Are Fish Surfboards Suitable for Beginner Surfers?

Can beginner surfers start on a fish surfboard? This is a very common question. For those of you out there contemplating the purchase of a fish surfboard either for yourself or someone who is still new to the sport, the answer is a resounding... "it depends". Let me explain...

You will see that there are many reasons why a fish surfboard makes a great starting point for a novice surfer, no matter what your age, but you will also see that for almost all surfers getting started, we recommend starting on a longboard.

1. Street Cred. There is nothing worse than being labeled as a beginner before you even get in the water. A lot of beginners start with foamies as they are more forgiving and have better flotation. Unless you are in a surf school environment though, it is a bit like having training wheels on your bike when you are out in the surf. The fish surfboard has all the great flotation of a foamie to help the beginner along, but doesn't scream beginner, because surfers of all standards surf with them. Let's face it, no one wants to look more hopeless than they have to.

2. Easy to Use. Due to the thickness of the fish surfboard, paddling through the water is easier. The all important concept of getting on a wave is made much easier by this design. The other great thing about a fish surfboard is that they perform really well in smaller waves. This is pretty important when you are just starting out. You don't want a board that will only work in 6 foot plus waves! You need a surfboard that will allow you to practice on waves that are a size you will feel comfortable with. The fish surfboard is great for picking up waves when the conditions are smaller.

3. Suited for all Ages. No matter whether the fish surfboard is for a kid or an adult it is equally suited. The fish surfboard is nice and light for the kids so they can carry it themselves.For adults just getting started the fish surfboard is wide and floats extremely well.

Retro Fish Surfboard. This design of fish surfboard has the name retro because it is based on the early boards of the 1970's. The retro fish surfboard is very wide, making it very stable. This style of fish surfboard floats very well and is easy to paddle. The retro fish surfboard is great for beginners.

Hybrid Fish Surfboard. The hybrid fish surfboard is a mix, giving the look of a long board but the maneuverability of a short board. The hybrid fish surfboard is also great for beginners because of its thickness. Stable, easy to paddle, and buoyant, the hybrid fish surfboard is a great purchase for a beginner who wants a board they can learn on, and then still use it for more complicated techniques later on.

Whatever your age, the fish surfboard is a great choice for the newer surfer but not a brand new surfer. If you have been surfing for a few months and have the hang of it on a longboard or foamie this easy to use surfboard will have you catching waves in no time! BUT, if you are getting your very first surfboard and are still learning to catch waves you will have A LOT for fun on a longboard.


Garek Hurt
Garek Hurt

Author



8 Comments

Matt
Matt

September 28, 2015

I think one thing that many people overlook is the volume of the board. I started on a foamie with 72 volume. I then bought a 6’8 21 23/4 with 41 volume. This was a huge jump from 72-42. I could not stay on the board and it was shaped as a mini mal. I rented a fish 6’10 very wide with a lot of volume 51. I was up and running in no time. No I am looking for a fish with 50+ volume. Volume is very important if not more important than shape in my view.

padds
padds

May 07, 2014

mountain boarding helped me alot

Luc Stokes
Luc Stokes

May 07, 2014

The key word there is “seasoned”. If you haven’t spent a significant amount of time on a “board” stick with a longer board as your first board.

canadasb
canadasb

May 07, 2014

im from canada and go to mexico every few months. Im a seasond snowboarder/skaterboarder-23 yrs old.

i bought a 6’3 fish for my first board (1yr ago) and within the first few days of riding the board i had no problem popping up/and turning on the wave. A fish is a great board for someone who has experiance with snowboarding/wakeboarding/skateing ext… If you have no board experiance i wouldnt recomend it.

Bill
Bill

May 07, 2014

thanks! very helpful post!! like the template btw ;)

Swimchica
Swimchica

May 07, 2014

I agree with the previous poster. I think nothing makes you stick out like a kook so much as someone who is floundering on an inappropriate board, thinking they can defy the rules of learning how to surf by getting a cooler board. You just have to learn on a board appropriate for learning, and see if you can try out friends boards for what fits your style and the waves you surf. When I surfed in the mid Atlantic, a nice 9-0 longboard was my first board after graduating from a fun shape. Now that I live in Florida, I do way better with something with more rocker. After feeling an enormous improvement after surfing a weekend with a friends, I got one like it and traded my old long board to my dad. Best decision ever!
I’m considering a fish now and was amused at the previous poster… I’m not a beginner anymore but definitely not amazing, and in my arsenal I have my longboard that is great most of the time, and am saving up for a fish for messy /sandbarish days, and keeping my eye out for a funshspe for friends… Wishing I never got rid of my old one! I tried a fish out once and really liked it, but I’d think a beginner would get frustrated with it. You should be able to grow with your board and have fun surfing. Don’t get frustrated because you have the wrong board or else you will never want to go!

soulsurfer79
soulsurfer79

May 07, 2014

One last thing to mention. Most fishes are by design short boards. This is important because you must pop up from your knees. This is a difficult skill to learn starting out.

My suggestion for a pure beginner (never ridden any board) is get a foamie. When you are comfortable catching green waves and can turn right or left on a wave, then invest in your next board. By then you should have an idea about what style of surfing you prefer; cruising or shredding or both. If you know you want to shred, practice popping up from your knees, and get a fish, which is a nice transition for all the reasons above. If you prefer cruising, get a long board. or better yet get both, and start your quiver.

If you are an intermediate surfer your quiver should have a fomie for teaching beginners, a long board for those days when the surf is rolling and you just feel like cruising, and a fish for all conditions, and when you fell like shredding. The guns & regular short boards are better left for experienced surfers.

Stoppen Met Roken
Stoppen Met Roken

May 07, 2014

I like the valuable information you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here regularly. I’m quite sure I will learn many new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

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