New Fish Board

Any questions about learning to surf, or general questions about equipment, technique or improving your surfing.

New Fish Board

Postby nonstop_pct10 » Mon Aug 17, 2015 2:01 pm

So I have read so much on the internet. Every site, every comment. This is my first post and I'm hoping I can get some advice here. I have been surfing for 10 months now and live in North Carolina. I paddle out anytime there is surf, which over the summer is not too often but the fall and spring is pretty good. I work for a non-profit which is rewarding spiritually but not financially. My first board was a 7'2 fun board with a damaged fin that has more dings and dents than a demolition derby car. I got it on Craig's List for 50 bucks. I surfed all fall, winter, spring, and this past summer on it and felt like I good pretty good. I can drop in on head high surf, bottom turn, turn of the top, and get a pretty good casual ride. I cant cutback, or do a really good snap or anything like that, but I feel like I can take some pretty steep drops and stay deep in the wave. I wanted to practice on this board, get a feel, and then move to something shorter. The surf here is usually fat and mushy so it screams Fish board. After searching beloved Craigs List, I found a 6'6 7s Super Fish II for $175 in B+ condition so I picked it up. I've taken it out about 4 times now (surf has been flat for most of the month) and am struggling. I'm sure I just need to get out more, but it feels like i'm starting all over skill wise. Pop up is different, but I got it down using the kick pad, no problem. My problem is seed. All the reviews on the board talked about how fast this board was down the line, but I feel like I am going incredibly slow. Im guessing I just need more practice, but i mean i feel like I was flying on my funboard compared to the fish. Now i definitely pop up quicker on the fish, and I am catching more waves, but I feel like when I bottom turn I stall, or if i drop in on an angle I just lag. Feet placement has been a bit of an issue. I pop up a little too far forward which surprised me, and have to step back a little to find the kick pad BUT when I do pop up with my back foot on the kick pad, I feel like I dont have enough weight on the front of the board to build speed. I have even hopped a little forward to push the nose down, built speed and then hopped back. This makes me feel like the board is too big or something, but I fit the recommended sizing chart on 7S website. I am 5'11 , 177lbs athletic. The board is 6'6 20 3/4 X 2 5/8 with 40 Liters of volume. Its a high volume board, but i did want something I could use year round since I can only afford a one arrow quiver. ( I thought with a 6'3 I would struggle with catching waves) Im sure i just need to practice with it more and nail down the pop up, but you know how it is learning, the first thing you do is blame your equipment :) Really just looking for a bit of reassurance that its me and not the board and any suggestions on how to build speed. Thanks!
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Re: New Fish Board

Postby r896neo » Wed Aug 19, 2015 6:45 pm

You sound a similar level to me and i have a 6'8 superfish xl. I lose speed and blow waves when i pop up either to far back or with my back foot fractionally first. The shorter board is lighter and has less momentum than your 7'2 and so reacts more to your movement more making pop up more critical. When i swap off my longboard to the superfish I lose a couple of good waves before i transition back to it. For reference I am much heavier than you at 220lbs and am slightly too heavy for the 6'8 really.

I would say that it sounds about right size wise and remember a smaller board will almost certainly not make it easier or make the board faster.

The other thing i am quickly learning is the bottom shape can have something to do with it.

My older style superfish has a very mild single concave all the way through the board and in the middle has a large section that is nearly flat. Whether or not its supposed to, in my opinion the board feels fast at take off and drop in and slightly skatey feeling on some harder turns, including bottom turns. In general it rides quite fast with my gentle carves.

I recently tried a friends 7'0 board which is a copy of the superfish with the same outline but it has a very significant double concave which is quite deep. This felt totally different to mine. Even though it has more float it felt much slower on take-off and felt very dead for my first few waves. But then i got a few on it where i really tried to pump and surf it rail to rail and it suddenly felt alive and went so much better.

NOTE. This is the ramblings of a very average intermediate surfer and my feelings on the boards and bottom contours are in no way correct but i just posted to show that even at my level i was surprised how different the boards rode and or needed to be ridden.

Your fun board will almost certainly have been very flat on the bottom. Again no real answers, perhaps someone who actually knows the theory and can surf well could add or correct my ramblings
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Re: New Fish Board

Postby nonstop_pct10 » Sun Aug 23, 2015 5:27 pm

Hey dude, thanks for the reply! I do appreciate the insights and opinions, its good just to hear ideas being bounced around. Ive been out a couple more times since my post and have had a better go of it. It really is just adjusting to the pop up. Wave conditions here have been mush so I think I was just being hard on myself. Report looks good for middle of the week so hopefully Ill be able to test the board out a little more. Ive found that your right, just have to find the sweet spot and really surf rail to rail and keep the board pumping. This board allows me to stay up on the top third of the wave a lot easier than my fun board, and allows me to easily get up to the lip. Its got basically no rocker so Ive done a few face plants turning down or when I try a snap, but I think I just got to get a better feel. Im still struggling some with building speed, its getting better, but I need to keep at it. I surf by myself, so its good to get some of this out and hear feed back. Take it easy!
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Re: New Fish Board

Postby Jory » Tue Sep 01, 2015 6:42 am

Whenever you move down in board size, it gets harder to catch a wave, you need to pop up quicker since you are taking off later, and the board will bog more easily when you aren't pumping it. As an extreme example, someone on a longboard can stand still and the board will trim/glide along the wave happily, someone on a thruster shortboard is constantly pumping and moving the board to generate speed unless they are on a big powerful wave.

When people talk about a board being fast they are often referring to the amount of speed you can generate when working it and how responsive to feels, not the speed it will trim along a wave with no input from you.

Bottom contour makes some difference in feel, generally concave helps generate speed when you pump the board but in reality it's not going to stop you progressing whatever the bottom shape, you just need more practice- surfing is hard and it takes time to get to even a basically good level however much money you drop on shiny boards

Usually the answer is just......

Surf more!
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