Deep six fish?

Hey there good people.

I was wondering…, the best boards I’ve ever ridden in clean, wally point surf were a deep six channel thruster 6’6, and a flat real fish 5’10. Have any of you combined these two designs? Ideas/feedback would be greatly appreciated.



Not baggin on your idea but…

Around here, reality includes tide bump, peak of tide backwash, lots of wind in all directions, tidal movement, and quick changing conditions.

Add two fickle condition boards together (glass, calm) and you get a very small range of useable days.

Lee, I hear you.

Lots of less than ideal conditions where I live and surf, but does that mean that we should only ride “sensible”, chop friendly generics? Nah.

Just two days ago I was riding my 5’10 twin keel in solid overhead and very challenging/unpredictable waves, and it flew! It FELT soooooo good, and that’s what I’m after (it also made all the sections that would have shut me down on a thruster).

I’m not trying to come up with something that isn’t there, but to me the concept at least sounds interesting.

Here’s to clean swells, good tides, light offshores…


Maz- I just got through combining my 5’10" keel fish with my 6’6" thruster, no channels though… it’s in the lam room. In my opinion LeeDD has it backwards, although the fish works the best in calm conditions… I find that of all the boards in my quiver (32) it is the most versatile, working well in most conditions. Followed closely behind by my thrusters, and HP longboards. I think you are on the right track. -Carl

Interesting idea Maz, I ride a 7’6"x21" fun gun with a deep six ending in a diamond tail.

I picked it up on a trip to J-bay and bought it because it was brand new and very cheap.

It rides awesome once You get it up to speed, kind of slow in shitty waves but sort of lifts when You get it going and when turned sort of powers through turns!

Kind of curious, can anyone explain what exactly the channels do, or what’s the idea behind channels (deep six)

I’llsee if I can post a pic of me riding the board yeah think it works!

Sorry wrong pic, that’s me riding another board without channels

The pic was too big, anyone know how to compress a pic?

I have photoshop but never used it

Here’s a link to a page with the pic:

It’s the third pic down on the left side


Hi Carl

Not to be arguementative, just trying to figure your train of thought.

You agree fishes work best in glassy conditions.

Do you also agree channels work best in glassy conditions?

Of course, a fish easily handles surf from 2-7’, would you agree on that?

Fish suck when it’s DOH, TOH, QOH, or bigger…I think you’d agree there.

So you still think I have it backwards?

I don’t know the size waves you most often surf, but me, a 7’6" x 18.5 covers most of my surfing.

A fish would just cover the smallest end. That’s not versatility.


thanks for your replies and interest. Lee, versatility was not top of my list of priorities, a possible magic board was. That said, I’m amazed at the range of conditions a good fish will handle, and go really well in. I’ve got my big pintails for the large stuff, but sadly they don’t see enough action, as most of the waves we get around here are small to medium - waist high to overhead. T’is not the North Shore!



It would be interesting to see where the average of bigger waves happen to be.

I’d say NorCal gets more days overhead than anywhere, but I live here, have biased opinions, and the bigger days are the memorable ones.

I’ve probably spent about 200 days total on the North Shore of Oahu, and I remember lots of head high days in the winter, some smaller, and only a handful solid overhead…but of course, some of them were bigger than anything seen in NorCal.

But I’m talking AVERAGE of days overhead.

Mass., above Rhode Island, has 3 of the windiest places in North America, but no one says it’s good for windsurfing. It just gets a few days over 200mph, and raises the average.

I’ve never cared for fish boards at all. For small waves, why not ride a dedicated small wave shape, flatter entry rocker, thicker harder rails, slightly more float, wider, and any tail shape? Can’t call it a “fish”, but it still shreds 2-7’ waves.

correct me if I am wrong but I heard that a place in canada out west on an Island called Tenacher has the most consistant big surf averaging more big rideable days than the north shoe and northern california and South Africa combined! this place will be covered soon by Life magazine’s big surf issue due out this June.the prima donna spot is the western tip , Far Tenacher. Laird Belmont and Gary Friedknave are planning an all expense paid camp out next fall to cinch the big prise… ambrose…I could be wrong but this may spell tthe end of surfing as we know it

Hi LeeDD,

'Round here in my parts, a “versatile” board is one that will perform in surf from knee high too overhead and a half. I would say anything bigger than that is time to start playing with the semi guns. Once it hits triple overhead it’s time to start thinking seriously. I don’t have anything in my quiver that would work good in triple overhead surf AND knee high slappers… thats just plain foolishness. While the fish works very well in clean glassy conditions, I would have to say it also works well in anything below overhead and a half. Once it gets very choppy and bumpy… well what does work? Not much if you ask me, actually it’s usually time to paddle in. You are asking for a board that covers both extremes: knee high and 4x overhead. I say, no way. As for the channel bottoms… I personally think they don’t work in any conditions… make your tail narrow or wider instead, they look nice but are ineffective. -Carl

“Once it gets very choppy and bumpy… well what does work? Not much if you ask me, actually it’s usually time to paddle in.”

