The fish design is synonymous to San Diego, the town that I am from. It was originally made by Steve Lis with the intention to ride some of the hollowest, most technical waves of San Diego. The surfers who originally rode these compact space ships rode them on their knees. I picked up on the fishes performance after my friend, Todd Glaser, let me try his 5’3″ twin keel fin board. That fish was made by Rich Pavel, who is a student of Steve Lis’s work. I later picked up my fish riding approach from Richard Kenvin, who rode the fish board in the same waves that Lis’s crew rode, but Richard did it standing up. Richards approach is radical and liberated by speed. For me, the fish is the most dynamic of the smaller boards, it can skate through flat gutless sections, or it can drive through stand up barrels. I have taken a liking to riding 5’3″ fishes in sizable surf, although the first fish I really pushed in bigger waves was only 4’11”. You can use the combination of the straight rail and basey fins to propel you anywhere on the wave.
I have been playing with a combination of accelerated rockers and rail shapes to help make it more controllable, this also helps them fit the curve of smaller quicker waves. I have began to explore outlines with parabolic curves in the tail. This eliminates planing area in the tail, making it quicker rail to rail, and the accelerated outline curve based around my feet makes it more responsive. I also continue to enjoy the more traditional looking outlines that provide such insane glide and excel on the bigger canvas. From my experience, as long as you can catch the wave, the fish will hold. I have also fallen in love with these boards on my backhand. The fish is a very special board to me, a bit of a momento from my place of birth. Sharing it with people surrounded by other designs is like bringing fruit from my garden. In my eyes the fish has open-ended possibilities in radical performance.