Sometimes it seems that style and substance might not be compatible with one another. Whether it’s surfboards, designer handbags or any other consumer product, there are times when the hype cycle threatens to overshadow everything else in its path; when people focus on price and prestige above all.
Thankfully, the things that matter have a way of outlasting trends in the long run. Ryan Burch’s surfboards might be cool and coveted, but that’s not what I’m drawn to, even if it would be strange to ignore their popularity. Styles come and go, but high quality craftsmanship endures.
Featured here is a stunning 5’8″ Ryan Burch custom twin fin fish, built here in California. It features an insane, 100% resin fade done by the wizard known as Superwolf, AKA Alex Villalobos. Justin Petix also helped build the board, which was constructed at Lamination San Diego, and the fins are made by 101 Fin Co / Marlin Bacon.
Many thanks to Dylan, who originally posted the board on his Instagram here. He was kind enough to send over the photos featured in this post. Dylan custom ordered the Ryan Burch fish and specifically commissioned the gorgeous all resin fade.
I like seeing boards like this one because they are proof that quality products are still made by surfers in California. While I don’t share others’ disdain for Firewire other boards mass produced overseas, I try my best to support local board builders. I think we risk losing something important if surfboards are no longer built by people who live nearby and surf the waves for which they are designed.
For all the aforementioned talk about style versus substance, this Ryan Burch fish proves that you don’t always have to choose between the two. It’s a beautiful board, and the striking visuals are a direct byproduct of the skilled labor behind its construction. Here’s a close up of the beautiful resin fade. I’m not sure exactly how the process is done, but it’s cool to see a detailed shot. Even if you don’t have the slightest interest in surfing, you have to appreciate the skill and the hours of work that went into making this incredible surf craft.
The 5’8″ orange / yellow / green fish is actually based off of an earlier, 5’4″ Ryan Burch twin fin fish, pictured directly above. The original 5’4″ fish belonged to Ryan Thomas, longtime Volcom filmmaker and the director of “Psychic Migrations”, one of the greatest surf movies of the past decade. Dylan had Burch shape the 5’8″ based off the original 5’4″, but with some added volume for more float and paddle power. The 5’4″ is EPS / epoxy construction and it was glassed by Jeff Beck of Nine Lights Surfboards.
Thanks again to Dylan for sharing the photos and the stories behind the beautiful Ryan Burch fishes in this post. Check him out on Instagram here.[Note on Nov 1 2023: the post was updated to reflect the fact the 5’4″ blue twin fin Ryan Burch fish was glassed by Jeff Beck of Nine Lights Surfboards.]