Monday, May 5, 2008

The Shape Remains the Same

Fish are so packed with techie nerdiness that it's easy to see why some shapers become 'specialists,' dedicating themselves to a design whose form is being continuously evaluated and interpreted, whose application is as malleable as the foam it's shaped out of.
There are so many Fish interpretations out there that existential questions arise: if a low-volume, competition-style tri-fin thruster with the slenderest of nods to the swallow tail can be considered a Fish, then what can't? If the outline is different, the rails are different, the volume distribution, fins, and rocker are all different, then how can it be called a 'Fish'? Linguists (are you there Sharkbait?): talk amongst yourselves.
In the parking lot of our kind-of-local south swell magnet the other morning, a fellow surfer slid his thruster back into its bag when he saw me waxing my Fish.
"Yeah!" he yelled across the lot, hopping up and down. "Let's do some fishin!" He pulled a twin fin out of his truck, assumed a guitar-rocker stance, and threw me a circa 1986 Van Halen hand sign.
I'm going out on a limb here: nobody has ever seen someone pulling a thruster out of their car, been inspired to return their egg or longboard back to its bag, and yelled across a parking lot, 'Yeah! Let's do some thrusterin!'
I hope the word 'thrusterin' doesn't relinquish this blog's PG rating.
The traditional San Diego Fish, concieved by Bob Simons and pioneered by the Mirandon Brothers and Steve Lis in the early '70s, needs a few mods to really shine up here in our steep beachbreak surf, especially during this time of year when wave intervals are low and conditions are, more likely than not, absolutely horrible.
But, to paraphrase Gertrude Stein, a fish is a fish. The lineage is not difficult to parse out. Sure, surfboard design geeks (myself included) may argue about who was the first to stick a fin here or add a concave there, but the big picture isn't difficult to grasp. To ride a fish is to understand the stoke that could transform you into a parking lot hair-rocker. To run a planer along a rail is to shake hands with Rich Pavel, or Bear Mirandon, or Bob Simmons, or King Kamehameha, or the countless others who have interpreted and reinterpreted one of the most fun things in the world.
Speaking of stoke, couch potatoing doesn't get much better than a lukewarm can of Tecate washed down with some Invasion! From Planet C. As of this penning, there are five (5) left in stock at Amazon. Get to it!


H. Nash said...

Beautiful lines. I miss fish. Haven't had one in quite a while.

HeadHighGlassy said...

Thanks for the board props, H., and good work with your own blog--just discovered it and I'm digging it. Glad to see you scored some of that south last week, too. I'm still smiling from one of my sessions...

23 Breaths said...

Nice fish!

Invasion is the best!

HeadHighGlassy said...

Thanks, and agreed. Blast it!

ridgeback said...

Fish are just too much fun. Just shaped my first{a fish, of course}.Yours looks awsome!