Whilst in California a while ago my friend Mark and I had the privilege of getting a tour of the Bahne fin factory in Encinitas by founder Bill Bahne.

I love fins as much as I do surfboards and its interesting to see that their creation is as much art as it is science, the same as surfboards.

It was nice to see Bahne putting their original hand laminated fiberglass skate decks back into limited run production.

Templates from shapers from all over the world

This is how you get your foil on.

Trapped in glass.

Aloha to Zen- The Art of Surfing and Living on Earth.

After working on this project for 3 years in Southern California and another 1 year on the South Coast near Sydney, my beautiful and talented wife's master work is complete.
'Aloha to Zen' is an illustrated encyclopedia of surfing, permaculture and radical eco-politics.

Barefoot tree house artist, Fern Levack

The book has been getting a little bit of love from all around the world, from Dave at Almond in Newport Beach CA.

To Deus Ex Machina in Sydney, LA and Byron.

Its loaded with obscure surf history and design references.

and has a whole section of 'thoughts to hang out with'.
Its so good, it literally brings me to tears each time I read it.

I love you Fern!

'Miasma', the Cholera epidemic & where to put those rubber flippers.

Steve Lis inspired Chris Christenson keel fin fish on the road to Trestles

The road to finding a good, functional,  design solution is a long and winding one. Throughout history some of the greatest problems have been solved by actions that were originally set about to solve an entirely different challenge.
The problem of the Great Stink in London in the summer of 1858 occurred when the smell of untreated human waste and effluent from other activities was so strong it crippling the business central London and almost shut down the house of commons. 
Cholera epidemic had became widespread during the 1840s. The causes of the Cholera were not known; the most widely accepted notion was that the disease was due to air-borne "miasma", that the disease was spread by bad smells. Because of the miasmatic theory's predominance parliament which, after rejecting many schemes for "merciful abatement of the epidemic that ravaged the Metropolis", accepted a scheme to implement sewers proposed in 1859 by its chief engineer, Joseph Bazalgette. The intention of this very expensive scheme was to resolve the epidemic of cholera by eliminating the stench which was believed to cause it. As an unintended consequence the water supply ceased to be contaminated; this resolved the cholera epidemic.

Steve Lis was trying to design a short, mavouverable, kneeboard that had some where to put his rubber flippers, or 'trolley wheels' as they are known to surfers. 
He split the tail of the kneeboard producing a large deep swallow tail big enough to keep his rubber training wheels from dragging in the water. As a consequence he produced a design that operated as effectively a board with 2 drawn out pin tails. When put on edge the whole rail is used and the board has a lot of hold due to one of its pin tails being driven deep into the face of the wave. Out on the flats or on the shoulder the board rides flat on the watter and is fast and loose.

The whole concept, that essentially revolutionized short board design, was originally developed to solve a whole different problem.