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‘Whoa!’ We had to hold onto our seats. We were so hung up on the nose, and our boards sucked! When I got back from Australia, I be- gan designing and experimenting with shorter fins, which ultimately led to Tom Morey and I collaborating on the ‘New-E-Free’ fin design, a super high driſt free foil fin. Te idea of this fin design came about quite accidentally during a heat in a contest in which David Nuuhiwa and Jock Sutherland were battling it out, one on one. It was during this one particular heat that a section of Nuuhiwa’s fin accidentally broke off. As a result, there was less drag due to the lost fin area creating an entirely new hydro- dynamic equation as David began to generate such incredible speed and driſt it was blowing all the judges and spectator’s minds. Tat evening, I went home and began ex-

perimental work on cutting out the unneeded, high resistance/drag fin area to a pattern or template of lesser drag, springier flex and re- turn properties. Tis new fin design, named aſter David Nuuhiwa is called the ‘New-E- Free’, (Nuui-Free) in honor of the great David Nuuhiwa and the fin’s ability to ‘Free’ up the board’s performance properties.”

Windansea Surf Club In addition to being a team rider for Dewey

Weber Surfoards, Skip was an original mem- ber of the renowned Windansea Surf Club. He says the charter members of Windansea had to be “the greatest single collection of surf- ing talent of all-time. Tese people were my heroes; Phil Edwards, Miki Dora, Butch Van Artsdalen, Mickey Munoz, Bobby, Ronald and Raymond Patterson, Rusty Miller, and Mike Hynson. Bobby Patterson, originally from Waikiki, is an unsung hero in surfing. Any- one who has ever witnessed Bobby surfing has copied his classic soul arch turns. Kemp Aaberg’s turns were copied straight off Bobby’s style. Bobby rode an egg short board long before the short board revolution happened. Bobby should be given due credit and recogni- tion among the greatest surfers of that era. He really had that special presence.” In 1967, Skip traveled with the Windansea

club to the South Pacific that included stops in New Zealand, Fiji, Australia, and Tahiti, specifically to film the movie, “Te Fantastic Plastic Machine”. It was on that trip Skip met and surfed with such dynamic Australian surf- ers and board designers like Bob McTavish. “Te film centered around the shortboard

revolution,” Skip said, “and Bob McTavish is one of my favorite surfers of all time. His en- ergy and forward thinking would just light me up. McTavish, Midget Farrelly, and in particu- lar, George Greenough, I consider the greatest innovators in surfing, ever. Teir progressive thinking in alternative short board and fin de- sign dramatically revolutionized the direction and style of surfing forever. And that trip revo- lutionized my own personal perspective and approach to surfoard and fin design. I began experimenting with designs such as the Vee- bottom and Baby Gun.” According to Te Encyclopedia of Surfing

by Matt Warshaw, Skip is credited with being the “first West Coast shaper to build the new Australian-invented Vee-bottom design.” Skip kept refining his designs and ended

up sawing the tail off of one of his longer V- bottoms, making it into a round tail. Tis ac- tion ultimately led him to design a board he called the “Egg”, one of the shapes for which

Skip working Tom Keck Photo

Skip Skateboarding Photos by Ron Church

Trimming beautiful summer glass. Tom Keck Photo

he is best known. “My first Egg was 7’8”, but eventually ended up becoming a 7’6” because I slightly reshaped the nose. Ironically, it was on this board I did the best in competition, and I was the first surfer in history to be on the cover of a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue showing me in the background holding this very Egg model.”

Bob McTavish & Vee Bottom

Australia, 1967 Skip Frye Photo

Te ‘70s and ‘80s Skip discontinued competing during the

‘70s and experienced some hard times (who doesn’t?), but Skip had the guts to re-balance his life through his faith, surfing, shaping and the support of his true friends. He stayed with G&S until the mid-seventies then went out on his own. During this time, Skip shaped boards at Te Green Room and also had a shaping room, known as Te Shack, behind Select Surf Shop in Pacific Beach. “I really simplified my life down to noth-

ing. Te Shack was where I lived. I had a cot at one end and I worked at the other. Tat was it. Shack-a-lack.” In 1980, Skip met his wife, Donna, and in

1981, returned to shape boards for Gordon & Smith. With the resurgence of longboarding in the early ‘80s, Skip reentered the competitive surfing arena. In 1982, he placed first in the 2nd Annual Ocean Beach Pier Summer Clas- sic. Skip leſt G&S in 1986 to join the crew at Diamond Glassing, and began shaping under his own business name, Skip Frye Surfoards. While at Diamond, Skip oſten used the Dia- mond Frye logo, a combination of his wing design and a diamond placed between. “Tose are rare boards,” Skip said. “I don’t

know exactly how many were made, but there weren’t many. I’ve got one leſt in my own per- sonal stash.” Also in 1986, Skip placed first in the Master’s

division in the 2nd Annual Oceanside Long- board Surfing Contest and became a member of the Chart House Surfing Team.

The Ocean Magazine • February/March 2012 15 ~continued on page 18~

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