What is and can a fish surfboard do?
Fishboards are available in two different designs. One is a retro shape inspired by the 70s and the other is a high performance shape. A retro shape offers you super planing behaviour and a high wave yield. Cutbacks and the lazy surf style of the 70s are the trademark. A high performance fishboard combines smooth surf behaviour with radical manoeuvres and high speed turns.
- Retro Shape - loose surfing behaviour and high wave yields.
- High Performance Fish - radical manoeuvres and speed turns combined with a loose surfing behaviour.
These surfboards are between 5'4 to 6'6 feet long and close the gap between a funboard and a shortboard. A fishboard is much more agile than a funboard. This makes it much easier to surf more radical turns and manoeuvres.
- Size: approx. 5" - 6 feet
- Waves: Small / Medium
- Skill Level: Advanced / Pro
Compared to the funboard, fishboards have less rocker and a wider nose. The volume of the board is in the nose area, so you get more waves. The tail is cut sharper and in combination with the swallowtail, which acts like two pin tails and a squaretail, you can combine high-speed turns with more radical manoeuvres.
However, there are also shortboards and other shapes with a swallowtail, these are no fish boards and mostly not suitable for advanced surfers.
Fish surfboards are surfed in small to medium waves and are not suitable for beginners as is often claimed. A Fish is a huge fun machine in smaller waves.
These are the advantages of a fishboard!
A fishboard offers you many advantages when surfing. We have listed them for you:
- high wave yield
- Good buoyancy
- good planing behaviour
- relatively forgiving surfing behaviour
- suitable for small waves
- suitable for medium height waves
- cutbacks, hishspeed turns, very manoeuvrable
- Duckdives are possible
- Preliminary stage of shortboarding
The wider nose of the surfboard allows you to ride high waves. Due to the larger volume than on a shortboard, it glides on more easily and allows you to ride around weaker sections of the wave and generate speed yourself.
Surfing on a fishboard is very different from surfing on a funboard. You get the waves much later and the take-offs take place on a steeper part of the wave. On the other hand, you can turn a fish much faster and it is much more agile on a wave.
A fishboard is the next step to a shorter surfboard. You should never skip this step. Learn to start a wave later and your take off needs to be executed much faster. To really surf a wave, it has to be executed perfectly, otherwise you won't ride a wave.
These are the disadvantages of a fishboard.
Where there are advantages of a fishboard, there are of course also disadvantages. Here we have compiled these for you.
- not as radical as a hybrid shape or shortboard
- later take off is more difficult than with a funboard
- steep waves can only be surfed with a gentle take off zone.
- A fishboard is not as forgiving as a funboard and does not glide as well, but it has other advantages.
Even though a fishboard is not as forgiving as a funboard, it is suitable for advanced beginners. However, you should already be able to surf top and bottom turns properly on a longer surfboard.
Fishboard and beginner - does it fit?
There is no general answer to whether a fishboard is suitable for beginners. A fishboard is much more agile than a funboard and the take-off is much more difficult. If you describe an advanced beginner in the following way, that top turns and bottom turns are surfed cleanly, with good regularity, then a fishboard is also suitable for a surfing beginner, but only then. The difficult take-off and the very agile surfing characteristics demand a lot from you as a surfer. For all other beginners, we at Surfganic.com recommend a Minimalibu.
What you should pay attention to when buying a fishboard!
If you want to buy a fishboard, it should be well considered! The workmanship of the surfboard is definitely important. You should not make any compromises here. Cheap surfboards break much faster and the performance is not the best either. If you value an environmentally friendly finish, check whether it was made with bio-based epoxy or at least with epoxy. Polyester resin is much more harmful to the environment.
Furthermore, you should be clear about what you want to use your fishboard for.
- a retro fish surf style
- a more radical high performance style
- Some fishboards are better to turn than others. Each shape has its own characteristics.
Your height and weight is another very important point to find the perfect fish surfboard for you. A fish should be chosen in your height minus approx. 10cm. However, this is only a rough guide.
