After waking up not so unusually late my mood dropped with the sound of the rain on the roof on my van.
Today was the day I was shooting the 4th annual Alley Fish Fry on Australias Goldcoast.
After a strong coffee and packing up the vast amounts of stuff I seem to have aquired I jumped back into British surfer mode, braved the rain and headed up the coast.
I thought the fact Queensland was 1 hour behind New South Wales would compensate for my impromptu lie in and also mean parking wouldn’t be an issue.
I was wrong.
The surf was firing, the fish fry was filling up and it was Sunday.
Not a parking space in sight!
After driving around and getting lost a few times I finally landed a spot – opposite the fish fry venue – and free of charge
Things were picking up!
Now if you don’t know what the fish fry is, its basically a gathering of surfers/shapers/experimenters who realise the aesthetic and performance quality of the humble fish shape surfboard.
Its run by a dude called Grant Newby – an Aussie shaper with a full on fish fetish.
He’s managed to rustle up some of the most ambitious – possibly slightly crazy – fish shapers on the planet to bring their finest bum cracks to Australias Gold coast, including his own creation – ‘Quadzilla’, a quad fin, carbon fibre fish which comes in a snip under 10 foot long!
Surfers from as far as Japan, California and even the UK (ok that was me!) were there, viewing and exhibiting.
Unfortunately the English climate seemed to have followed me to the Fry…it pelted it down, which meant numbers were a little bit low…it being an outdoor event and everything!
But the hardcores stayed. Perusing the finest shapes and designs the fishy kingdom has to offer.
There were deep tails, square tails, add on tails, pin tails, quads, tri fins, 5 fins, small fins, overly big fins, resin tints, spray jobs, wood, epoxy, fibre glass….
…basically every conceivable type of surfboard shape, design and construction you could ever wish for.
It was an epic site to behold.
Even though it was only for brief periods between showers.
My two favourites from the overall event were the wooden, old school design of ‘Generation Gap Surfboards’ and the wooden finned beauties of ‘Flying Soul Surfboards’ – GGS had the style of years gone by, shaped with 60 years experience! FSS had the progressive performance shape with the clean cut style the Japanese have perfected in all areas of design.
Even though my time at the Fry was reasonably brief (well 4 hours!) – due to the weather and reports that Noosa was pumping on the opening day of the Longboard Festival – it was a good one. There is obviously a bigger community out there than I realised in the fish genre.
I just hope next year is bigger and better than ever, that the weather holds off and above all that Oz will grant me another year visa so that I can cover it, shoot it and report back to all you lovelies who read Drift!