The first time you see a fish surfboard, you may think, “That’s a strange looking shortboard”. Upon closer examination, you discover that this strange board has some massive volume. Super thick, super wide, short - don’t forget about the huge tail and rounded nose...you say to yourself: “Wait a second...this board looks like a fish.”
1970 - San Diego, California. A huge revolution was happening in surfing, particularly due to the groundbreaking technologies that allowed shapers to let their imaginations run wild. The shortboard revolution was forcing people to reconsider what was possible on a wave, and new surfboard shapes were a major catalyst at this pivotal point in surfing history.
Aside from ancestors of the modern day short board being pioneered, the very first fish was born in the family garage of Steve Lis.
Since then, the fish surfboard has proved itself to be a necessary board in many surfers’ quiver. If you’re considering expanding your board lineup, and you’d like to learn more about the fish surfboard, then this article is for you.
What are the benefits of a fish board?
Speed in Small Waves
You’re excited the weather is getting nicer, you’ve finally ditched the wetsuit, and you’re ready to enjoy some summertime swell...You head to the beach and find...this:
Small waves. Mush. Ankle biters. Slow as snails. Slop. Choppy. Whatever you want to call these waves, they are small and mushy.
A short board can be difficult to unleash in small, weak surf. Sure, you have the option of a longboard, but you want speed in these small waves.
The fish can give you what you’re looking for, we’ll get into the science later, but for now, it’s important to understand is that the biggest benefit of the fish surfboard is the easiness in which we get speed in small waves.
A Fast, Easy Paddle
The fish board has significantly more volume than a shortboard. What does volume mean for a surfboard? High volume equates to buoyancy. Being buoyant will mean the board will cruise in the water, making paddling easier and faster.
A fish surfboard will also have very little rocker - the curve of a surfboard - which makes it easier to paddle, too.
Great Wave Catchability
Catching waves. It’s what’s for dinner. Sure, most of surfing is paddling, and when we’re learning, most of surfing is wiping out - but on the very best days, we’re out there, catching waves. Days when the surf is mushy and weak, catching waves can still become a reality. We have options as surfers. The first is a shortboard, which will may be a challenge that may not seem worth it in light of the other choices we have. The next is a longboard. The last, is a fish.