Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s post is more of an FYI than anything else, because there’s currently a Steve Lis fish for sale on Craigslist in San Diego. You can find a link to the Craigslist post here. All photos in this blog post are via the original Craigslist ad.
Steve Lis is widely credited with inventing the fish design. Lis made a name for himself as a kneeboarder who pushed his swallowtail shapes to their limits at various San Diego breaks.
Despite Lis’ stature, it’s not always easy to find information about the man (though of course the Encyclopedia of Surfing has a great entry), and it’s definitely not easy to buy his boards. Steve Lis fish don’t seem to change hands all that often, and I couldn’t tell you whether or not he’s still producing shapes.
The Steve Lis fish featured here looks pretty recent to me, but I don’t have any sort of bead on when it could have been made. I’m thinking 2000s, maybe even sometime after 2010, but that’s almost twenty year time window during which the board could have been shaped. If there’s someone with more info I would love to hear it.
I love geeking out on small details like signatures, and the seller of this board happened to post a nice close up of Lis’ signature (see top left picture). As you can see, it involves two mirrored yin yang designs along the stringer. I believe Rich Pavel’s signature is an homage to Lis’ design, as well. The bird you see on many Lis boards is strikingly similar to the one that appears on many of Donald Takayama’s shapes. Both shapers were based in San Diego, and I have to think this isn’t a coincidence, but that’s all I know.
The seller refers to the board as a Whale Fish. No idea if this is a Steve Lis fish official model name, but it’s packing a ton of foam: 7’11” x 23″ x a whopping 3.5″. That is monstrous.
Finally, the seller has mysteriously left off any mention of a price for the Steve Lis fish. I’m guessing he’s not even going to consider anything below the $1K mark. That’s just a guess though — all I know is that it’s not easy to find a real deal Steve Lis fish for sale.