I have a friend who surfs fishes a lot. On our last trip to Mexico, we traded boards for a few waves, as we often do. It was one of those days that sticks in your head—a hard blue sky above whitewashed slightly by the smoke from a garbage fire under a bridge up the arroyo from where we were camped. The sun was still shaking off the cobwebs from the night before, warming the still-brisk air slowly, preparing it for the heat the afternoon would bring. It wasn’t crowded, exactly, but for an early morning in Nowhere, Baja, there were a few more surfers than one might expect. I almost never surf fishes and almost never surf twin fins.
“Wanna trade for a couple?” my friend asked me during a lull. He was on a 5’10” fish with a twin fin setup.
“Uh, yeah,” I responded. “Why not?”
It was then that he gave the most perfect description of riding a 5’10” fish with a twin fin setup I’ve ever heard. “It’s like riding a watermelon seed,” he told me.
…Lost put together a history of the fish, a board that should be a requirement for every surfer. It’s an interesting look at the shape that has never lost steam. Of course, Steve Lis is credited with truly creating the fish, but like everything else, he wasn’t exactly the first. A long chain of events led up to his creation. First developed as a kneeboard, the fish was created when Lis noticed that his fins would drag off the sides of his preferred pintails. “He decided to split the tail, giving him the width needed to support his fins, while still holding on to the performance characteristics of a pintail,” Adam Fischer explained. “This fish proved to be a barrel machine, able to paddle in early, take fairly late drops, hold high and tight in the pocket and was snappy off the top. It wasn’t long until he had refined the design to suit stand-up surfers, and the fish design took off.”
Jump ahead to the present, and the fish shape has been refined and refined again. Matt Biolos, that mad shaping genius at the helm of ...Lost has been playing with the fish design since way back in the early ’90. Now, all these years later, it is one of the most popular designs in existence. The video you see above is a look at just how it all came to be.