This shot (above) is me on surfboard number three, a copy of MP's fangtail seen at a 1970's Pa Bendall Contest. It was like the first four boards I ever paddled - all single fins - like those of my heroes at the time - Wayne Lynch, Nat Young, MP, Peter Townend, Rabbit, Lopez, Reno, Rory, Owl.
But that was a long time ago, last century. And strangely, despite advances in board design (and my advancing years), I'm thinking seriously of adding a modern, channel bottom single fin to my quiver. Maybe the thought is just some kind of mid-life crisis thing. Maybe not. My memory reckons there are some waves like certain point breaks on certain days that are just made for one fin.
If you share similar memories or curiosity about single fins, rejoice, the good folks at Sunshine Beach's Solace surfshop have organised a single fin comp tomorrow. Check out some rocker and riding on boards that are older than 1985, be there.
"The main reason I built the first Fish was to correct a design flaw. I was riding pintails and my swim fins were hanging off the back of the board, causing drag when I dropped into hollow waves....Kneeling down on the patio with my swim fins on, I traced around them to give me an idea of the tail area I needed to keep my fins out of the water"
Stevie Lis describing the genesis of his first Fish design in 1967 as published in The Surfer's Journal Issue 20.1
Many templates and tracings later, those early Fish designs have cross fertilized with ideas from around the surfing globe - Simmons, Greenough, Van Straalen, MR - and more to produce a hybrid modern generation of the Fish Family. Like the famous Grateful Deadheads, the Fish Family pop up around the world at various Fish Fries - non-commercial meets where one can wonder at the hundreds of boards on display and talk story with random strangers who are carving a similar track. This weekend sees them parking their caravan of soul at the Currumbin Alley 2011 Fish Fry organised by Grant Newby. Big thanks Grant.
Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast or both? Single fin or Fish? Either way, there's plenty happening to interest all manner of brine sliders. Have a great, safe, respectful weekend.