April 03 2020 Friday at 02:02 PM

Sharpen the Arrows – Harrison’s DIY Quiver: Part 2/4

If you’re one of those who’ve been keeping an eye on what we’ve been up to over the past decade here at the Deus Temple of Enthusiasm, you’d have noticed that we love Fish... and not the kind you eat, nor the sport. Although we do like both of those things. What we’re talking about is the swallowtail, twin-keel-fin surfboard design type of fish. And you’d have also recognised that it’s a favourite of ours. With its longstanding history and origins in southern San Diego, California, the Fish to us is a serious surfboard. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not the shore-break sled that you imagine hitting your small and windy local with, although that can be fun too. No, it’s the board our riders pack for gigantic Nias, pumping HT’s, or Desert Point, a fact you’d have seen proven by us here in the last score of years. Nor do you ride ‘em big either. Neither Zye Norris nor Harrison Roach had a Fish bigger than 5’5 until Harrison got in the bay to shape the second board of his 2018 quiver. So, you can imagine our surprise, when he came out with one at 5’9”. Talk about a curve ball. We’ve already confirmed here that we think of Harrison as being a decent shaper, but even we were confused by this, especially given that his typical Fish size is 5’2”! We, of course, asked him why he’d decided to go so large. His retort “I want to paddle easier... I’m lazy, that’s all.” While being a somewhat smart-ass answer, which we do like, it left us rather unsatisfied, and we continued to quiz him, eventually getting to the bottom of it. You see Harrison had been studying Fish design: its twin-pin style tail and the long, straight rail line. Through reading old Surfer’s Journal magazines on the topic, and chatting with guys like Derek Hynd, he found that the going consensus was that riding a fish was like riding two single-fin pin-tails, at once. One on the heels - one on the toes. When we had a good look at the outline of the shape we were surprised by how easy this was to believe. Harrison felt that by lengthening the rail line he’d be able to lengthen out his surfing and smooth out some of his turns. It was an experiment, but it was one that reaped rewards. The 5’9”, with its high volume and low rocker, could be ridden in smaller surf as a trimmer but also, with a touch of exaggerated entry rocker and large surface area keel-fins, could double as a late take-off tube machine. Harrison fell in love with the board and on a trip up North, Matt Cuddihy as well. So, anyone here keen to lengthen out their turns? Images by Giang Gaw, Damea Dorsey & Andre Cricket