The Fish surfboard is a versatile board. It's wider, thicker, and shorter, which creates extra volume and keeps you on top of the wave. It's often recommended for summer waves and is suitable for many different types of surfer.
The retro Fish surfboard varies from between 4 and 7 feet in length while modern variants can go up to 8 feet. Both types feature a fish tail design, which is where the board gets its name.
Is a Fish Surfboard Good for Beginners?
A Fish board is short, like a Shortboard. However, it's also thick and wide, providing extra stability and buoyancy, and Hybrid Fish boards can go up to 8 feet, potentially making them even more suitable for beginners.
It's a good option for inexperienced boarders, but it's not necessarily the best. You may be better off with a Longboard or a Foamy, as you'll get more stability than you would with a shorter board.
As you learn more and adapt more, you can consider advancing to a Fish surfboard. In that sense, you can think of it as an intermediary between a Shortboard and a Longboard.
What Are Fish Surfboards Good For?
The unique Fish design makes it ideal for summer waves. These waves are shorter, calmer, and easier to manage, and the Fish was tailormade for them.
If you need something that can handle small waves, whether you're a beginner riding your first waves or an expert looking for some summer fun, it's worth having a Fish board in your quiver. A Funboard has many of the same benefits and is also wide like a Fish, but it's often a little longer.
The Best Fish Surfboards on the Market
There are a huge number of great Fish surfboards on the market right now. To help you with your search, we have highlighted a few of our personal favorites, factoring quality and value into the equation and focusing on boards produced by well-known brands.
Kona Kai Fish
A great looking board with an impressive 5-fin setup, slim outline, and a leash. There are multiple designs available, with lengths ranging from 5 foot 8 inches up to 6 foot 2 inches. The Kai Fish costs around $450 to $500 and is a high-quality and affordable option.
Salt Gipsy Shorebird
The ideal board for intermediate surfers, the Shorebird has a twin-fin setup, with a relaxed rocker and a narrow tail. The only real downside to this board is that it costs over $500, making it the most expensive option on this list.
Ben Gravy Performer
A 6'6" surfboard with a lightweight construction and a very affordable price tag, coming in at under $300.
Formula Fun Green Machine
A board that offers great maneuverability and a stylish design in a 5'2" soft top surfboard. It is made from recycled waterproof foam and doesn't have an epoxy or fiberglass finish, which means it's lightweight, durable, and eco-friendly. It's also very affordable and you can pick one up for less than $300.
If you're a beginner with a dwindling bank balance and want to get change off your $300 budget (don't forget, you'll need to consider the bags, racks, and wetsuit) then this is a great option.
What Size Fish Surfboard Should I Get?
A good rule of thumb is to look for a Fish surfboard that is around your height if you're not sure and 2 to 6 inches less if you are comfortable with it. Your weight will also come into it and you may need to look for something that has a little more length and volume to suit your weight.
If you're not sure, check the product description or ask the retailer/shaper.
Summary: Benefits of a Fish Surfboard
The Fish surfboard was first developed by 16-year-old kneeboarder Steve Lis in the 1960s. It flourished during the 70s and in recent years, it has experienced a resurgence, with lots of new styles and high-performance additions.
It's a board that's suited to both beginners and advanced surfers and has a place in every surfer's collection.