Advice on the size of a fish

murphy-s-law's picture
murphy-s-law started the topic in Sunday, 1 Apr 2018 at 10:43am

I realize that a fish is usually ridden a few inches shorter than your normal short board,I get it.
Thing is..I'm an in shape 52 yr old guy that is surrounded by SUPs on a mal wave that I usually surf.
On a 3-4' day which is when I ride an 8' mal, I can get quite a few, but the SUPs are pissing me off.
I realize the biggest board wins, and I have to go bigger.
Instead of a bigger mal, I'm thinking of having a fish made around the 8+ mark as I'd like to be able to cut back, and have the board fit into the wave a bit better.
Any comments or ideas would be appreciated. I'm a tightarse, and will be shitty with myself if I have this made when I should have just gone for a bigger mal.
Thanks

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Monday, 2 Apr 2018 at 6:33am

I don't agree with this "need to get a bigger board to get more waves" philosophy. It's all about paddle power, which is directly related to volume (which is a trade off for performance). So, speak to your local shaper and get them to whip up something that'll increase your wave-catching ratio rather than resorting to a board choice that might get you a few more waves but won't be anywhere near as fun once you're up and riding. 

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Monday, 2 Apr 2018 at 7:19am

Since when did getting a bit older entitle people to become complete kooks? Have some pride, if you can't cope on an 8ft mal maybe go for a walk or play golf. It's a race to the bottom at a lot of places these days, more longboards wasting waves by riding straight lines. Hipsters, unfit 50 year olds, late starters, Jesus how standards have fallen!

Laurie McGinness

backyard's picture
backyard's picture
backyard commented Monday, 2 Apr 2018 at 8:34am

An 8ft fish? I think you'd call that a whale.

backyard

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley commented Monday, 2 Apr 2018 at 8:45am

Your in shape, 52 yeasr old, riding an 8' (mini) mal, surfing a mal wave overridden by SUPs.

My suggestion would be to either get a smaller more performance oriented board and go surf elsewhere or get a real mal for that mal wave and give those SUPs a hard time.

crustt's picture
crustt's picture
crustt commented Monday, 2 Apr 2018 at 8:54am

Mals can't give SUP's a hard time, that's what is good about them. :-)

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Monday, 2 Apr 2018 at 9:11am

The main problem with SUPs locally is not that they catch too many waves but that they are a hazard. Most users cannot control them well enough to use them in amongst a crowd. This is also an increasing problem with mal riders. I walked along the beach this morning and it was crazy. Weekends in Sydney are verging on unsurfable in any meaningful sense of the word. The place is over run with people of minimal skill and no connection or interest in the places they are surfing.

Laurie McGinness

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Monday, 2 Apr 2018 at 9:16am

Totally agree BB your spot on...same up here now especially in holidays

simba

Coaster's picture
Coaster's picture
Coaster commented Monday, 2 Apr 2018 at 9:19am

No matter how big you go, your two hands won’t be able to outpaddle a guy with a paddle.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Monday, 2 Apr 2018 at 9:27am

Coaster that assumes the guy with the paddle has some level of skill. Around here most don't. The ones who can ride them effectively are usually short board surfers who switch back to their usual equipment when conditions are good.

Laurie McGinness

murphy-s-law's picture
murphy-s-law's picture
murphy-s-law commented Monday, 2 Apr 2018 at 10:14am

Thanks, I will.
What I think I was trying by a I need a bigger board was I need something with combo of flatter rocker, more foam.

murphy-s-law's picture
murphy-s-law's picture
murphy-s-law commented Monday, 2 Apr 2018 at 10:20am

Thanks Ben

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley commented Monday, 2 Apr 2018 at 1:02pm

I agree with BB and Crustt regarding SUPs.

Locally, there are 2 reefs most commonly used by SUPs. One is an outer reef and the SUP riders out there are capable of riding them without any dramas no matter the wave size. The other is a protected reef that gets crowded with every type of surf craft known to man at any size and the SUPs riders there are beyond description .... err ...let me try :) fat, balding, no fitness, a menace to themselves and to society, no pride etc etc. I only go there to watch the carnage.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Monday, 2 Apr 2018 at 7:51pm

The only way to outdo those SUPs is one of those 16 foot toothpicks. You'll be planing well before them and losing the toothpick will clear the lineup. Otherwise, a jetski, then you can step off on a pro dimension 5'8 x 18 1/2 wakeboard, which has all the performance in the world except the performance to get you up and planing and to your feet but you won't need it as long as you can outrun the water police. ( jokes)

I noticed on the racks recently super-size shortboards - 6'10 or so, 23" wide, 3 1/2 thick, voluminous rails. Monstrous things. I guess it's the option for surfers who just won't ride a mal who want to outpaddle everybody else and still perform while they embrace 120kg.

