Monday, 2 August 2010

the inside skinny on Grant 'BIGFISH' Newby

The Alley Fish Fry and Wooden Boards Day events organiser Grant 'Big Fish' Newby in the wake of this Sunday's Second Annual Wooden Boards Day has found some time for a 10 question Q and A, Grant is a great guy who loves surfing and has been a huge help to Roger with many surf related projects, So here goes !, Micro*
1: What was the first board you ever shaped ? and was it for you and someone else to ride ?
My first board I shaped was actually a hollow wooden board along the lines of a Paul Jensen method, Plywood frame and top and bottom skins with laminated cork rails and hand foiled ply fins, Yes a 7ft 6" fish.
2: What method of construction did you use ? materiels ? As above.
3: Do you have a shape/model of surfboard that is a favourite ?
I love fishes, But at Christmas I shaped a 10ft x 24" x 3-1/2" Old school log based on the Pig shape with the wide point behind centre, The 'Alley Slider' It has a more modern bottom than a Traditional Pig as it has a long concave rather than a rolled bottom, The thing is so much fun to ride with a 10-1/2" Hatchet fin.
4: What type of surfing equipment do you enjoy riding ?
I love swapping boards with guys and trying all sorts of shapes, I love getting to feel out a board and find the sweet spot what makes it work and where it will go.
5: Where do you go surfing mostly ?
I'm lucky living here on the Gold Coast that we have a great selection of waves and sandy points, Anywhere between the Gold Coast to Byron Bay/Broken Head.
6: What is your current surfboard building project ? and any future plans ?
I have just finished building a hollow wooden version of the Alley Slider all in Paulownia, Also a 5ft 10" x 22" hollow wooden fish for the Wooden Board Day.
7:What made you decide to organise 'the Alley Fish Fry' ?
Well the idea is not mine, I went to the States and went to a Fish Fry at Oceanside Beach California and saw what they were doing and decided it was different and a good idea, So I asked the guys behind it what if I was to organise one down here in Oz, They were fine with it and So I set up a blog to spread the word and it all came together and has grown from strength to strength, It is a simple format and people seem to like that as they can make of it what the want, Which is rear in the surf industry, There is a growing undercurrent of people who don't want to follow and want to enjoy their time surfing the way they want on whatever takes their fancy on any given day.
8: Why did you start 'the wooden boards day' ?
I have always enjoyed wood and surfing and after deciding to build a number of wooden boards myself, I soon came to the realisation that there already were a lot of guys out there having a go, But the process of building wooden boards has many challenges and throws up many questions, There aren't too many places to get answers, Yes there are a few forums , but that's not as good as gathering in the park and having a chat and going for a surf on different boards and seeing first hand what other guys are doing, So why not get together, just like the Fish Fry, The first one last year was quite an eye opener to most guys as I don't think that people realised that there were so many others out there having a go, 700 odd people through the park and some 150 odd wooden boards on display.
9: How is the build up for this years event going ?
Well all I can say is that judging by my blog there is a growing interest in wooden boards world wide, In 12 months I have had some 78,000 visits and 180,000 pages viewed, Up to 5,500 visits a month from all over the globe, I'm sure that there will be a good roll up and some pretty special boards.
10: Why everyone should try to ride or build a wooden surfboard ?
I have said this many times now and believe it to be quite true, Building a wooden board is a great way to learn more about yourself than anything, As it is very challenging and some times taxing, It is a journey that makes you ask and find answers to way more questions that you ever thought possible, All good though, That first wave you paddle into and that first time you get to your feet you will never forget, It's a great feeling after the long hours and how much of you that has gone into it, A very full filling experience for sure, Do it !


GoGo said...


micro said...

my current surfing experience is only in cyberspace, micro*