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 Annual Alley Fish Fry has attracted the interest of many innovative shapers in the past. And a growing number of home / backyard inspired shapers as well. It is great to see and great for the whole surfing community to have guys have a go at it themselves and realise what goes into building a board. To appreciate what so many have taken for granted for so long. Anyway here is David Chung's first shape with "Chunky" - 5ft 2" x 22" x 2.75" - looks the goods to me.
" I just wanted to share my latest project with you. I've been obessed with the Mini Simmons for a long time and always thought it's simple shape would be perfect for a garage shaper's first attempt at mowing foam. I had so much fun using new tools to shape the board and it was totally satisfying experience."
" Chunky (it still has a lot of foam left in the nose and tail) had our maiden voyage this morning in shoulder high waves. Despite my nervousness she handled the bottoms turns and loved the high line. Chunky has a substantial tail (14.5") so the real test is whether I can turn her back into the foam. "
" Thanks again for inspiring us to have a crack at shaping our own water sleds with your blog. Nothing beats riding something you've spent hours making yourself " Dave.
The recent storm that hit the south and east of Australia creating some great waves over the weekend for us. Has continued on to New Zealand dumping snow down to 300m. This is Christchurch this morning 25th August. Pics from Dave Foulds a Christchurch local and a Dick Van fish man.
Nick Yee organised for Paul Jensen from Washington State to come out to Australia and conduct a wooden board building class last year. This is Nick's board he built and his ride report.
The design is one of Paul's and the construction is a plywood frame , skinned top and bottom with Paulownia and Cedar. Laminated cork and ply rails.
"Have now ridden the board enough to know that I love it! Though even if it rode like a dog, I’d still love it because I made it….fact is, the ride is fast and the board feels very different to anything else I have and for that reason alone, it is awesome. I haven’t ridden it in waves of consequence yet, and not yet buried a rail on a hard turn, but I have enjoyed some long waves trimming top to bottom and generating speed. The momentum the board picks up after the drop and a quick pump is more than I expected. The glassing by Stonker is excellent and am stoked with my decision to go with fin boxes….as the bamboo keels do something amazing and bonus, they blend in with the overall look of the board. Anyways, that is my 2bobs experience thus far…yes, its one of those boards you keep in the house instead of the garage."
" Hey Grant, seems quite a few people are really enjoying the mini-simmons' of late and recently there's been variations and hybrids starting to appear which is great, I love tinkering and tweaking with different designs to get a fully FUNctional hybrid. Calling this one "The Dumpling", its a big 'dim-SIM' with a few tweaks here and there, mostly the rocker, which is flat, even flatter than my 'dim-SIM's' but they have alot going on underneath to make sure they still turn well...but these are small wave speed machines...I have really targeted tiny to small waves with this shape and god knows we get alot of waves in this size range so finding ideal testing conditions have been easy.....few pics..., cheers, ps- looking forward to see many other shapers interpretations and hybrids of the mini....good times in design.... pps- this one is 5'11" x 21 3/4" x 2 11/16" Quad...
The next Alley Fish Fry will be part of the Bleach Surf Festival and held on Saturday 23rd February
We gather in the park opposite the beach at Currumbin as before. So get your boards ready and bring the family and a picnic lunch. Look forward to meeting you all next year.
Please remember it is a non competitive and non commercial gathering of board riders and builders of these sweet craft.
It's about shapers who craft these boards and those of us who enjoy the ride. Each year we see many new ideas expanding on the the original designs and that's what is great about where surfing is at today.
If you have pics of boards you are building please feel free to e - mail me and I will post them here. firstname.lastname@example.org
The Bleach Festival
The first Fish Fry in Australia came about after checking out the one in Oceanside California in 2006. I thought it looked like fun and something we should have down here for ourselves.
And so the first Alley Fish Fry was held Sunday 4th March 2007 on the Gold Coast Queensland Australia.
The second event was probably twice the size of the 1st with shapers and surfers from all over. A great vibe with everyone embracing the spirit behind the day.
The day is held in the park across the road from the Currumbin Alley which means there are waves at the point, the river mouth or the beach break depending on the day. So bring lunch , the family and your mates with you to celebrate this fun little board - The Fish. A great day to meet shapers and swap ideas and boards. The Quiksilver Pro is on down the road at Snapper and the Noosa Longboard Festival starts a week later so there are plenty of surfers on the coast. Come along , make yourself known and I look forward to meeting you.
The links below are of people who have supported the Fish Fry and Fish related sites. Let me know if you want to be added.
Early morning at The Alley looking North to Surfers Paradise