The twin fin has enjoyed countless iterations since San Diego's Steve Lis first glassed a couple fins on one of his swallow-tailed knee boards and essentially invented "the fish."
"I was completely amazed at the capabilities of the twin fin," Corky Carroll recalled about his early ‘70s experimentation with the design. "These things could do incredible turns and still maintain speed. This was the first board that I was able to carve a 360 degree turn on. Two days later I had an ad together for SURFER magazine and had a twin fin model on the market, the 'Spacestick.' Did I mention that we were still a bit in the cosmic era? Everything was 'spacey' and 'far out.' Well, these boards were pretty spacey and far out so I had no choice but to call them 'Spacesticks.' Looking back I guess I could be embarrassed about this, but I'm not."
The twin fin's trajectory continued on into the stratosphere as Mark Richards rode twinnies to four consecutive World Titles from 1979 to 1982. Around the same time, Shaun Tomson and shaper Al Merrick started to do their own dev work on the concept at Rincon, turning it into a full-on, high-performance speed machine.
And if we're talking about Rincon and Merrick in the early ‘80s, of course, the conversation quickly turns to a young Tom Curren. It was on a twin that Curren first began to develop his impeccable style and approach. It didn't take too long for Simon Anderson's three-fin Thruster to eclipse the twin fin in the ‘80s, but its impression would continue to reverberate to this day.
With it being summertime in California now, Channel Islands is bringing back the twin fin in the from of the Fishbeard. The brainchild of C.I. teamster Parker Coffin, the board is currently enjoying rave reviews.
"I love the Fishbeard because it gives me an alternative feeling that I can still do high-performance surfing on," Parker told the WSL. "It has so much speed you can really draw out longer lines and hold a rail in pretty average surf."
The description that C.I. has included with the board echoes the same sentiment.
"Pure business in the front and all party in the back," it reads. "Get forward on this user-friendly board and drive from the center and you'll have all the speed and flow you always desired. Step back on the tail to engage the fins and rails, which provides you hold, pivot, projection and the freedom to rip as hard as ever. To keep the party going, we dug into the archives and found some vintage mid-'80s, fluorescent logos and recreated CI's iconic layup from that era."
Releasing a new video highlighting the capabilities of the board, team riders such as Parker and Conner Coffin, Mikey February, Dane Reynolds, Sebastian Zietz and Pat and Tanner Gudauskas are all seen stylishly putting the board through its paces.
"I picked up a 5'6" Fishbeard off the rack in Australia when I was down there and that thing is so fun," Pat Gudauskas told the WSL upon returning home to California after a three-month stint in Australia. "The thing's a little speed machine. It's helped open up new through processes for me and allowed me to look at waves a little different."
Whether its a classic Lis-style fish or the new high-performance Fishbeard, it's summer in California and the perfect time to mix things up in your quiver and chase a new feeling.