Fishy, Shorty, or neither - Which one should I get first?

There comes a time in every surfers journey where they will be faced with a decision that has paralyzed many surfers before him... fish, shortboard, or something totally different? To answer this question you really have to think about your surfing goals. You will need to base this decision on what you want this next board to accomplish. I know we say this a lot but it's true, there isn't one perfect board that will do everything perfectly.

That's why the surf community has adopted the word "quiver" to define the variety of boards they keep for various conditions and moods. That's right I said moods. Sometimes you just don't feel like going out and ripping... you just want to cruise. But I digress. If this is you first "shorter" board then you have to think of it like this. Adding a fish or shortboard to your quiver isn't going to replace the board that you are on. What is does do is add capabilities to your board inventory.

The only reason you're looking to go shorter is that you feel the board you are on is lacking something. Maybe it's small wave shredding, maybe it's "duck-divability" (which by the way is not a function of the board as much as it is a function of technique), maybe it's just a higher level of maneuverability. I am going to attempt to break this review into 3 "goal" categories... Summertime Fun, High Performance, and Out-of-the-box.

Summertime Fun - Codfather

summertime fun with the codfather

The Codfather is probably one of the most fun boards we have at D33. Fast, loose, and skatey. This is the summertime choice for most shortboarders because it provides a level of maneuverability like a shortboard (sorta) and yet brings to the table a high level of float. We call this summertime fun because around here the waves get small during the summer and smaller waves aren't always the best for a shortboard. The Codfather comes in to it's own on small mushy waves. If you're looking for that magic small-medium wave board to go out and have a blast on, then this the board you want.

Here's what surfers are saying about the Codfather-

"Hey D33 team, I love my new surfboard! I purchased a 5'8" fish surfboard from you yesterday. This morning the surf looked a bit mushy but I paddled out anyways for what turned out to be a very fun session. The surfboard worked better than I had hoped. Thank you so much" -Scott Cox Deerfield Beach, FL
"It was a pleasure meeting both of you last night. I am so stoked on the 6' Retro Fish surfboard I purchased from you. You have a great product and at unbeatable prices. Went out in Huntington this morning and had a great session. Caught every wave I paddled for and had total control of the board on turns. Dropping a full foot in length was easier than expected on the epoxy fish. Thank you both!" -Vincent Nola Santa Monica, CA

Here are our recommendations for size/weight and board size. More aggressive surfers lookin for that edge in maneuverability, take the shorter end of the range provided. Those of you looking for just a touch more stability or paddle strength will want to go the opposite direction..

Add a Codfather to Your Quiver

 

High Performance Surfing - T9

Your first shortboard is a whole new world. Skinnier, thinner, shorter, and a whole lot more capable. If the longboards are considered the tanks in the surfboard world then the shortboards should be considered the sports cars. And the T9 is no exception. We have a couple of different shortboards here at D33 but if you're looking for that first shortboard, or at least the most versatile shortboard, then this is it. Riding a shortboard is going to be a challenge. They are harder to paddle, harder to catch waves, and a whole lot less stable. BUT they rip! The T9 is specifically designed to be on the forgiving side of the shortboard world. It has a wider tail to help power through the small waves, and a tapered double bump taper for maneuverability. This provides a board that is perfect for the first time shortboard and is also the best choice for a smaller wave or summertime shortboard.

Here's what surfers are saying about the T9:

"This board is perfect for mushy beach breaks. I can take off late, create good speed and it turns well in the slop. Thanks." -Brad San Diego, CA
"Ideal shortboard for small waves. Thanks guys- this thing rips." -Cooper Cox. Cocoa Beach, FL
Here are sizing recommendations for the T9 Daily Driver Shortboard.
Click here to find out more about the T9
"Out-of-the-box" - The Bean
The Bean

When it comes to the Bean, she's an animal all herself. Perfect for the small wave days in your life, the Bean will keep your sessions fun when the surf is summer time scarce. Wide and thick is the name of the game here, giving you plenty of float and paddle. Flat rocker and quad fin setup keeps you screaming down the line and making tight sections while the double winged rail and double concave will have you cranking bottom turns and smacking lips. A word of caution, this board dominates primarily in mushy small surf. When it gets steep, you can surf it vertical but re-entry is a little tough because the nose is so wide. If steeper small surf is your jam, go with the pivot fish instead.

