Header photo credit: Mick Mackie
It all starts with Bob Simmons and his mid-century modern boards, twin finned and wing foiled and designed to fly across the then empty Southern Californian waves. It blossoms in 1967 when Steve Lis and Stanley Pleskunas cut an abandoned longboard in half to make kneeboards, and Lis' wide tailed twin pinned twin finned shape proves to be a rocket.
The tipping point is Jeff Ching standing up on one, and from there on there was no stopping the twinnie. Skip Frye refined the San Diego style fish to near perfection and inspired generations of San Diego shapers with his clean, minimal designs.
The design was, as always, tweaked, modernized, fooled with and reconfigured. MR, Reno, Nu'uhiwa, Dick Van Straalen among countless others kept pushing and playing. By the late 80s the tri fin thruster set up had swept all before it yet the twin fin had it's quiet but dedicated devotees.
In recent years it's seen a resurgence as shapers realize it's a design that not only works beautifully when the right elements are in play, but it provides a whole range of sensations that the modern shortboard doesn't.
The boards we offer here are very much the modern iterations of this classic design, the progressions from the classic concepts that are as valid as any next big thing pro-inspired board, and a lot more fun to surf.
This is the board that launched the whole Foam & Function concept, the embodiment of all that makes surfboard design exciting. Mick Mackie came from a background of building high performance shortboards, and in 1996 began to mix a lot of disparate influences into his personal designs. With the classic Skip Frye Fish design as a starting point, elements of Mitchell Rae's flex tail kneeboards and Rodney Ball's Ski Tails mixed in along with a heavy influence from the deep swallowtail Dimitrije Milovich Winterstik snowboards Mick rides. The result was a board that has the speed and planing power of a fish, with a curved rail line that shortens the arc of turns and gives the board a precise, whippy feeling. After years of experimentation and development on the punchy central NSW waves, the Sidecuts have evolved into a very refined piece of equipment. The EPS/Epoxy construction means the boards are light and tough, and although the board originated as a twin and can be built with glassed on hand foiled keels, the 5 box fin set up leaves the rider with plenty of room to experiment.
Neal Purchase Jnr. is a second generation shaper and proudly continues the family tradition of experimentation and tinkering, and rather impressively in the Duo. The board itself is a clean, simple speed machine- flat bottom, wider round tail and the foam where it counts- a nice platform to get interesting with the fin design on. And the fins? A double single basically, twin fins (6.5" single foiled is the deal) placed about 6" apart with a little toe in resulting in a feel that surprised even Neal and sent him into serious r & d mode, resulting in the current configuration. The ride is far from stiff or tracky, and feels neither like a single or a twin but rather it's composite of the two. Neal's summation is faster and drivier than a single while being smoother and more controllable than a twin- a rocket down the line and lush through the turns- it doesn't get much better.