Dave Rastovich Rides A Gary McNeill 'Frankenfish' At Northern Rivers Home - Stab Mag

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Dave Rastovich Rides A Gary McNeill ‘Frankenfish’ At Northern Rivers Home

Yeti alert.

cinema // Jun 19, 2023
Words by Ethan Davis
Reading Time: 2 minutes

As we learned in HSGP, there are only two bona fide pro surfers who don’t have instagram in 2023 – Bobby Martinez and Dave Rastovich. Despite this, both surfers continue to rank highly as favourite male surfers (#21 and #19 respectively) in Stab’s annual reader survey of more than 7375 respondents. Well below them you will find Gabriel Medina, Filipe Toledo, Taj Burrow, Eithan Osborne and other big names oozing clout.

Not bad for a bunch of 40+ year olds who rarely put out edits.

Putting freakish talent aside, the pair’s appeal is largely a product of having fairly staunch principles that remain unchanged by the constant wash of transient trends in surfing. Bobby is universally adored for his signature unapologetic brashness, Rasta for his timeless style and enigmatic personality. That’s paraphrasing quite heavily, obvs.

Are you picking up what I’m putting down?

Just earlier this year Rasta organized a multi-generational ‘gathering’ of friends and friends of friends to have a beach day sampling a variety of different iconic crafts from Tom Wegner toothpicks to John Peck penetrators at a Northern Rivers beach. He called it ‘Finding The Fall Line’, “what I wanted to do was pretty much the antithesis of anything in the organized surf world, the WSL and all that stuff,” he told Swellnet. Invites came strictly through the grapevine, no noise on socials. “Only good can come from multi-generational hangouts, and only good can come from people spending a day at the beach where there’s no winners or losers.”

These days Rasta seldom leaves the Northern Rivers, partly because well why would you ever leave sand-bottomed point breaks? But it’s also rumoured to be partly due to a deeply-rooted belief that Yeti’s should monitor their (carbon) footprints rather carefully. Transport accounts for around one-fifth of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, according to the Our World In Data organization. Indeed, surfers chasing swells constantly are some of the worst individual offenders despite often professing quasi-spiritual connections with battered old Mother Earth. 

Anyhows, Rasta’s still ripping and seems to appear quite magically at a bunch of uncrowded spots, at odd times, seemingly from a secret path through the bush only he knows. I always tell everyone about my Rasta spottings, which is probs why he goes to such extreme lengths to avoid people. 

In the following clip from Swellnet’s YouTube shot by Nathan Oldfield, Rasta is riding the ‘Frankenfish’ by Gary McNeill, his predominant shaper of the past sixteen years. The Frankenfish, as the name would suggest – is a sum of the parts concept you won’t find marketed online. A twin fin with a Hydro Channel: a set of channels that ended in a step before the fins, with a flat panel after it – inspired by the designs of Lennox Head-based shaper Phil Myers. 

It appears to work. 


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