Opinion please: Who are the top three shapers making the Classic Keel fin Fish

I’m new to the forum! I’m interested in finding out who are the top three shapers here in California that you’d say are the best at making th Classic Keel fin Fish. My bet is these shapers will be down  San Diego - the home of the Fish shape (Steve Lis). I want to get one made and want the Classic outline aka Skip Frye / Derek Hynd and I’m not opposed to the integration of modern concave bottoms. As I said earlier fin wise staying with keel fin. So I’m really interested in getting directed to a shaper who specializes in the Classic fish. Replacing the board in the pic below. Opinions please?


nice looking board!

Rich Pavel . Good luck.

Yes, I hope you have lots of patience should you choose that route.

Larry Mabile , Gary Hanle,  Pavle hasa few boards in a couple of shops Might get lucky and find one without the wait.  You could also get lucky with Skip Frye, if you have the cash.  Might be a good idea to call Birds surf shed.  They have the inside track on most of San Diegos best shapers. Mitches and Surfy Surfy would be another good source. 

Mako, very funny, but this guy is new and won’t get the joke.

You sure???  Could it be???  Na, couldn’t be…  Could it???

“Classic” shot of Modern Keel  ;-)

Lis is on kauai

Tomo’s dad Mark in AU

Manuel Caro/Mandala studied under Pavel in CA




The board in the picture

Appears to be a older Proctor.

If indeed that is a T.

He is not in San Diego

IMHO a cutting edge shaper.

Check this out!





Don’t think so. The writing is too clear and concise.

  1. Chris Christenson, he shapes next door to skip frye & his classic fish outline looks identical. My buddy has one & it surfs great.  2. Bob Mitsven. 3. Gary Hanel. Pavel or Mandala be sweet but ya… Goodluck 

These will and do work better .

Updated Classic fish template + custom 5 fin set up 

Where is Mitsven these days?  Where is he shaping out of?  He shaped some nice plugs for Millenium .

Mega side track haha - oneula what’s the story behind your avatar? Heard a pretty cool story from Roger about the board.

Gary Mc Nab

Matt Calvani

Hank Warner

Dennis Kane 

Bi’ll Shrosebe



Guess I will never be qualified…Given to me by Skip…We made several fish together back when. Kept making em even when they were out of style, Keels OK upright twins better Quads even better…

Dick Van Straalen…hydro-bottom fish…he delivers to California…pic - Rusty Miller at Uluwatu.