What’s a Fish Surfboard Anyway & Why Would I Want One of Those Funny Shapes?

Fish surfboards or swallowtail surfboards refer to the tail setup of the surfboard. There are different types of fish surfboards from hybrid fish to retro fish and more.You could even have a fish tail on a longboard and you could still call it a fish surfboard.

Fish surfboards became popular back in the seventies as the world of surfing transitioned from 1 center fin to the world of more-than-one. The fish in today’s terms could have 2, 3, or 4 fins.

What makes a fish surfboard so fun and unique is that it combines a few highly beneficial elements. It combines compact volume in a short template, wide tail width, and stability of a squash tail and the rail control of a pintail.

Packing more foam than usual, into a shorter board, translates to more buoyancy, ease of catching waves, and shorter boards can turn tighter in the pocket.

The fish surfboard is also highly capable at catching waves in small wave situations because of the wide template at the tail. There's more planing surface to keep you afloat. A wide tail also provides great drive down line, which is very important when the waves are small.

Because of this unique combination the fish surfboard makes an incredible transition surfboard for those wanting to transition from a longboard to a shorter surfboard. Overall the fish surfboard is a blast in ankle to head high surf but lacks the hold-ability for overhead waves.

Garek Hurt
Garek Hurt


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