WE START OUT, IN HAWAII AND WARM UP WITH MASON HO AND HIS “POPS”, IN SOME REELING ROCKY RIGHT RUNNERS. THEN FOLLOW MASON ACROSS THE GLOBE, OVER TO INDO, FOR SOME SERIOUSLY FUN AND FABULOUS FISHING, WITH A FLAMBOYANT FLARE THAT ONLY MASON CAN PROVIDE. FOR A CHANGE OF PACE, WE LINK UP WITH “RASTA” ROB McCORMICK, WHERE HE REALLY GIVES A RADICAL WORKING OVER, DURING A RUN OF WAVES AROUND HIS HOME TOWN HAUNTS, IN FAMOUSLY FLAT FLORIDA. FINALLY, SLOW DOWN AND SETTLE IN, FOR TRANSCENDENT EXPERIENCE, AS WORKING MAN, GRIFFIN COLAPINTO, WONDROUSLY WEAVES HIS 5’5” WEAPON, FLAWLESSLY, THROUGH CYLINDRICAL MAN MADE PERFECTION, PAINTING CREATIVE STROKES AND POSITING A CASE FOR THE BEUATY OF SYNTHETIC SURF, MORE ENTHRALLING AND CONVINCING THAN ANY CONTEST CAN HOPE FOR. AS ALWAYS, STICK AROUND FOR THE CREDITS, FEATURING MORE RASTA ROB, A LITTLE LUCAS SILVERA AND A HAWAIIAN HOLIDAY WITH IAN CRANE.
There was very little talk of fish, in the surfing world.
It was the fall of 1994 and there was this little blip of Tom Curren, surfing in New York, on a knee board.
Oh! Tom Curren riding a fish!
It was a little spark.
No one (on the surface…at least) was really making them (fish) at the time.
Chris (Ward) was…I don’t know, 14 or 15? He was a little Curren disciple. Chris calls and says:
“Make me a fish!
Like Tom Curren!”
And I didn’t really know…what the fuck, what’s a fish supposed to look like?
So I went to BC (Surfshop, in San Clemente) and just stood there, looking at the old board collection, up on the ceiling. You got to remember, I was young, like 24…25 years old.
Ok, there’s an outline.
That’s a fish.
A swallow tail, twin fin.
I just stared up at the walls and then came in here (shaping room) and cranked out a fish.
A little twin Fin about 5’5″ x 19 1/4.
I randomly made the nose and the tail the same width.
Both nose and tail about 14″ wide.
I just didn’t have much to go off of and just went for it.
Chris flew to Hawaii, and started ripping on it.
This little board with glassed on twin fins.
We started making more.
Cory Lopez, more for Chris, then Andy Irons.
We were all riding them.
But they rode them a lot and they rode them well.
Cameras are rolling. A second season in Hawaii, a couple trips. Before long we ended up with all this footage.
Drew Todd said, “Let’s make a movie about them. Just fish boards”.
So we did.
5’5″ X 19 1/4″
It caught like wild fire.
Within a couple of years, If you were building boards, you had to have some sort of a fish in your line.
Just this one humble board, made by a shitty shaper, and two stoney kids.
I think they work in damn near anything.
More than 25 years later,
an entirely new crew, along with a couple of OG’s, have combined to make a solid case of just that….except maybe not Sunset Beach.
5’5″ X 19 1/4”… Century
an all new, sprawling,
6 episode series, chronicling the past couple years of modern day, free surfing, on primarily that same humble fish.
…by that same shitty shaper.
-Matt Biolos 2023