The fish that won't get away

I want a fish.I can’t afford one so it seems a good time to realise a boyhood dream,and make one.

I’m 45 y.o.,6’3’',215 and counting.Competent surfer(on a good day).Probably surf 3 times a week,in winter basically weekends.

I want the board for beach break dribble and small point waves,to complement my lngbds.(quicker reacting ,better duckdiving etc.)

I’ve got heaps of inspiration and helpful info from lurking plus the archives,and what I have in mind is:

A quad a la speedialler ,6’6’’ to 6’8’'. You tink 21 1/2 is a good width ? I really like GGriffin’s fish planshapes so will shoot for something like that.

Rocker’s the mysterious part-I don’t know any shapers well enough to squeeze them for design secrets, so ,what are some numbers?I know the rocker apex should match the wide point.Should it have an even curve ,or a kick in the tail ?

For hull shape I like the idea of a subtle dble. conc. inside a subtle single,going flat behind the fins.

Any advice ,direction,criticism ?

Happy Xmas and some waves to all.

Hi Nuclearfishin,

If this is your first board I would find a blank as close as possible to the dimensions you want, and only use very subtle bottom shapes, otherwise you could be chasing your tail and end up shaping every bump and lump you see away to nothing.

If you are using a poly blank there are many excellent rocker curves already put into production blanks.

If you are hotwiring EPS find a template and profile you like and copy it. Nearly everyone does it.

Aps3000 is an excellent program if you want to design your own, and it is free.

I think you may be surprised how helpful some of the smaller local shapers can be, especially if you tell them want you want to do.

Good luck, and a merry xmas to you


I’ll be sticking with good ol’ poly for this one.The whole idea’s a bit threatening already,without throwing unfamiliar building methods into the mix,hehe.

When most guys mention fish,they talk about using bigger blanks to get a flat enough rocker.

That’s another point actually-anyone got suggestions for a suitable blank ? Bearing in mind I’m in NZ,and the board is in the mid 6’ range.

Good suggestion about APS 3000,I’ll look into that.

Oldy’s thread (Journey of …) was really encouraging(thanks Oldy).I may be biting off a bit more than I can chew for a first attempt,but I’m a carpenter/joiner by profession,so I’m cautiously optimistic,about my manual skills,at least.

Thanks for chiming in, by the way. :slight_smile:

Like all boards ,fish seem highly personal.Some people say they’re slippy n’ slidey,others rave about their drive and hold,for example.

A lot of guys my size seem to ride their fish quite a bit shorter than I’m looking at,but my shortbds. have hovered around the 7’ mark for many years,so I don’t want to jump down too much.My son’s got a 6’ egg,and I can’t even get to my feet on that!

Any larger fish riders with something to add ?

Do you think a subtle concave bottom will work in a wide variety of waves ,or should I stick to something more basic? I havn’t owned a board w/out some sort of concave system for over fifteen years.

I’m aware a lot of this has been covered before, but people’s opinions can change over time.


I liked the design you were describing and I’m a similar size, so I made you this. You can get APS3000 from for free and learn how to import this and trace it if you like it.

Merry Christmas!



(EDIT: If you blow it up to 1600%, you can see that the bottom rocker curve is actually continuous, but yeah, low–should be good for conditions and parameters you gave–up to you to foil it pretty though–I also didn’t finish the tips out to the cool tapered points, because when I cut rocker temps, I need them to be straight----I think I’m making a 6’4" for myself too!)

I’ve made a few out of the Southcoast Foam 7’2, it has a lot of kick in the last part of the nose but about 2" in the tail and you can push the template back a ways on the blank to lower the nose rocker. It’s wide enough to get a good fish planshape out of too, I’d reccomend about 4-4 1/2" of nose rocker depending on what kind of waves you’ll mostly be surfing and about 1.75" of tail rocker, a bit more for a quad, like about 1 7/8". Good luck!

Happy Christmas Nuke!!!

