- WSL / Trent Mitchell

This story was originally published by The Inertia.

There are many famous surfboard models, but one stands out: Bob McTavish's Bluebird. Back in the 1970s, McTavish was riding uncrowded Lennox Head. Now, of course, a pumping south swell means Lennox will be swarmed, but back then, it was a little less crowded. McTavish needed a surfboard that would deliver the planing speed necessary for a wave like Lennox Head while simultaneously having good paddle power and the ability to glide through the mushier sections. He took a few ideas from the Hawaiian surfboards of the day, moved the widest point of the surfboard ahead of the midpoint, pulled in the tail, bulked up the rails, and flattened out the bottom, and thus, the Bluebird was born.

"This thing was designed for Lennox," McTavish told Mick. "This is what I was riding back in the mid-70s at Lennox."

Under the feet of a person who knows what they're doing, the Bluebird delivers an unmistakeable bottom turn - and Mick Fanning has those feet. About a year ago, before the world shut down, FCS announced that Bob McTavish was the winner of the inaugural FCS Legend Shaper Award. To celebrate, they stuck Mick in the shaping bay with Bob to share a few special hours creating a Bluebird. The plan was to wait for a big south to fill in at Lennox, but, as will happen, a few things popped up that put a damper on the plan. Mick wrecked his knee and the Coronavirus struck, so the session was postponed. Recently, however, the time was right. The waves filled in, Mick was at home, and his knee was fully recovered. The Bluebird had been sitting there, patiently waiting for its time to shine.

"To go down and watch him shape and do his craft; to see how on point he was all the time, it goes to show that he's a legend of the game," Mick said of McTavish. "He really wanted a day at Lennox - a good day at Lennox- so it's pretty special that it all came together the way he wanted it."

This story was originally published by The Inertia.

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