The fish surfboard is an essential piece of surf travel gear.
Why? There are so many more performance-oriented surfboards out there?
That is exactly the point. The fish surfboard is the perfect travel board because it works in so many different sets of conditions. And let’s be perfectly transparent, if you are a true slab hunter, looking to get shacked in double overhead barrels breaking over a razor-sharp reef – you’re right, maybe the fish surfboard isn’t for that particular surfer.
Two fins changed my life.
-Mark Richards (Fish: The Surfboard Documentary)
However, even if that type of surfer gets off a plane and finds waist-to-head high waves, perhaps all of those thin potato chip thrusters won’t be that much fun.
Anyway, for the rest of us, booking surf trips to Costa Rica or elsewhere in Central America, maybe hoping off a plane for a long weekend in Mexico, a fish surfboard will get us through all sorts of different surf conditions with a smile.
(The sweet pink fish surfboard in the image above is the one I rented for a surf trip to the North Island of New Zealand. I surfed this board in waist to head high peeling points, little mini-barrels, and blown out mess at Piha. )
Plus that extra foam volume in a fish surfboard might come in handy if you haven’t paddled for a while.
Twin Fin Fish Surfboard
Fish surfboards, and twin fins in general, have been making a strong comeback in recent years. If you have a chance to watch Fish: A Documentary you’ll see why. Or perhaps, like me, you had a chance to figure it out on your own.
While the surf industry was shoving thrusters down our throats like we’re all 100 lb groms, those people holding onto retro fish and other single fins were out there having fun.
(Not sure if you have noticed, but even the lowly funboard is having a comeback!)
Wait, surfing can be fun? Not a pure paddle-power battle while trying to not sink to the bottom?
Well, that’s where your fish will come in.
Have fun everyone.
Fish Surfboard Quiver
Here’s a little look at some of the boards in my quiver – surfboards, snowboards, splitboards, skateboards… You get the idea.
I currently have two fish surfboards.
My first fish is a 6’2 Bettis Surfboards fish. I bought this while living in Seal Beach, a perfect beach for surfing on a fish. I love this Bettis surfboard. It is a classic fish shape with glassed-on twin keel fins.
The Bettis fish is nice a full, paddles like a dream, and catches every wave that comes along. It is so full that you might even be able to sneak a foot up onto the nose for a bit before it plows into the wave.
It is the most fun surfboard I own.
As I mentioned above, I lived in Seal Beach for a while. If you live in Seal Beach, then you know Harbour Surfboards. Harbour Surfboards is the quintessential surf brand in the quintessential surf town. While Harbour is best known for their epic longboards, I’m not really a longboarder.
However, Harbour will make you anything and their cred in retro surfboards is unparalleled. So I had them make me a 6’0 twin fish surfboard with FCS fins. The only problem with my Bettis fish is that I’m always worried to travel with glassed-on fins. The FCS fins on my Harbour fish make it the perfect travel board.
This fish is a little lighter on volume and has a bit more rocker. While it takes a bit more juice to paddle than the Bettis, its more modern shape holds up great when the surf gets bigger or steeper.
I love this Harbour fish as a travel board.