I just wanted to send you up a bit before you grab the planer. I’m also getting ready to do a 6’5" fish.

I’m going to do a traditional shape with two single foiled fins and lokboxes. I love Griffins shapes but remember

that they are set up for power in Hawaii even in small surf. I would put more tail in your shape as like me,

you longboard a lot. The Janklow file is a good outline and you might want to adjust

the rocker a little based on your waves which have a little more push than his. Check out some of the posts, especially those by George (plusonesurfer) as he has lots of experience with this type of board.

Keep the bottom simple also, make sure your stands are level and make the bottom flat until your rails are fully done. I would go with (am going with) a mild concave rail to rail (1/8”) starting under the chest area going to flat in the tail. 8 degrees per side of vee would loosen up the tail on cutbacks if you are going with a standard twinfin setup. If you go with speeddialers, check out the posts on fin location and concaves thru the fins.

I prefer a harder rail than Janklow’s, but his work fine in mushy surf. I like to surf a fish in head high and under surf and like a harder rail from the middle back to really crisp in the tail. I don’t have a problem with cutbacks with a hard rail. I guess that cutting back a 9’8” takes care of that problem!!!

I’ve been surfing and demo-ing a lot of fish in the 6’+ range lately and that’s where most of my recommendations come from. Make sure you post your decisions & pics as we all like to see people make their first one!!

I don’t know what foam you get there in Kiwi land, but Bennett has a good fish blank here in their catalog so you should be able to find something like it there. There’s a lot of Kiwi’s posting here, so pm them if you need to.

With your background in hand & power tools, you should be set up. Just take your time and don’t get too anxious!!!

Good luck!

Hey nuke look out you are about to disapear into the shed for the summer

I am a bit heaver than you at 250lbs and found a 6’6" by 23 by 3" to be about spot on, the one sugestion i have is to try and keep your width the same as your current longboard as in my opion this helps with the transition to short board.

I built this one from timber and havent got any skills in timber work, almost gave my 5th form teacher a stroke…;search_string=kiricore%20hws;#247750 I didnt use the fin set up suggested in this post but put them back towards the crack. 5" by 9" slight double foil 4 degree cant and 6mm toe in over length. these even though they look big are easy to drive and turn with our weights.

so with your wood skills a foam board will be easy…

I would keep your rocker to 3.75 nose and ~1.5 tail this worked real well in NZ earlier this year in everything i wanted to surf. Choppy faces are a bit hard with the fat nose but still doable.


I thought I’d manipulate this thing a bit per the boys, to give you a bit more volume and plane and rocker, tail, think I pulled the nose a bit


Thanks heaps for the input guys,it’s all great stuff.Knowledge is power as they say.

Sways is awesome.If there’s anything more to add feel free-I won’t be starting for a while yet.Got a few projects to get out of the way for her indoors first!

Janklow,that planshape looks quite curvy in the tail for a fish-is that to keep it loose for it’s size,or just my imagination?

 Checked the width of my mal-23'',and my current shortboard is 20 1/2,so I think I could easily go to 22'',maybe even a bit more.But I can get my mal on a rail,so 23'',who knows? 

I’m thinking now too,that I might just go for twin keels this time around ,get a feel for a twin fish and try a quad next time.

You’ve sure all given me plenty to mull over ,so thanks again !

Hey nuke

I would go the 23" width and 6’4" to 6’6" you wont have any problems with your size. You could also do heaps of FCS plugs alla chip and then you have options…

Just finishing off a 6’2" by 24" by 2 1/4 quad fish plugs to go in and final sand and gloss and canards to build.


Hi there NuclearFishin.

Just thought i’d throw in some idea’s.

Length I think would be good at 6’4 - 6’6"

Width i’d reccomend around 21 3/4".

I dont know your height and weight but i think 2 5/8" for a thickness is a good place to start.

Concave i’d deffinatly go with a shallow single to double concave, it just gives you so much speed and feels good.

the fin setups a personal thing. My favourite fish setup was the Griffin inspired 5 fin but it varies.

