Fish for Hawaii

New member, so please bear with me. I looking to buy a fish to surf in town and in small country conditions. I am 49, 5’11", 194 lbs., and surf pretty regularly, riding everything from a 7’2" Downing round pin to 9’4" Brewer longboard. I’m considering a Larry Mabile, Kane Garden, classic fish, 6’2" x 22" x3", or a Rich Pavel fish, 6’7" x 21 3/4" x 2 7/8". I am concerned about the size and not ending up with a board that’s too small and difficult to catch waves, or one where the length is too long to take advantage of the true charateristices of a fish. Any input will be appreciated. Mahalo. Adrian.

I’d go for the short and wide concept, which limits you to small waves, and requires some rear foot repositioning to make powerful, solid turns.

A 5’9" x 23" wide fish float about the same as a 6’6" x 21 fish, so choose what you know and prefer from your experience.

Longer fish need curvier outlines in the back, making them more like normal shortboards, but two fins and swallow tailed.

Since you appear to have limited shortboard experience, perhaps a bigger fish, slightly wider than the ones you mentioned, would be the safest choice.

i agree with LeeDD i just got done building a fish thats 6’6 i wish that i would have built it a little smaller. i have ridden it in some pretty decent surf but nothing comporable to hawaii standards. call me crazy but if i couldnt make a decesion between the two i would just meet some where in the midle and make it like 6’3. i know that kane garden makes a board that size and its really good i rode one in some pretty good and rather big surf on assateauge over in maryland.

I harumpf waht LeeDD says.

I just surfed my buddies 5’9x21.5x2 5/8 that i jsut finshed for him and was blown away at the wave catching ability of such a small board. I’m 5’10, 185 + a 654 wetsuit. If you go big , due to fear of a small board you’ll regret it in regards to a fish. Go for a 6’2. my 2 cents.

Check out

Alan McCray (the shaper) lives spitting distance from Sunset and is grew up surfing on Lis boards and similar. He is a Fishman for sure. His specialty is kneeboards but I think he has made some stand-ups and is a good enough shaper can likely make any size to work. Will give you good advice for various conditions too. For my money, if you surf HI your best bet is a shaper who surfs there too.

Thanks to everyone for the input. I’m inclined to go with the Rich Pavel but may order one shorter. I’ve heard good things about him and his boards. Much Mahalos.

Be prepared to wait maybe a year or so… So you need to be thinking at least a year or so out not to be anxious or dissappointed especially for a custom. Just got my mandala via Fedex today and I ordered it from Manuel on July 15th. But I will be the first to admit that despite the wait it is a thing of beauty… Thanks Manuel for finally getting her home.

You can also buy any of these Diego fishes off the shelf at the Oceanside Surfride or GreenRoom as I saw tons of them when I was there in Nov. Try as I did I couldn’t find Kane Gardens when I was there but surfride had 2 racks of their boards as well as Hynsons and other Rainbow fishes. The Hynson downrail fish looks like something that might be better suited for Hawaii… His downrail mini-guns put Lopez on the map at pipe.

If you don’t want to wait that long look around the island there’s lots of good options and shapers here on Oahu. I hear theres a neat one at Russ K, some over at Hawaiian Southshore (Schaper), I even saw a Bushman 6’0 Retro Fish at WRV in Haleiwa. At Local Motion Chuck Andrus makes a nice retro while Jay Hodge makes an insane twinzer. David B/ rode a yellow one around town 2-3 years ago. Surf Garage carrys Christenson’s and other over priced mainland fishes. Even Dave Parmeter makes a fish for hawaiian waters called the malolo that his glasser Kimo K rides and loves… There’s also a bunch you can see at the Campbell Factory Outlet (Lost/Steve Morgan). Check Da SurfaHaus on Kapahulu for some options. I even saw a full on chambered balsa fish w/Koa lams at SurfnSea Haleiwa for $2500 if you collect retros.

Mainland fish may not do as well here in hawaii since we don’t have many long slow point breaks. So be careful going too short and superwide. I guess the bottomline is there’s lots of off the shelf options here that maybe better suited since the shapers are surfing the same breaks as you. And if you’re really adventurous tell Kokua to hook you up with Steve Lis who’s on Kauai now. Foamdust has a custom Lis that he’s estatic about I hope the same will hold true for me with my new Mandala Quad.