6'6" Michael Miller tri fin with resin nose cap by David.
A very nice Fish from our neighbor Skip for Waves Forever Japan.  
The last step in making surfboards.

What's in a Name: Defending 'Big' in the Modern Age

Last summer the family relocated to some cliffs in Baja for a few weeks. One absolutely windless evening, as the sun began to whisper sweet nothings to the the horizon, my wife handed me the baby, shotgunned a Tecate, and paddled out. I was smitten.
So were the rest of the surfers, dug into their camps and well into their post-surf rituals. Their hoots echoed off the cliff walls as she paddled toward the empty peak in the silvery light, spun, and glided into the first wave that presented itself. She found a high trim line and stuck to it, swooping and gliding all the way to the channel. Hooting ensued. A fellow camper came over to chat.
"Your wife rips."
"What's she riding?"
"Big Fish*."
"How big?"
My new friend scratched at his twelve-day beard. "That's not a fish," he said, squinting into the setting sun.
I could have sworn it was. I shaped it for her, and the order card read, "Big Fish."
"That's a twin-keel funboard," he said. I had never heard of anything so horrifying, and certainly didn't want to claim it when he asked who the shaper was, so I told him it was a Rusty.
He nodded and lit a cigarette. "Typical," he said, then walked back to his camp site.

*The above board is the 'fish' in question.
As teachers on spring break burned out on paper-grading and poorly-formed sandbars, my wife and I have the spent last four days sampling some of Northern California's excellent pointbreaks.
Waves have been scored.
The other day, while watching locals dismantle their gorgeous wave from a safe distance, my wife pointed out that they were all on big boards.
Not guns, mind you, but big boards. Longboards. And this spot is nothing to trifle with, even on an 'average' day. I had trifled with it earlier that day on a 5'11" disc, and I had become intimate with the reef in a way that could have gotten me investigated had the reef been an page and me a member of congress.
The next day we returned, but this time I was equipped with this big-ass 7 foot egg in all of her thick, low-rockered, wide-nosed-and-tailed, flexie-finned wonder:
I've blogged about this board before here. I know it's weird looking.
Long story short, I was enthused. Score another point for big boards.
And score again for das Frankenfish, the 7'9 mutant conceived by Brent, Lagunitas IPA, and standard case of DS squared (Daddy Sleep Deprivation Syndrome).
As per tradition, said surfer waived the glasser-suggested 'curing time' and got to work putting this big quad fish through its paces. But first he put his kid to work polishing her up. Them's resin pinlines, son!
Is it a fish? Who cares? What's in a name? Tell my wife, or passengers on the Frankenfish, or the locals we saw yesterday what defines them or their board, and they could tell you it's not important. They could tell you what is important is the swoop and the glide. The high trim line, the rail-burying bottom turn, the fall down the face, legs burning, heart flying.
But they probably wouldn't. They would most likely just paddle quietly back to the peak and grab another.
Or, if you were my wife, you might pause for a Tecate first.
A birthday message from Caroline.
Just started on this one for Daniel Partch.
Ian Zamora with his Simmons inspired fish

Jason Oliver from Brisbane blew a few people away with these two. The top board is made from recycled Cedar window frames and the other is made from a pine packing crate / pallet.
Nail holes and all with an acrylic wash over the top.
Big Kiwi Jeff the builder running his eye over the details.

Mick Mackie always the innovator with flex tails and side cut fishes. Likes his snow boarding and it shows in his fishes.

More Pics from 08

Dan Mc Donald  - DMS with some local culture
Dan also had other artistic flair on show.
Dans big into board graphics
Dave from Diverse had a great variety on show.

Glen Cat Collins from 1770 had a few people scratching their heads. Jet bottoms , different fins and shapes.
Big thanks to Dylan for taking charge of our myspace page, and making it look epic... complete with music by Gantez Warrior www.myspace.com/lifeisjustswell

Also, the all new almond website should be dropping soon, so stay tuned.

The white tints get some fresh panels, courtesy of Mr. Crow
Just about done with this batch of boards.

fish Fry 08

Roger Hall from New Zealand made this board for himself 30 years ago. Last year a guy came in with it to have some dings repaired. Roger just had to have it back.
Evan from Byron had some nice Takayama boards.
The old truck was pretty loaded .

The girls had fun selling T shirts

Fishy Fellow

Shane had to try a board or two. There were plenty of boards to demo , just ask a shaper.
Nice Pene fins on a carbon board
 Must be a mermaid ?
Boards were coming and going from the Valla tent all day.
 Ian Zamoras , Simmons inspired fish . 5ft 6" x 21" x 2 1/2" flies in the small stuff by all accounts.


Plenty of people and plenty to check out.

Mark Pridmore from Yamba with a bit of show and tell.

Jeff from NZ is a builder of houses and boards and just had to run the stick over a few boards.

More Fish

Always plenty to talk about with Steve Ford and Jimmy from Lok Box
Jimmy with Dain Thomas checking out Ian Zamoras Simmons inspired fish.
Carl Tanner and the Mex always interested in anything that relates to surfing.
Carl brought along the only Bear Mirandon twin pin in Australia. A classic from 1966. Great story on these in the latest issue of The Surfers Journal Volume 17 # 1. Check it out.

 Tom Wegener with his take on the modern and ancient fish ?

Fry 08

Pretty fins by DT
Brendan Milch getting to grips with Dick Van Aviso.
 Plenty to check out
Steve Ford with some nice resin work out of his California factory.
The coffee van was kept pretty busy all day.

White tint was a popular color today.