Steve Lis and His Fish, The Surfers Journal 20.1

Home Grown: Steve Lis and His Fish by Cher Pendarvis

This story is dear to our hearts and our history. I am honored that Stevie chose me to write the profile about his life and brilliant creativity, and I am thankful to the Surfers Journal for their support of the story. Stevie has brought so much Joy to us with his Fish design through the decades. He’s always an inspiration in the water and his Fish is a favorite surfboard design of all time. The article for Stevie is a labor of love.

Here an excerpt from the beginning of the story:

Copyright 2011 Cher Pendarvis

“The Oven, an alcove in the cliff, afforded shelter from the prevailing afternoon winds, and the best local surfers rested here on the large round rocks and enjoyed watching the waves and talking story in between surfs. Generations of surfers learned tolerance with one another and like an extended family, still enjoy the waters of this sacred area. Inspiration, lessons and stoke are shared and passed on. Those that love it, do so under all conditions. If you come, come alone. If you’re first on the beach, you leave no footprints, walking below the high tide line. When you see a heron on the reef, you move smoothly and quietly to avoid disturbing it. Keep a clean beach. Black wet suits are warmest. If you lose your board, leash less here by tradition, you swim for it, building up your fitness as you watch friends enjoy a nice wave and thinking about how you lost your board. Surfers here earn respect over time by being patient, surfing well, and respecting their elders. This community respects the gifts of the ocean and takes care of one another as the Pacific Islanders do. It’s like that now and it was like that then.”

It’s here that the Fish was born.

A sincere thank you to special friends for suggesting that I enter the stories about Uncle Val and Stevie Lis in the 2011 San Diego Press Club Journalism Awards. Both are labors of love from the heart for and about people that we care for very much. At the San Diego Press Club Journalism Awards event on October 25, the Surfers Journal article “Homegrown: Steve Lis and His Fish” won the Award of Excellence 1st Place Magazines: Profile. The article about dear Uncle Val, also published in the Surfers Journal, won an Award of Excellence Third Place in Magazines: Feature. Then, to top off the evening, the profile on Stevie Lis won “Best of Show” for All Magazine Entries. Press Clubs in other cities including Cleveland, Houston, New Orleans, Syracuse and other cities around the country judged the event. I am amazed and thankful for acknowledgement of my writing!

For more information about the stories and to purchase Issue 19.6  (with the story about Uncle Val) and the story about Stevie Lis (in issue 20.1) see the Surfers’ Journal Web site.

“Even after dedicating all the print space to Steve Lis in 20.1, there wasn’t enough room to document all of Stevie’s early boards and surfing exploits. Here’s a selection of photos and sketches of important early boards that were mentioned in the story, and a few choice surfing shots.” Here is a link to the photo gallery on the Surfers’ Journal site: Going Deeper: Steve Lis

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8 Comments on "Steve Lis and His Fish, The Surfers Journal 20.1"

  1. Bruce Cowan
    02/11/2011 at 9:13 am Permalink

    Great story Cher! Thank you for documenting and saving this piece of local history!

  2. pendo
    02/11/2011 at 5:47 pm Permalink

    Hi Bruce, Thank you for your thoughtful comment, much appreciated!
    Aloha nui loa, Cher

  3. CR
    07/11/2011 at 7:44 pm Permalink

    Awesome story Cher…and deserving of the accolades. Your heart, knowledge, and passion came through loud and clear. My personal favorite line from the story “never known as a people person…”made me smile.

    That’s our brother Stevie.

  4. pendo
    09/11/2011 at 12:03 am Permalink

    Hello CR, thank you for your kind words about the story. I appreciate your thoughts very much. Yes, Stevie is our brother. ‘Looking forward to seeing you in the water! Aloha nui loa, Cher

  5. Mark Tatum
    16/09/2015 at 11:59 pm Permalink

    its.been,30!years.Steve.since.I’ve,seen,you.last.surfing.the.cliffs, and working at Santa nofre as a grunt with john. I would love to have a board shaped by you. I would love to hear from you 714 573 5390.

  6. Jeff hoke
    25/09/2018 at 4:34 pm Permalink

    Boy the memories that blue fish that jeff Ching has in his hands was that the seagull fish they kept and buried? Sorry about ur square back jeff.U guys are the best kneeboarders ever.I kneeboarded for 30 years great memories of the cliffs.

  7. pendo
    16/10/2018 at 12:54 pm Permalink

    Hey, Mark, thanks for writing. We’re not sure what happened, but your comment just recently came in to view!
    Aloha and Cowa-flexit!
    Steve and Cher

  8. pendo
    16/10/2018 at 12:55 pm Permalink

    Hi, Jeff, thank you for writing. We’re not sure what happened, but your comment just recently came in to view. Thanks for sharing your great memories. Take care, Cher and Steve

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