The RNF-’96 (RoundNoseFish1996) is based with reverence, but not 100% compliance, to the original “fish" we developed for Chris n Cory in the year leading up to the 1997 seminal surf film, 5’5” x 19 1/4”. Having shaped multiple variations of “fish” from fall 1994 though 1995, we had created a bit of momentum with the designs.
Leading into Winter ’95/’96, we had refined a basic design where we were able fine tune, replicate and re-size the original RNF (by hand) with some consistency. We continued to build small quivers for both Chris Ward and Cory Lopez and sent them everywhere, with Cory taking various versions to each stop on WQS tour. These 1996 Fish were all hand shaped and not the most consistent creations, but they became the basis and the building blocks towards offering the design to people outside our own circle of friends.
I've always felt the key difference between our RNF and the majority of others, from the 90’s and beyond, is the fact that our outline was always more based off of MR inspired, high performance, competitive minded, twin fins of the late 70’s/early 80’s. Relatively pulled in tails, developed through trial and error, for maximum performance and control…not just in small surf, but in all size and shape of waves. Our fish was always about performance, not just a crutch to go fast on in small surf. The RNF-’96 brings the best of both worlds together: Reverence for its early vanguard pedigree, while enlightenedly enhanced with 25 years of fun/pro-formance enlightenment.
• Rocker curves: Remain engrained to the original proven curves.
• Outline curves: Both nose and tail were usually the same width at 12” and remain true, but with more precision, including added curve and width around 6” from the tail. One “secret” about the original’s success was that, unlike most all other “fish” the tail width on ours was closer to that of a typical HP Shortboard. This allows much more control off the tail than typical fish designs.
• Bottom Contours: The classic single concave to double concave, accelerating vee combination are defining design elements and hold true to adherence.
• The Thickness Flow, Deckline, Rails, and Tail Foil: They were all over the map in those rudimentary hand shape days. Each board was different, with most of them having noticeably different curves and thickness from one rail to the other. In re-creating these boards, which one is correct? In the end, I went with gut feeling on what would work best.