I know that this topic has been discussed previously, but I’m really looking for some specific guidance. I’m looking to get a fish and I’m having a hard time figuring out the proper dimensions for my size. I’m 6’4 and weigh close to 240 pounds. I have made the transition from riding short boards as a kid to longer boards as an adult (mostly from the belief that they were all that I could ride because of my size), to my current board which is an 8’0 Kane Garden twinzer that is 3.0" thick and 21.8" wide. I want to go to a true fish shape but I have been a little apprehensive of purchasing a stock board because of my size. I’ve been looking at KG LM twinzers between 6’4 - 6’6, 3.0" thick, and 21.5" wide.
My question is whether those dimensions would be suitable for someone my size and ability (good shape, surfing for close to 20 years) or should I go for a custom that would fit my specs. that much better, specifically with the thickness.
I’d say get a custom board… or build one if you’re capable. A good custom shaper should be able to help you with nailing down the specs, but without knowing what you’re riding, or how you like to surf, it’s hard to say what will work best for you. I can tell you this… I’ve built fish as wide as 23 inches for myself (I’m 6’1, 190 lbs…surfing for 30 years, shaping on and off for 20), and they work. Keep the volume running through the whole foil, and carry it out as far to the rails as you’re comfortable with. Don’t forget, flotation is boyancy, and boyancy is displacement (volume). Low rocker and plenty of nose for paddling power. If you go with a retro style fish, go wide in the tail and deep swallow; modern fish - a little narrower in the tail and shallower swallow, but in either case, let the curve flow all the way back to the end of the board. I’ve found that “parallel” or straighter tail outlines on wider boards takes a lot of the looseness out of them. Go with twin keel fins for retro, and go with the 2+1 setup for the modern fish. I like fiberglass fins, myself, especially for bigger guys… stiffer, but still have good, dynamic release properties. I like to glass on my keel fins, but I’ll go with the FCS fins for the 2+1… the MRs with the small stablizer work great for most fish, but because you’re over 200 lbs, you’ll have to try out a few different combos to see what works best for you. Good luck.
Scaling up just a bit from the one I built for myself (I’m 6’2", 210-220 and it goes nice) you could shoot for a fish about 6’2", 24" wide, 3" thick. Widepoint 3" ahead of center, nose in the 18" range, tail 16-17", tips 12" apart. Big-guy fish can look just like average-guy fish, but a little bigger. Don’t hesitate to go short & wide, your arms can handle the width and you’ll love the no-paddle squirt takeoffs when you’re sitting way inside the longboarders…
I’m starting a new surfboard company called 9 Fish Surfboards and all we will be doing are retro-style fish surfboards. Our first 4 sizes will be 5’8", 6’2", 6’10" and 7’4". Both the 6’10" and 7’4" should float you fine. The dimensions of the 7’4" is 22 1/2" wide, 3 1/4" thick, 18" nose and tail with just a tad of rocker. The 6’10" is 22" wide, 3 1/8" thick, 17" nose and tail. I have a sample of the 7’4" made (the attached picture) and have had guys similar to your size riding them with no problem. The 6’10" should give you more performance. Both of these come with an FCS setup and either the 5"x8" custom fiberglass keel fins or regular 5" standard fins. The price will be $395 for the 6’10’ and $435 for the 7’4" with standard 5" fins - add $30 more for the keel fins. The 5’8" ($375) and 6’2" ($395) are quad fins with 2" baby keel fins on the outside and standard 5" fins on the inside (all custome fiberglass fins). If you’re interested, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.9fishsurf.com. We also have a deal with DHL where shipping is as low as $20 depending on where you live. Due to the foam situation, we won’t have product ready till the end of April but we’re starting a list of interested people now. If you’re in Southern California, we’ll have demos available at Malibu Surf Shack right across the street from Malibu Surfrider beach.
Will they still have that quick, skatey, fish feel with such a parallel shape?
Your prices are good…maybe too good! Don’t sell yourself short or ruin margins for others…your work is probably worth more than you think.
