Friday, 07 March 2014 - Posted by Roger at 7:37 am

The Cove Fish Fry


Steve Lis and Ben Aipa: Joining the dots between the fish, volume and creating outside the square.

Back in the 1970’s . . . .

The “fish” grabbed my attention and imagination because it stood out as so obviously different to the popular single fin boards of the day.

In contrast to the single fins, fishes were very short, flat and with wide split tails that were referred to as double pin tails.

Fish had two short wide based keel fins. If the boards looked different, so too did the way they were surfed.

The simple realisation that a surfboard could be so different to the norm and offer up an exciting and alternative style of surfing blew the doors to surfboard design way open as far as I was concerned.

Over the years, I consciously looked for surfboards that stood out as different.

Things like tail shapes, wings, bonzers, etc. Nothing else drew me in quite like the fish.

Then Ben Aipa appeared with his “stinger” design. These also tended to be short and wide with a similar visual impact to the fish in terms of both, the boards and the surfing.

Meeting Ben Aipa had a profound effect. Ben has a presence!

I watched him surf and I watched him shape.

Two things that Ben did really hit home with me.

The first thing was the proportions of his surfboards. Ben used maximum widths, thickness and volumes and re-established the goal posts as far as what was possible with surfboard sizing and the effect this had on performance.

The second thing was Ben’s continuous innovation. I saw Ben using all sorts of combinations of design components in original ways and this paved the way for me to think outside the square.

As you walk around The Cove Fish Fry this coming Sunday, be mindful that the amazing array of surfboard shapes on display owe their existence to free thinkers like Steve Lis and Ben Aipa.

Enjoy the Cove Fish Fry! Cheers, Roger

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