Once upon a time, any surfer of relevance made their own surfboards.
Shaping was the gig that paid the bills, and any prizemoney/endorsements was a bonus. This era—from the late 60s all through the 70s and into the 80s—yielded the most significant period in design advancements, because the people experimenting with equipment were the best surfers in the world. That leads us quite neatly to Beau Foster. Beau Forster came up in typical super grom fashion, riding for a big American company and getting yoinked around the globe continually from an early age, and, unsurprisingly, he’s opted for a change. The change being learning to shape his own boards, and utilising Australia’s fertile wave landscape.
For the past six months Beau, aka “Bug”, has been working on a set of no-frills thruster fins with Northern Rivers based fin co Alkali. The design that the duo eventually came up with, the BUG3, is based on a template developed by iconic surfer/shaper Al Byrne. And here’s the thing—they’re completely void of gimmicks. The logo came from font sheet that was stuck to the wall of the Alkali factory, the colour came from an ancient cut off (remember them?) that was also lying around the factory, and the carbon inlay? Well that’s snicker directed at the “moulded, injected crap that companies try to flog off as high tech.” The fins are 100% Australian handmade, and if the accompanying clip’s anything to go by (see the opening finner and endless desert pipes) then they sure get the job done.