It has a very quick feel. I’ve been riding the 6’2" for the past 2 weeks in all different types of breaks in LA/Ventura County (i.e. Countyline, Leo Carillo, Topanga, and Sunset) in all different size waves from knee-high slop to overhead and it’s become my favorite board (my quiver includes Al Merricks, a Stewart, Harbour, and Surftech). At all the different breaks, I’ve had different surfers of different skill level try out the board and the feedback has been very positive. The most common feedback is that it’s quick and smooth and turns like a small shortboard but is very easy to catch waves with. My partner has the 7’4" and he loves the feel as well. It’s a great board to transition from a long-board (he was riding a 9’6"). We’re just trying to get our name out and have some fun so we’re not making much money on the boards right now. Plus we get to surf more and try out different boards! But the response has been overwhelming and the list of surfers who want to buy one when they’re available is getting fairly large.
I’m 6’2" and 215 lbs. and my current hybrid/fish shortboard is a 6’2" that is 16 1/2" x 21 1/4" x 15 1/4" and 2 5/8" thick. I think you are on the right track as far as a 6’4" to 6’6" and picking thickness depending on how much float you want. I have a thruster fin box set up, but I ride all sorts of different fins in it. The twin fin set up is really fun. Also, the vectors with the hatchet center fin is pretty fun too. I grew up riding twin fins, so now that the quads are becoming more popular, you may want to try one of those out as they look look to be a nice option. I had a 6’6" Loehr fish, that was closer to a true fish shape with a heavy swallow, but I buckled it twice and ended up giving it to my nephew who has since broken it. I’m not a fan of plastic stringers any more. Too high Q for me.
Yea…wouldn’t go any bigger than 6’6". I’m afraid I’d loose that real fish feel… The fish/fun hybrid is certainly a great option, but if you want a real fish, for a guy your size, I’d say stick to 6’6" or under. Being over six feet and 190 lbs, the retro fish I’m currently loving is 6’3", 2 7/8 thick… 17" nose, 18" tail, real curvey outline, deep swallow (12" apart, 6" deep), twin fiberglass Rainbow single foil keel fins glassed on, trailing edge 1 1/8" in from rail set about an inch forward of the taint, 4 degrees of cant, toed in one inch off the tip of the nose. (Double foiled fins I’d go more straight ahead and vertical.) I put a slight crown to the deck and it has MORE than enough float, but you could go flatter to get more volume for you. Down rails the whole way, hard tucked edge the aft third, faiding to soft at the midpoint to more 50/50 in the nose. I like to accelerate the rocker off the tail, but flatter is faster. I also gave the ever-so-slight concave to the bottom right where the wide point is, which is about 3" forward of center…then I transitioned to a heavy vee between the fins. Retro fish gotta be tinted, too. Mine’s dark blue/Green on the bottom, with a lighter on the deck… purple pencil-thick pinlines cover the freelap.
Have fun with it.
I agree with njsurfer and benny1, stay with the shorter boards. I wouldn’t buy or shape anything longer than a 6’5" fish without riding a similar board (9fish said you could demo). Its been my experience that long fish(es?) do not feel at all like shorter ones. Not necessarily a bad thing, but not to my liking or anyone that I surf with. I am 6’0" 200 lbs. and I have not ridden a fish over 6’2" that I liked. I had a 6’4" and it was just ok.
your size 6’4" id go with that length…you have to be quik to ride a board smaller then your height…
thickness… 220lbs…on a good day…have to be 4"…this might carry you when the wave has no power…
I know the thickness sounds thick…in my opinion if you still miss waves paddling for them…it will need more all over…aloha
(assuming when you say fish mean traditional lis fish…)
at 6’4" 220# I’d say go 24" wide. No need to go supper thick. Width will give you plaining area and nice curve in the outline for that traditional skating/pivoty feel.
I’m 6’2" 200# (plus 4/3 suit) and my fish is 6’2"x18.5"(n)x23.5"(wp=c+6")x23"(c)x18"(t)x3" pins 14.25", crack 7" lockbox keels
just some thoughts
Hey hey, Forest…
Let me know when you’re heading back out here. I wanna try your fishy! I’ll show you my planshapes for the new compsands.
Pic of my big guy fish … I’m 5’11" 220 lbs
Bah, you guys call yourselves big? 6’7" 270. THAT’s big. My sis got a 7’10" “fun fish” over the summer. Without getting into a semantic argument over what is and is not a fish, the thing is heaps of fun to ride and floats me great. Low entry rocker, plenty of thickness through the middle, but with fairly tapered rails, its a goer. Plenty maneuverable for me. I would like to try something shorter and more “traditional” though. Like that Lis for sale on the home page. Anybody got a grand they could loan me?