Wide fish board dimension critique

Evening everyone,

Im trying to design a board for me- 5’11, 210-215 lbs, Dad bod. Surfing 2-4 times a month within a two week window. Rest of the month is spent working/ out to sea.

While Im sitting around rubbing pilings, Im playing with ideas and hoping everyone can help. I’m only surfing North County San Diego beach breaks. Trying to design something for the mushy days (knee to waist high.) Everyone has boards that work when theres plenty of push, what about the days when its shit?

My inspiration are the wide and flat fish shapes ie. Lost Hydra, Firewire Seaside, CI High 5 models. I’m thinking of my design @ roughly 6’6-6’10, 3-3 1/4" thick, 23"wide. Almost a mini simmons but something that can turn a little better. Nose @ 12" I’m thinking 16-18" wide, Tail 18-19". Quad fin layout.

What I need help with are nose and tail rockers. Im thinking somewhere in the 2.5" range on the nose and 2" on the tail? Penny for anyones thoughts? My go to favorite now for mush is my 6’2 Firewire Sweet Potato, but I didnt measure the rocker on that before I left.

I’m lining up a local shaper to start something soon and want to make sure I have numbers that align with the shapers.


From Greenlight Surf Supply

From Harbour Surfboards on the Fish

“to remain true to their design concept it is recommended to stay within the 5-6 and 6-6 size range. These boards are for waves in the waist to head high range, although this does not restrict someone from pushing these numbers.”

Lower rocker for spilling (mushy) waves, that is, lower
-angle face slopes.
Low rocker paddles faster and pearls easier.
Rocker increases with length.

Maybe a pro builder will weigh in.

Faster paddling with a lower rocker should make it easier to catch waves. A Retro Fish should paddle a little faster than the modern Fish.

From the chart above, increasing the length of the 5-8 Retro Fish to 6-6 should increase nose rocker to 4.01” and tail rocker to 1.72”. These values maintain 6-6 rocker slopes at the same angles as the 5-8 rocker slopes.

Awesome! Thanks for linking those.

Can you explain your math on how you got 4” when the length changed?

To get the same Retro Fish rocker slopes;
Divide (6-6) 78” by (5-8) 68” = 1.1471.
Multiply 5-8 rocker numbers by 1.1471.
1.1471 x 3.5” = 4.01”
1.1471 x 1.5” = 1.72”

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If you’re in the San Diego area you should have no problem finding a shaper who can shape you a retro fish for the desired conditions. The fish design came out of San Diego circa 1960s. I would check Craigslist and OfferUp for the area also, maybe find something used.

Got it! Makes sense

Definitely dont have a problem finding shapers! Im just getting more involved in custom shapes now as I have the time, and my time in the water is greatly reduced.

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BTW for the classic Retro Fish, Tail width at the tips is 61.8% of wide point (0.618 times max width).
Also the tail has some Vee.

Good info! Thinking squash tail or possibly a real mini swallow tail. Nothing too narrow as this will be for weak waves and I want some surface area back there so I don’t stall the tail.

IMO a true Retro Fish (not a “swallow tail”) will do what you want.

I agree with Stoneburner. The retro fish has a wide tail, plenty of surface area, that’s one of the design characteristics that make it what it is. A squash tail or mini swallow tail is a whole 'nuther animal. The width, short length, wide tail, and low rocker, make it a skate-y, wave catching board that can be loads of fun on smaller or less powerful waves.


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Ok back in internet range. Thanks all for the replies! Looking used, I found a 6’6x 23 1/4x 3 1/4 Retro fish for half the price of a new one. Twin fin with a pretty significant channel down the tail (not concave). It comes with fins but Im wondering if I should invest in some Futures keels for it? All the twins I have are for more pivot/ vertical surfing.

Ride it with the fins you have.
Then evaluate/re-evaluate