I bought a 5'6" Bean a month ago and love it! 32 years of Surfing and this is exactly what I was looking for in volume and size. Fun in the small surf and in the head high surf as well. Great all around board.

-Tim Cain Garden Grove, CA

  I’ve been surfing for over 10 years and this board really is a blast to ride. Here in Southern California the waves are inconsistent at best, so The Bean always goes with me to the beach. It’s crazy how maneuverable this board still is and when the waves do finally clean up this thing amazes me even more!

-Bennett Ocean Beach, CA

Here are our recommendations for size/weight and board size. We recommend surfing the Bean 4-6" shorter than your shortboard. This board has a gob of volume because of it's thickness, so even if it feels to short... it's not!

Click here to learn more about the Bean


Garek Hurt
Garek Hurt

Author



7 Comments

Luc
Luc

May 07, 2014

Hey Ken,

Sorry for such a late response. Yes we can get you a fish that would still preform AND float you. :) Buzz us at the warehouse and we can talk through your options. 858-693-3693

Ken Dormer
Ken Dormer

May 07, 2014

Hi folks

I used to ride a David Nuhiwa (spelling?) fish back in the seventies. It was stolen (broke my heart). I loved the speed, stringing rollercoasters, gliding/pumping over flat spots; and I loved the feel of it planing on take-off. I could take off in longboard territory once I had the board planing. It was also short enough (about 5’10’’) so I could do one stroke or no stroke takeoffs if the situation called for it.

Enter 2012–Due to a lot of injuries, including two back surgeries, I haven’t surfed much in years. I have an ancient short board which doesn’t float me too well and a SurfTech 8’2" McCoy shape that is an excellent board, but I really do miss “flying” on a fish.

I guess I might be a candidate for a 6’4" Quad Pivot or traditional fish. I’m 6’2" and weigh about 195. I’ll have to work on my arm strength and overall strength. Any chance of making a fish slightly longer or slightly thicker without screwing up the performance?

Have a good one
Ken Dormer

Neil Fretague
Neil Fretague

May 07, 2014

Thanks for the info.1 Neil

Garek Hurt
Garek Hurt

May 07, 2014

If you want something closer to your Flyer but added meat, go with the Jack in a 6’0 or 6’4. What’s your height, weight, experience? That or our Codfather in 5’8 or 6’0 if you want a little more speed and surface area.

Matt
Matt

May 07, 2014

So right now I have an Infinity 5F, its super fat and eggy, 5’10, great for small stuff. I’ve had a CI Flyer in the past and loved it, and some other similar boards.

I want a board for thigh to head-ish with volume. What size rip it do you recommend?

Luc
Luc

May 07, 2014

Honestly from a “fish” standpoint, probably a 6’4" would be about as long as you’d want to go. If a 6’4" fish sounds crazy short than you really aren’t looking for a fish but maybe more funboard or hybrid. In that case you could go 7’0" and be just fine. Let us know how else we can help or give us a call at the warehouse and we’ll talk you through it. Here’s a link to the fish – http://www.degree33surfboards.com/surf-gear/surfboards-by-shape/fish-and-specialty/fish-and-specialty/pivot-fish.html and to the funboards and hybrids – http://www.degree33surfboards.com/surf-gear/surfboards-by-shape/funboards-and-hybrids/index.html

Michael Seifert
Michael Seifert

May 07, 2014

I really am trying to avoid a long board,im by no means a trasher I like to use the face of the wave but nothing crazy. I’m 53 and I haven’t surfed on about the years but I’ve been surfing since my teens. I’m really intrested in a fish but I’m 6’4" 230 lbs. I want to increase my wave count and am looking for something to give me more paddelbility. What size of a fish would you recommend a 6’8" seems short for me.
Thank you
Michael

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