Proper fish dimenions?

Hey guys I’m new to the forum and I had a few question about what dimensions I should use for my fish. My friends and I just purchases some Fish blanks and all the stuff needed to shape the boards a few weeks ago, and we are ready to start shaping. Problem is we aren’t sure what would be the best dimensions.

The blanks are 6’5 USA foam. I’m 6’3 and 180, Probably going to grow outward some in the coming years and am wondering what dimensions would be best… (detailed descriptions would be greatly appreciated considering this is my first time ever shaping a board.

Thanks a lot guys and sorry about the redundancy of the request. I didn’t find anything very close to what I was looking for in the archives.


Kinda need your age, experience, strength, style, aims, where are you surfing

Because the youngster slash-and-burn types all say go super-short, like eyebrow-level to start, and they like them narrower and thinner too. SKip Frye rides them in San Diego as mid-lengths. The waves here on the Gulf of Mex are pretty weak, when there are any, so I would be smart to go up from there. (I’m not.)

So your question has a few variables to factor.


Janklow ask the right questions. That being said, most ride them 4 to 6 inches than their standard shortboard. Others say no higher than your forehead. A lot say anything over six foot isn’t a fish. Who cares what everyone says? I’m stoked you guys are building your own. They are fun boards for small, hollow waves. Easy to ride. I found I can ride a fish shorter than I thought, but got that nice fishy ride in everything from 6-6 down to a 5-8. I’m 5-9, 175, 49 years old. Mike

Check this link

Search Shipman ,shipman surfboards, Tamarack trash can fish. Try ,hopefully it’s still there.

For your body size I would go 2 5/8 or 2 3/4. Depends on style and ability. Ask Rooster more questions ,He’s the fish guy !

Have fun. :slight_smile:

Well I’m 19, Tall, I swam competitively for years to catching waves isn’t too difficult, and I’m going to be surfing in the virginia beach/outer banks area.

if you’re new to shaping, I’d suggest using as much of the blank as you can when you cut it out. That way if you muck something up (asymmetrical, low spots in the rails, bad tail cut, whatever) you have a bit of extra foam to work with. You can always cut more off, but you can’t put it back…


I have board and fin templates. You’re welcome to it all. Let me know. What little I know about building boards and fishes I learned from the guys who really know on this site. Shipman’s are the most beautiful of all, though! Mike

I’d have to agree Shipman made some truely beautiful boards.

Think if you want to go retro or modern. The traditional Liz template has been put up many time and is in surf board construction 77.

Lob has also put up some templates that are good.

Shouldn’t be too hard to find them.

hopefully I’ll be making a fish in a couple of weeks but I’m not set on the specs yet.

I would Be very interested in those Templates!


Well I’m 19, Tall, I swam competitively for years to catching waves isn’t too difficult, and I’m going to be surfing in the virginia beach/outer banks area.

If that is the case and you are decent at surfing, i’d go with something in the 6’0" range. I am 5’11" and 175, but have short arms and small hands, catching waves is/was my biggest problem and I just got a 6’0" X 22" X 2 5/8" quad fish, surprisingly easy to surf. I also have a 6’4" X 22" X 3 1/8" quad fish with a slightly more aggressive nose that Gary Hanel shaped that is being glassed right now. It is a bit big, but I will use it on smaller days (shoulder high or smaller) or/and at slower breaks (Churches).

I just wish the thing would finally get DONE.


Check your PM. Give(PM) me an address and I’ll put it on paper and snail mail it. Mike

Hello Jcoleman ,

Looks like you’re getting some good input. Shipman passed away a few months ago and the Sways gang has been helping me get through the grieving. I’m almost done with my second TTF2 fish. Ben would be proud. All Ben Shipman’s templates are 100% Shipman. Ben took alot of pride making his own outlines and not copying. Me on the other hand…More of a slut taking what I can get…Ha ,Ha just joking. I am not set up to send you any templates but if any of you guys are going to the Swaylock’s 2007 get together at Big Sur I will be bringing a Shipman fish…I’m easy , bring some paper and a pen, copy that baby. Every one should be riding a Shipman fish!

Oh yeah ,tucked under rail. Ben talked about that quite a bit.I can’t explain it but I see it in his rails. All the fish that I glassed for Shipman have this going on through the tail. It’s been a hard concept for me to understand. Maybe some one can explain it or post a photo.

One last thing…I’m a firm believer in glass on fins for Fish…Probox and Lokbox have some awesome set ups but…They also sell glass-ons !

Don’t listen to me. I don’t even ride a fish. I just glass them!!!

Have fun


I’m 5’9" at 170lbs and have a 5’9" and 5’11" fish. I like them both but I would like to go a little bigger with my next one. Both about 22" wide and close to 3" thick.

It’s interesting to hear the opinions about how big you can go on a fish. I’ve wondered myself. For my next board I want to go with an epoxy and would like a 6’2" (or so) quad…maybe a little bigger but I wonder about the feel. I’ve tried a 6’10" fish and it definately felt like a funboard.