Good question! One type of surfcraft actually levels out and goes faster in less than ideal conditions. In many places around the world, about the same time that most surfers are paddling in… others are totally stoked and heading out.

Fish, Smish, I love the channel “debate.” It has been “proven scientifically” (see US Navy studies) that channels increase lift/speed - depending… But, what always gives me a rush is those who claim channels don’t do anything. Who, out there, has experience that channels work? And, who has experience that can “prove” they don’t?

I, aside from studying the Naval studies, have made boards w/channels - @1/2"+ deep, double/single, sharpe outer edges, flat/convex rise in middle - that could go too fast. Literally catching air off chop toe side, turning like a skateboard, and heel side… able to push so hard, and still stay “on top” of the water, pushing back, and hauling butt. I am pretty sure it wasn’t just me, as I have know guys who had similar reports about production 6 channel boards - fast and loose. Most of the reading of done, and professional shapers I talked to, indicate making the channels to be more of a hindrance to wide spread production than lack of performance.

Hi Carl

Thanks for answering.

I guess I just live in a different surf enviorment, have surfed for too long, and the drive to find any kind of surf starts at 35 miles thru the most crowded bridge around and thru the big city.

Forgetting surf DOH and up, a fish around here is great for 2’-4’, workable up to 5’, and you’d be a fool to ride outer OceanBeach Bars with anything shorter than 7’.

Most summer days, from June thru Septs. average surf is 4-7’, if it’s rideable at all. That puts a fish out of the running.

When the surf season “starts”, around mid Oct., the average size is still close to the same, but days 10’ and bigger start to happen, with almost all outside days over 5’. The paddle is about double Huntington’s outer bars, the rip is going sideways at 1/2 paddle speed, countered by the direction of the swell, causing it’s own rips and currents.

To find 2-4’ surf, in a current free spot, I’d have to drive into a longboard crowded spot, known for beginner surf, about 11 miles S.

To find the first good point, it’s S 50 miles…that’s in addition to the 30 mile drive in the first place.

So… for a guy living in the East Bay of SF, there is little reason to consider a “fish” as the ideal all around board.

Possibly a high 6’ “semi gun”… to you, for us it’s a small wave board.

Guns here are 8’6" and up.

Hey TaylorO! Do You have any link to those Naval studies You’re referring to?

Or are they in some book You read?

Sounds kind of interesting

My channel board goes like nothing else I’ve ever tried, but only when the waves are good.


Erik - Glad to hear about your channels! Ha! The studies I found were at the library at my university, and I’m sure any university/big public library has it/could get it. They are in big fat volumes, but not to hard to find - good indexes etc. Hard core, straight forward gov. stuff. Good luck. Enjoy.

A fish crossed with a thruster?

Been there done that (see board #200 or is that #201?/// Heck one of those two).

…Done right,it will work in a wider range of waves and conditions than it’s predecessors…surfs better too! Herb

I fully agree with your assesment on the characteristics of channels.

Lift and looseness for sure.

Just about the two worst things for surfing around here.

Means spinouts, slideouts, and herkey jerky surfing.

I might as well decrease fin size, or make totally edged rails, to get the same thing.

Might be great for slow moving, sub 4’ mushballs though. We just don’t care about that stuff.

Thanks guys.

The channel thing definitely seems to stir up lots of debate. TaylorO, the studies you’re referring to sound very interesting and I’ll see what I can dig up. Meanwhile, could you fill me in on the length/width etc of your channels? One of these days I’ll shape a 5’8 x 20.5" x 2 5/8" deep six twinnie - just too curious about what might be…

Erik, good to hear you’re experimenting with boards for those lovely Scandinavian waves. I sure went through some odd boards while still living in Denmark, trying to eke a bit of performance out of very little wave.



I don’t know much really about channel boards but I know some people ride them in Indonesian waves which of course have a lot of power but in a more cleaner breaking way.

My board was also built to ride pretty clean J-bay waves.

Dont’ know what waves You ride Maz but go ahead and make one and let us know.

I might just try and make one myself with very low rocker and a maybe some sort of channels.

One thing about channel shaping that I don’t understand though is how to measure tail rocker??

Do You calculate some sort of average from all the different lines in all the channels? Or how do You know how deep the channels are supposed to be?

What do You do in NZ Maz ? Did You move there permanently?