First Time Shaper + Retro Fish Sizes

Hey folks,

Been lurking for about a month on the forums and this is a really great site.  Having finally finished up my shaping area in my garage I am starting on the first two boards; two retro fish.  Was wondering what specs you think would work well for two friends I am shaping for.  Friend 1(Ben) is 6’7" and 190 lbs and friend 2(Steven) is 5’11" 160.  Both are pretty trashy surfers but have a good time, they’d probably be surfing 2-8’ stuff.  From personal surfing experience with Ben he pearls a lot, so I was thinking a little more thickness in the front to increase that rocker thickness and foil would probably be ideal.  He also learned on an old single fin from the 70’s so this will be his first time on a fish.  Steven is a little bit more experienced, gets up real quick but has a harder time getting his board down the face of bigger waves and turning his rail into them.  Can’t wait to hear your thoughts and am looking forward to joining the community.



Friend 1(Ben) is 6'7" and 190 lbs" retro fish for Ben 6'7" and 190 lbs......Let's build this guy a board that will work for him....something a little longer...not a longboard but the guy is one foot taller than most surfers....How about a 6' 11" or a 7'6" or an 8'3"........There's a guy named Resinhead....he's tall...6'3" + and he retro fish for Resinhead....Tall guys need a little more board .....That's not a bad thing.....

Look in the photo archives for boards over 7 feet.....



Haha, i’ll let him know his retro fish dreams are short lived, whats the reasoning for big guys not working on retro fish if you don’t mind me asking? do they just not get the board controllability and paddle speed as they scale bigger and bigger? as for Steven what are your thoughts on board size? 



Nothing wrong with tall......

If Mr 6'7" can ride a modern fish more power to him.....

I'm 5'8 and I think that surfboards 5'8" are too short ....Tall person needs a tall board....Think about it.......


That makes perfect sense and why it didn’t register in my head at first is beyond me haha… Since these two are going to be first boards for me and first glass jobs I’ll keep you posted on how they turn out.  Going to sleep on dimensions and draw out some templates tomorrow with Resinhead’s beauties in mind.  I can see Mr. 6’7" coming around to this idea – his perk is that he gets a free board since i’m sure it wont turn out perfect haha. If anyone had told me how high the learning curve was at the start I would have strapped myself in for it, I am thoroughly enjoying the process so far though!!



A tall person who cannot surf well would have no use for a fish. In fact, it’s my opinion that fish are only worth owning if you’re fairly competent on a shortboard, to start with.

As to fish not working solely based on a person’s height… Mike Tabeling used to rip the shit out of waves on a tiny ( under 6’) fish. He is at least 6’3", as I recall. It’s not about height, it’s all about ability.


Note that I refuse to call them “retro”. It’s either a fish, or it isn’t.

Note that I refuse to call them "retro". It's either a fish, or it isn't.


Modern Fish 

Two different animalsl however very both functional in various conditions.

Retro is a word that is loosely used these days!




[quote="$1"] . Mike Tabeling used to rip the shit out of waves on a tiny ( under 6') fish. He is at least 6'3", as I recall. It's not about height, it's all about ability.




Tabe's fish back then was more than a foot shorter than he. He's 6'5'', at least one of those boards was 5'3''. That's according to Larry Pope, who shot the memorable photos. I saw that shit firsthand at the inlet back in 73-74.

I had 6'4'' Wes Laine on a 5'4'' x 20'' x 2 1/4'' a couple of years ago. But these guys are freaks, extremely gifted surfers. Not something an intermediate surfer needs to try.