The second board I made myself - 5'4" Lis Fish.
I can remember being guided through all the processes by Dad - starting with milling a piece of Paulownia for the stringer, glueing the stringer in, shaping, spraying the blank, glassing, cutting out then handfoiling the keels, glassing the keels, sanding the keels, attaching them to the board, filler-coating the board, sanding, taping up then applying a Poska pinline (yes I know - a bit of a cheat), glossing, and finally polishing. I probably spent about a month making this board. Every process was new and difficult. And I loved every minute.
At this stage I was down home and was supposed to be helping dad finish off his catamaran. But every afternoon I would sneak off and work on my board... sometimes it wasn't quite afternoon.
I found my Lis fish very challenging to ride and it took me 18 months before I felt like I had wrapped my head around the intricacies involved with riding it. I can distinctly remember one of my first surfs on a small day at the Nambucca Rivermouth. Nose-diveing on take-offs, catching rails and mis-timing sections. I was humbled. And shocked. The board looked so good... yet I couldn't ride it.
Interestingly it was on subsequent surf at the same spot but much later on when I started to really appreciate this board. There were double overhead sets with some long running left-handers and I found that I could take off and go straight down and out way in front of the wave, bank the board on rail and maintain speed all the way back up the face. Likewise I could run horizontally way out onto the shoulder... onto the flats then maintain speed on rail all the way back to the curl. It was exhilarating. I realised that the same design elements which initially had me nose-diveing and catching rail were allowing me a totally new surfing experience.
I still have my Lis Fish at the factory but I have moved on to newer boards - Styrofoam, lighter, quad-fins. However a lot of the fishes I make myself today have design elements that I discovered in my Lis Fish.