You’re Guide to Fish Surfboards

Guide to Fish Surfboards

History of the Fish Board

The fish surfboard has proven one of the most versatile surfboard designs to come out of San Diego, California by shaper Steve Lis in the late sixties. He was the first to take the kneeboard style surfboards of the time and add the famous swallow tail and twin fin setup. This original fish surfboard design blossomed in the mid-sixties and seventies and is still going strong today. Just about every surfboard manufacturer now has their own shapes and styles of fish surfboards.

Fish Surfboard Sizes

A fish surfboard is usually between 5’5 - 7’0, although there are fish boards larger than 7’0 for the bigger guys. A fish board can even be as big as an 11’ stand up paddle board in some cases as long as it has the signature swallow tail and twin fin set up. At Isle we carry several different models of fish boards.

A Fish surfboard and its Tail

The most common question asked about a fish board, is why the tail is shaped the way it is? The fish board tail is designed to allow the board to keep its’ fullness throughout the length of the board. A fish board is generally wider and thicker than a typical short board. This makes a fish board optimal for small or mushy waves. A fish board is also a good surfboard for those who wants a shorter board, but whose skills are not tuned enough for a short board. The fish tail also allows the surfer to make maneuvers without slowing down. This characteristic comes in handy in less than perfect conditions.

Quad or Twin Fin Fish - That is the Question

Fish boards typically come with one of three fin set ups. A fish board with a twin fin set up is typically called a Retro Fish board. This fin set up allows the fish board to gain a lot of speed, due to less drag from a center fin. However, the Twin Fin Fish Boards can be a little “loose” in turns. The other type of fins that a fish board typically comes with is a quad set up. A quad set up has become very popular in recent years and has two back fins and two front fins along the rails. A Quad Fish Board will have the speed of a twin fin, and the stability of a tri fin.

Versatility of the fish

Today's fish surfboards are shaped with many different approaches to the design, but don't be deceived by their odd shapes; these boards are fast! The speed, performance, and range of surf that can be ridden on these boards are something that can only be understood by riding one. Our several styles of the fish surfboard will fit most peoples' tastes from beginner to advanced. You choose the design that suits you best and take your surfing to an all new level.

Types of Fish we offer

Our Quad Fish Surfboards is a variation of a short board. These boards are typically slightly wider than normal short boards and noticeably wider. Quad Fish surfboards incorporate swallow tails, which loosen up the board on the wave face. These boards perform well when the surf is small, yet still allow for high performance maneuvers.

The Big Guy Fish Surfboard has been making a comeback in the last few years. These boards provide rail to rail turning and speed for flat sections for bigger heavier guys who dont want a longboard. With their added width and thickness, they make wave-catching and speed a breeze. You can paddle into soft waves and speed around sections. Today, there are many varieties of retro fish surfboards but most share similar features, including a twin fin design, swallow tail, and low rocker.

Marc Miller fro Isle Surf and SUP

About the Author -is the founding partner of Isle Surf & SUP an online retailer of paddle boards & surfboards. He has been involved in board manufacturing, product development and website management for Isle since its inception in 2004. He also writes the Isle Surf & SUP Blog. An avid surfer and paddler for the past 2 decades when hes not in the office he can be found on foreign shores searching for waves and fun.