Surfing A Fish Board
By Aleksei Stojanovic
Board selection comes in all shapes in sizes, it can be quite dramatic and even confusing at times. If the waves are small in the summer you look to grab your log (longboard), if it is absolutely firing in the winter you look to grab your best shortboard.
But what about a happy middle? Try surfing a fish board!
It may not be as easy to paddle as it may be on your trusty log, but you’ll be able to pull into more waves than your shortboard on weaker days. Surfing a fish board will serve you well in fatter and weaker waves. You won’t be able to generate the speed and power you are looking for with your normal performance board…
Thick (and slow) waves = Thick board
More volume will bring you more waves in those off days where they aren't exactly small but are not too strong. What does your generic fish look like? As mentioned, surfing a fish board requires more volume, less rocker (sometimes almost no rocker), and more width on the board. All of this in combination with fin placement will give you the speed you’ve seen on videos like Lost’s “Fish” Mini-Doc on Surfer.com
What types of fish are there?
The Retro Fish (Twin Fin)
The retro fish has a wide nose, fish tail, lots of volume, and a wide surface area. This is the classic fish and the most common choice amongst surfers looking for a fish in their quiver. It is great for small to medium-sized surf!
The Quad Fin Fish
The quad fin Fish has a narrower nose in comparison to a retro fish. The quad fin got its name because the fin set up consists of 4 fins. A 4-fin setup provides more stability and holds for bigger surf. To put it simply, the quad fin fish is the perfect mix between a shortboard and a retro fish!
The Hybrid Fish
The hybrid fish has a wide nose, lots of volume, and a wide surface area like the retro fish but differentiates itself by having a tri-fin setup. Here is where you will find a happy middle between loose turns on your retro fin fish and the stability of a quad fin setup. I personally love this setup, but everyone has their preferences!