Here we would like to list the most important points in keywords:
- Which surf style do you want to learn or surf?
- How tall and how heavy are you?
- How is the fishboard made?
With a pure Retro Fish Shape you will have a lot of fun in small waves up to 2 metres. Here you will experience a completely different surfing and you will expand your sufskills.
You should only choose a high performance fish if you already have some experience on a shortboard.
These different shapes are available for fishboards.
Fishboards also have different shapes for different conditions and different manoeuvres.
There are fishboards that are designed for retrosurfing, these surfboards are surfed as TWIN FIN and are very manoeuvrable. These fish boards are a lot of fun if you can surf them properly rail to rail.
There are fish boards that are designed to be very performance-oriented and are usually equipped with a quad fin setup. This allows very radical manoeuvres without having to give up the good gliding properties. This form of fishboard is very close to a shortboard.
There are fishboards with different fin setups such as TWin Fin (two fins) and Quad Fin (four fins). Very rare is the option to surf these boards as Twin Fin with a small tail fin.
These are the most important fishboard shapes:
- Retro Fish
- Performance Fish
- Twin Fin
- Quad Fin
- Twin Fin with small fin in the centre
When you buy your first Fish surfboard, choose a retro shape or a shape based on a retro shape. This will make it easier for you to start surfing with a short board.
The length of a fishboard is very important when deciding what to buy.
When buying a fishboard, you should definitely pay attention to the length.
The following rule of thumb applies to determine the right size.
Body height - approx. 15 cm
- If your fishboard is too short, you will hardly catch any waves and your movements will be restricted.
- If the board is too long, you will find it harder to turn and at higher speeds it will become very unstable on the water.
To find the right fishboard for you, use our professional buying guide.
Which fin setup should I choose for a fishboard?
There are two important fin set ups for a fishboard. Which fin setup you should choose depends on what kind of waves you want to surf and which surf style you follow.
- Twin Fin: A fishboard with a twin fin is very manoeuvrable. This is the standard fin setup on a fishboard and gives the board its characteristic retro surfing behaviour.
- Quad Fin: A fish surfboard with a quad fin setup is mostly used in performance fishboards and gives your surfboard more drive, speed and control at the same time.
- Twin Fin with small centre fin: The centre fin gives your board more stability at higher speeds.
If you haven't surfed a shortboard before and want to switch to a shorter surfboard, a Retro Fish is just the thing for you!
A fishboard is suitable for these waves.
You can surf a fishboard in the following surf conditions. You can surf a fish surfboard in small and weak waves. Due to the volume in the nose, the surfboard glides relatively easily and generates speed independently even in weak waves and less powerful sections of a wave.
Tuberides are also possible, but a tuberide section must open up while surfing, as is often the case with performance walls. Steep take offs are not really liked by a Fish and are almost impossible to stand.
You have real fun with a fish surfboard in conditions around 2 - 6 feet. Here you can surf all manoeuvres and play with the wave.
A fishboard is suitable for:
- small waves
- medium waves
- soft waves
- point breaks
- reef breaks
- Norse waves
- mushy surf
A fishboard for children? Does that make sense?
The answer to the question of whether a fishboard makes sense for children is a resounding YES.
Children can easily surf on a fishboard and improve their skills. You should just make sure that the board is not too long and too wide, because then your child might not be able to paddle properly. For starters, we recommend a fishboard with a thruster fin option.
How much does a fishboard cost?
You can find fishboards starting at a price of 300€. These surfboards are usually poorly made and their performance is also rather poor.
In the middle price segment around 400€, you will find quite decent fish surfboards with good workmanship and solid performance.
Above 500€ you get very good quality with a good performance on the wave and a lot of fun guaranteed.
- from 300 Euro - poor quality and average performance.
- around 400€ - solid workmanship and performance
- from 500€ premium fish surfboards for real enjoyment
If you love this sport, you should definitely look around in high price range - It's worth it!