The original idea was simple— float better and maneuverer easier. All my riding experience since 1998 has only ever come from twin tip boards — all that was available in US shops— until a trip to Japan in 2014 revealed an entire spectrum of directional shapes that excelled in powder. The concept of more nose less tail was foreign but not totally unheard of. Like the old Winterstick Swallowtail and Burton Elite hanging from the rafters at the local shop, but I had never seen anyone riding one, let alone had the opportunity or design myself.

fishtail snowboard

The first board hand shaped under the Soulmotion Snowboard Label was an experiment in the possibilities of alternative design. But the first attempt was merely an extrapolation and modification of a twin tip with more nose and less tail. If a slight tweak could have such a dramatic effect, what would a Radical redistribution of surface area do? I began to collect all the wallhangers, take them to the mountain and feel what they provided.

Expanding beyond the size of traditional construction materials the most available option suggested by the woodworker next door was to use 2 veneers and bookmatch them together. When the limitations of materials issue was solved then the parameters of normal did too.

Version 2 was a 147cm 37x31x33 swallowtail fish. It was excellent in Powder, but quite excessive on groomers. When the 2015 season dried up at the end of January, the design was whittled down and the tail modified from swallow to fish.

The Snowboard Inspired by Surfboards

During that time the research got interesting. Looking for inspiration the most obvious source was to move beyond the snow realm and look to the surf.

By January 2015 at the SIA trade show where Soulmotion made its national debut, most scoffed at the little craft booth in the very back of the show. Except for a select few— Chuck Barfoot and Eric Luthardt (designer of the Flow Darwin) who was now working for a new manufacturer GP87 specializing in high quality niche boards.

By 2015/16 season we had refined the hand made designs and produced 25 of the first GoldFish Snowboard. It was beyond radical, made in an overseas factory and way beyond the conceptualization and price range of most Montana riders, except for a handful who were keen enough to try and with the benefit of being on the vibe we launched the Homie Hookup program where we offered exclusive deals on our shapes to riders we connected with. By the end of the season the word was out that these bizarre shapes were durable and effective at hunting powder and ripping groomers. And our riders were known for their exuberance of Stoke as they popped out of the woods and into the liftline with giant smiles frozen to their faces.

GoldFish Is the Gold Standard of Fishtail Snowboards

Over the next season the design and graphic continued to evolve, with no f*%ks given to the naysayers as we couldnt hear them from so deep in the powder fields of the secret testing grounds deep in the SouthWest corner of Lost Trail’s Chair 4 low angle zone.

From a basic yellow topsheet, the graphic began to take the visual aesthetics of its surfboard counterpart. Utilizing lap borders around the edge, a deckpatch and stringer. The base and polyurethane sidewalls began to match the topsheet color.

Due to the incompatibility to traditional snowboard sizing due to “volume shifting” the standard centimeter sizing was abandoned and replaced with traditional surfboard feet and inches. This was a slow process as the prototypes were actually each year's production line so with each season came an evolution of design. But due to there being so little demand by the retail market and shops, we were able to ride all winter, make design tweaks in the summer and launch the next version before the snow fell in the late Fall.

Now after 10+ years of continuous R&D, the 4'10 Goldfish SnowSurf Snowboard is still our highest demand shape and the spark to the entire quiver line.