Wednesday, September 23, 2009


A little clarification was shared via Sin Diego surf matriarch and artist divine, Cher Pendarvis. Educate the educator...

Hey Andrew, hope that you are enjoying a nice weekend! I enjoyed your post about the Larmo stories and the fish on Born to Lose.

Actually RK first rode Mikko's fish in 2003, and got stoked and inspired by the fun little board!
The fish resurgence started earlier (as confirmed by Hanky Warner) when his friend Derek Hynd came to San Diego (1995-1996) and visited with Skip and Hanky when they had Harry's Surf Shop in PB. As Hanky remembers, Derek was looking through Skip's quiver and discovered a small old keel fin fish that Skip had in a bag, and asked what it was. Derek was stoked to have a fish, so Skip shaped him one. The next year, Derek came back and asked for Skip to shape him another one, with a slightly narrower tail. Derek ended up taking it to J-Bay and rode it there. Tom Curren rode Derek's fishes as well, at J-Bay, and inspired folks with his amazing surfing. Some of their rides were filmed by Andrew Kidman and can be seen in his movie, Litmus.

Aside from this story, some of us never stopped riding fish, and have kept them in our quiver since the early fish days. FYI: the fish is my favorite design of all time!
I'm stoked that Hanky helped clarify some of the dates as to when Derek first saw Skip's fish. We look forward to talking with you, soon!

Aloha, Cher
Is there a more consequential modern surf film than Litmus? Not to me.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fall fishing...

Above, a new creation in a classic mold by a new creator in a classic mold. Josh Oldenburg shape. GTall photos

The face of surfing and shaping evolves through the generations. Name them. Each area contains a history lesson unto itself which at one point was the spear's point plunging forward in the name of progression. Remarkably similar, how the spiral of design and performance strikes the same chords throughout time. We all, young and old, seek the simple and nuanced thrill of wide open surfable mind-fields. We all, skilled and novice, revel in the unknown moments that await us after that first thrill. He'e Nalu. Time moves, people glow and fade away, waves pass ever onward.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Art of Shaping entry from Steve Lis. I haev such a soft spot for classic Sin Diego fish. Photo: Cher Pendarvis

I tolerated the vapid ASR drones bumping their be-stickered freebie bags into each other as I walked to Billabong's Art of Shaping event. Something to look forward to. A cool idea. A potential for acknowledging the core of what makes surfing special- authenticity, originality, craftsmanship, regionalism, characters of all types.

I arrived late, checked a few boards then sat next to EpicAker and watched the festivities. The highlights were the remarkable boards at hand. The woodwork by Mitzven, R., Christenson, Toby- jawdropping. The handiwork by Hanky, Bahne, Pendo, Lis, Larmo, Peter St. Pierre, Sam Cody- phenomenal. The crowned king, an unbelievable glue up with matching fin from The Genius, went for lots o'cash to R.

Some nice words and actions were made from the podium to honor craftsmen in the trade. Some guys now have their boards stocked in some shops. An ad about supporting your local shaper/glasser is going to come out in Surfing Mag.

Problem- every moneyed entity involved- publications, shops, even the event sponsor and presenter- swell their bottom line with vacuous product sold at the expense of the real craftsmen. The popouts and overseas market destroyers will still outnumber Hank Warner boards at local Megaxtreme Store 1,2, and 3. What would happen if suddenly the real craftsmen were asked to make all the entry level boards for a fair price in place of all the popouts? Would Megaxtreme go out of business? No, they'd just sell boards of higher quality and support the men and women who make our surfboards great.

Billabong, thanks for gathering great boards, shapers, and enthusiasts together for a nice event to raise money. Perhaps The Art of Shaping will begin a reawakening among consumers, media, manufacturers, and retailers that reproducible flotsam is out and craftsmanship, functionality, and uniqueness is what makes surfing special and what is ultimately the most valuable basis on which to market our beloved diversion.

I used to be a sales rep in "action sports". It's much better being a participant/critic in surfing.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


I'm not a collector, I'm a surfer.

In the last week I've sold a lot of boards. I reached a point where my boards were ruling me rather than serving me. When you start dreaming about boards rather than waves you have an illness. Sold a 6'9 frye, 6' frye, 10'2 frye, 6'8 lis, 6'4 tony staples.

I'm trying to refine my quiver. Above is a keeper. 5'8".

Still available: 1976 Lis fish in amazing condition. Roper said it was 9 out of 10 in terms of historic value. Pricey (3k).

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Refer to original...

Photo pilfered from G&S

I spent part of this morning speaking with Larmo. He was kind enough to shed some light on a few topics in San Diego surfing and board design history. He's fifty now and grew up surfing the same zone I did. He reflected on his early shaping and glassing jobs, his continued excitement about surfing and design, and some seminal moments in San Diego surfing history. Some gems:

-Skip, literally without a home, shaping behind Select Surf in P.B., surfing continuously while his contemporaries had long since quit shaping and surfing.

-Larry, driving Skip and Donna north to a legends contest at Surfrider Beach where Skip displays his never-fading prowess and reasserts himself as a premier shaper and surfer in Southern California, emerging from his "dark days".

-RK, surfing a local pseudo-point on a Slater-Slipper type shortboard during decent swell (late nineties?), breaks a fin and trades with MFleming, who is riding a 5'5 fishy. RK rips and rediscovers the classic design. At home after the surf, RK records his thoughts on paper, soon thereafter KG fishies are shredded up and down baja and, for better or worse, the fish resurgence moves past the ranks of the truly tuned-in and Litmus-inspired and is brought to the attention of the greater surfing populace.

-Clark foam plugs designed by Rawson, now reside above a shaping room in coastal San Diego.

-There will now be 12' blanks available designed by Larmo and Skip. Glide.

I recommend you read this article on Drift.