Welcome to the season two finale of “Shed Sessions”. In this episode, Bird Huffman selects boards rich in San Diego surf history for local surfers to ride at the hometown spots he grew up surfing.
San Diego has long been a hotbed of surfboard innovation and among the 1,000 plus boards that arch the Quonset Hut ceiling of Bird’s Surf Shed are prime examples of the town’s widely adopted design exports. In the late 60’s, kneeboarder Steve Lis was looking for a solution to his swim fins dragging when riding pintails. Using the tile of his kitchen floor as a grid, Lis kneeled down with his fins on and traced an outline for a board that would not only solve his problem but would go on to become The Fish. Bird pulled down a more elongated double fluted-winged fish shaped by Lis nearly a decade after developing the revolutionary design. La Jolla’s Jake Halstead draws modern lines on the classic shape, further solidifying the Lis Fish as far ahead of its time.
Curating boards to be ridden at San Diego’s more hollow reefs would not be complete without consulting local barrel-riding veteran Joe Roper. In a classic season finale twist, Bird poaches a neon splashed Gordon & Smith single fin from Roper’s collection. The board was shaped by Hank Warner and geared for Roper to surf at Pipeline, HI. La Jolla’s Lucas Dirkse had no problem getting slotted on it at his locals. “It halls ass once you get going in the tube,” is how Dirkse sums up the mini-gun. “It’s a proven shape and not something that’s going to go away with time in my opinion.”
From his collection, Roper selects a Chris O’Rourke pro model shaped by Bill Caster for his son, Jojo Roper, to surf the very wave O’Rourke developed his influential style on in the 70s. Jojo drives the double-winged single through some thick-lipped barrels for a performance that both the late O’Rourke and Caster would be proud of.
Always one to mix it up, Bird selects a Bahne “Thin and Trim” model that was created in the 60s at the pinnacle of longboard design. The board may have been rendered obsolete shortly after its creation by the shortboard revolution, but the Fins Unlimited fin box developed by the brothers Bahne is still the most widely used in single-fins today. The Shed’s own Isaac Wood and Dirkse give the progressive log (for it’s time) a slide.
A San Diego episode of Shed Sessions would not be complete without a Rusty Surfboard. Bird pulls down a 90s “Flying Saucer” model shaped by Terry Goldsmith. Rusty’s C-5 fin setup helped Chris Ward and Rusty Preisendorfer win the 1999 Surfer/Shaper Challenge. Rusty released a VHS tape documenting the research and development of the unfortunately short-lived fin-ovation, hopefully the film resurfaces someday in the digital sphere. La Jolla’s Jakob “Zeke” Szekely takes the board for a spin and both ditches and buries Rusty’s estranged fin setup.
Thanks for watching another season of “Shed Sessions” and stay tuned, there’s more to come in 2019.
Filmed and edited by Blake Michel.
Lis Fish – 6’3″ x 20.75″ x 2.75″
Gordon & Smith – 6’7″ x 18.5″ x 2.75″
Caster “Chris O’Rourke” – 6’4″ x 23″ x 2.75″
Bahne “Thin and Trim” – 9’1″ x 23″ x 3″
Rusty “Flying Saucer” – 5’8″ x 21″ x 2.5″
For more episodes of “Shed Sessions”, click here.