fish shaped by Rich Pavel for Steve Schirmacher

Fins by John Cherry

Steve's ride report ," Rode it at a little corner at Trestles today and this board is beyond words..."

The Balsa fish for the Earthquake appeal

For more details on the board , bidding for it get hold of Jay :

Ph/Fax: +64 (3) 389 5611

Michael Lim's Nice quiver

5'11" H.I.C 80's twinzer fish. A mate bought it from ebay years ago, the 1st owner have it in his garage for 14 years before listing it on ebay. I took over when he became a Dad & unable to travel for waves.

5'4" Mini Arc tail quad by Yuta of Shaka Stics

5'9" DVS twin keels fish. Traded my 1978 Suzuki TS125 street scrambler motorbike w/ a buddy for it.

4'11" Half Moon tail mini-sim inspired twin keels by Yuta of Shaka Stics :

5'9" EHO quad fish w/101 bamboo fins, glassed by Moonlight Glassing :

5'8" ODY Classic twin keel fish (my 1st fish shape in 2004) Ody was a backyard Mexican shaper that learnt his shaping skills in Cardiff by the Sea in San Deigo. After 9 years & a wife, he went back to Mexico & started his own surfshop at the famous Puerto Escondido "Mexican Pipeline" :

5'5" double wings quad fish

New York Fish Fry # 5 - 2011

Weekend of May 14-15 2011
9:00 am onward
Long Beach NY

*The 14th or 15th will be chosen a couple of days prior to take advantage of weather and surf conditions.

For updates or more info check :

Great to see the tradition kicking on in the Big Apple.

New Kiwi Simmons being tested

5ft 5"

Lok Box and Speed Dialer fins

A new 5ft 5" Mini Simmons from Roger Hall in New Zealand. Not too many of these over the ditch I would think. It will be good to see what Roger will come up with next after checking out many of these such craft at the 5 Fish Fry's he has been to.

A Hollow wood Mini-Sim made in Singapore & finished in Bali.

" This is Mike from Singapore. Yes, there are surfers in Singapore , an island with no waves but only 2 hrs flight from Indo & it's surf riches.
I be a follower of your "The Alley Fish Fry" blog & is smitten with all these alternative boards porn. I myself have quite a few fish type shape in my bunch. That's will be another mail altogether."

" Anyway,I thought I would share with you & the other devotees the stoke of my 1st hollow wooden mini-sim shaped and built by a buddy of mine Capt Tien aka Ali Bob as he was known in the FaceBook world.
Tien is a full fledge Singapore Airlines Pilot that where he get the Capt namesake from. True to his heart, he a tinker & all around Mr Craftsman, plus a pioneer figure in our minuscule Singapore surfing tribe.
So when he signed up late last year for the Grain's build your own workshop, I knew the end result from Maine will definitely sprout some wood seedling in our local water."

"So true to my believe, Tien has begun to start build his own hollow wooden boards after Maine. His 1st sole board on his own was a copy of his wifey's high performance fish shape which came out awesome looking in terms of built quality & shape but it didn't surf as well to his expectation due to some over-jess on the single to double concave bottom.... think bonzer on steroids!! Haha.."

"From the time he return from Maine, I have been implanting thoughts of a hollow wood Mini-Sim shape in his mind, knowing that he gravitate to the challenges of the shape's hull entry to single concave bottom & the scoop nose design. Tien bite the bait, took up the challenge last Nov & we started working on a Mini-Sim shape for me. I did most of the research/inputs from the internet, also asked my California shaper Yuta from the Shaka Stics label for his thoughts, advise & tips..."

"Got on Tien's Ass of the project management. Insist of having it at 5'2" & the scoop nose feature even though Tien thinking it will not work.
80% of the board structure form was build in Tien's spare bedroom apartment converted wood workshop. The balance rails, final finishing & epoxy glassing was done in Bali where he is based in when not flying."

" Board's dims is 5'2" x 21 3/4" x 2 5/8".
Deck strips are all in pine w/ 2 red cedar stringers.
Bottom are 2 stripe of pine, sandwiched w/ 2 red cedar stringers, finished w/ a local Indo wood similar to balsa. Rails are all Balsa. Hardwood tail block."

Twin keel fins in Birch plywood custom foiled by Yuta of Shaka Stic :

" Board is still in Bali now & I will be making a trip over end of May to fondle her rails & taking my 1st slide on her."

"Thanks for reading my long winded email. Hope you like how my board turned out & it will be great to be feature in your Alley Fish Fry blog."


Thanks Mike , it just shows where there is a will there is a way of building your dream board and it may be a little further to the beach than it is for most of us , but the wait will be worth it.We look forward to the surf report from Bali.