The Fish Surfboard
The Fish Surfboard is one of those designs that have stood the test of time, they don’t look like it but they are fast and loose on waves that are slow and mushy.
This type of surfboard design was developed during the shortboard goldrush when surfers were looking for ways to surf new areas of the wave, or what was called “total involvement surfing”. No more toes on the noes for these guys, they wanted to surf in a whole new way.
The Fish is characterized by its wide outline, flat rocker, thick rails, split tail and twin fin set up.
Steve Lis a kneeboarder from San Diego is credited with the fish surfboard creation, combining a twin fin with a swallow tail.
These concepts-twin fins and split tails were hardly new concepts. Unbeknownst to Lis, Bob Simmons had shaped some similar designs back in the 40’s, there were also super shortboards with twin fins already being shaped around the time of the Lis fish as well, but make no mistake he is the guy.
How Does a Fish Work?
Basically these types of surfboards have a flat rocker and a wide outline which gives it speed and lift.
The fish tail is designed to maximize rail length, enhance drive, add traction, and release quick giving you that skatey fish feel.
The “classic” Fish is best suited to someone who knows how to surf already, and surfed from knee to head high, fat mushy waves.
That’s not to say you cant surf them in any type condition you want, if you can handle it then who says you cant surf where, how and what you like ? right?
Dimensions of a Fish
Some will say that a true fish has to be under 6 ft and at least 21 inches wide with the distance between the tail points at least 10 to 12 inches with a 5 to 6 inch cut.
The purists will say that a true fish must have similar dimensions to the above numbers,everything else is not a fish.
Now a days you can find all kinds of hybrids with the look of a fish surfboard, perhaps the tail is pulled in a bit more or the split tail is not as deep, maybe its quad set up or even a three fin set up, or whatever modern twist people want to put on the original design.
Whether or not these are called “fishes” I guess is up to the surfer, I just call them modern fish hybrids or something, but who really cares about a name when you are surfing and having fun.
If you never had the chance I would definitely recommend to go fishing once or twice.