Cheers Mate!

I reckon that’s why it’s curvy like that, but that’s kind of a Griffin planshape, as far as the curve goes–I was looking at it and thinking it made sense for a quad especially if the cluster was spread a bit which I figured you would do for stability. I have other more trad fish temps that aren’t that curvy

Hello again.Gotta say I’ve really been enjoying all these fish threads in recent days.

Platty ,Silly, Kiricore , Roy , it’s all great stuff.

About fin templates (for twin keel fish).I see in the archives that as a fish gets over 6’.the fins should start getting shorter and taller.Anyone got any templates they can recommend ?I like the ‘Doc’ one that Hanel uses on his fish.

Janklow that 6’8’’ you drew looks great but after looking at it for a while, it started to seem a bit ‘shortboardy’.I hear what Surfteach is saying about Griffins shapes being set up for Hawaiian power,and I have to keep reminding myself that the whole point is to have a little mushbuster that paddles and catches waves almost like a mal,but that’ll let me get a couple of moves in before the wave shuts down.

I’ve noticed a lot of people set their fish up with 17,17 ½ , 18’’ tails.Could you draw me one 6’6’’ , 22 ½ , 17 ½ tail please ?I’ve downloaded aps 3000 but can’t get it to work . Damn computers.

Hope ya all getting a few waves.

P.S Surfteach if you read this-can you explain what you mean by ’ 8 deg. of vee ‘.I checked it with my protractor n’ it seems a heck of a lot.But you know a lot more than me.


Post questions for help with the program if you need to, bro.

Any larger fish riders with something to add ?

Not from me but a friend recently got a bigfish from Dave Johnson in Santa Barbara. I think its 7 or 7’6". He’s been riding a Swizzle for a couple years. Here’s his report:

“I tell ya, the big fish rips! It paddles really fast so I’m catching a lot more waves. Can’t quite out fox the 9 ft long board guys when catching waves, but almost. And then… its a quick top turn and then speed wiggles and forward trim too, when I want it. It gets a little squirly on the nose because of the shallow fins, but forward trim is really fine. It is my favorite board now”

This thing looks fun. I’d make it a 2+1.

EDIT: I didn’t touch the bottom or the rails. Default settings only.

Late here.

what about an SUP version

very tempted… just got to have the right waves

C’mon guys,you’re just showing off now !

Love it ,heh heh.

Anyone got anything to share re fin profiles,btw ?

Maybe a drawing , or a manufacturers template you think would be good ?

I’ll prolly be making them myself .


I’ve got a big 7’2" that I made for a friend of mine. Looks like a pig but this thing is the fastest board I’ve ever been on. It’s 22 1/2 wide with 18 1/2 nose and 18 tail 3 1/2 thick. Catches waves very easy and good from the smallest days and I’ve ridden it in double overhead and the thing just flies, it’s like it runs on a cushion of air. The only thing it doesn’t like is narrow based small hollow waves as it’s difficult to keep the nose up when hitting the lip. I’ll send some pictures later for you.


Hello again….

About fin templates (for twin keel fish).I see in the archives that as a fish gets over 6’.the fins should start getting shorter and taller.Anyone got any templates they can recommend ?I like the ‘Doc’ one that Hanel uses on his fish…

hiya again , Nukularman ! just a question … are you going with glasson fins ? or will you put in plugs / boxes , so maybe you can / could play around with twin keels and twin FINS , on the same board [or even maybe quad setup/s , too ?] Just a thought . Anyway , you asked about keel templates … keels …here’s a few [and a few aberrations] …;post=210335;page=1;mh=-1;;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC [if you decide on options on this fish you’re making … here’s some twinnies , too ] twin FINS …ditto;post=231801;page=1;mh=-1;;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC okay , nukes , I hope this helps a bit ? …please feel free to use ANY of them , if you want to ! cheers ben