Other than that, stick to the midlength, it will turn much tighter arcs than a mal or a SUP. I'm quietly watching my local reef do the replay of the shortboard revolution. You see the guys on 9'6 with moderate ability draw a straight line, maybe a shuffle, half a turn. They are watching intently the midrange surfers who are ripping full roundhouses, hitting the lip, going top to bottom. For everyday surfers it's a nice level of performance in waves that aren't Supertubes.

Murphy-s-law, can you play games out there, eg paddle up to a nearby takeoff, draw them up after a few waves, then as they shift, you return to original peak? Can you niche smaller waves that go through the break for the session? Is there a closeout to paddle through where you can duckdive the midrange but the SUPs will get cleaned up? Get creative :)

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Monday, 2 Apr 2018 at 8:04pm

& BB's post above, that's sad to hear about the state of surfing up there. I had hoped to share a trip to see it with my young one, highlight the connection like seeing the Duke overlooking Freshie (he is so hidden away, should be standing tall for all to see for miles around), seeing where it all happened in Brookvale, and the lineups that made it happen. Surely there's still the odd window for a reasonably quiet surf?
Holiday periods here are getting very busy too. It is still possible to find space and breathe, however.

murphy-s-law's picture
murphy-s-law's picture
murphy-s-law commented Monday, 2 Apr 2018 at 8:14pm

Thanks Johnno.
The guys that can surf, and are on them are fine. It's the one that have just taken it up that I'm trying to get away from. As it is, I 'm on the inside of them at their mercy. I'd like to be able to paddle beside them so I don't lose my teeth. When it's over 6', it's no problem as they clear out. I just need something for the 3-4 ft range. I see Greedy Beavers and other boards that would work, but I don't like epoxy and will see if I can get some sort of fat fish made up as my mal.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Monday, 2 Apr 2018 at 9:23pm

Yeh you can still find a few mid-week johnno. As for "mid-range" and other over size boards, screw that. If you can't catch enough waves on relatively standard equipment, give it away, help clear the line up. Friggin street sweepers, log rollers and fat bastards on 50 litre slugs, what's the point? If you need the exercise take a walk. Given the activity level of the majority I see, you would be much better off.

Laurie McGinness

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Tuesday, 3 Apr 2018 at 5:14am

Blindboy that’s absolute nonsense. I’m planning on still surfing when I’m 70 and I sure as fuck won’t be doing it on a 6’0 x 18.5 shortboard.
Stop trying to act the hero and let people enjoy whatever they want to ride.
Would you go over to Hawaii and tell all the old guys on longboards at Makaha to give it away? Clear the lineup? Fuck I doubt it.
You live in Sydney and complain about the crowds in the surf... There’s plenty of empty coastline in Oz, move

crustt's picture
crustt's picture
crustt commented Tuesday, 3 Apr 2018 at 6:26am

Agree with goofy, blindboy off you go to Hawaii and give the Hawaiian's diet and exercise tips , you wont need a return ticket. Sick of the arrogant shit that you talk.
Regards from a fattie.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Tuesday, 3 Apr 2018 at 8:03am

No I wouldn't go to another country and tell people how to behave, though I was never much of a fan of Hawaiian surf culture. Here, at places I have been surfing for over 50 years, I will call it as I see it......a huge degeneration in fitness, skill and commitment. People have the right to surf whatever they like, but people have the right to do all sorts of stupid things. Street sweeping amongst a crowd is contemptuous of the safety and amenity of everyone else. Groups of mal riders sitting 10 metres further out and taking virtually every set wave is similarly contemptuous of the rights of the rest. So arrogant? Maybe. More likely the truth stings.

Laurie McGinness

crustt's picture
crustt's picture
crustt commented Tuesday, 3 Apr 2018 at 9:13am

The truth stings, what an arsewipe you are blindboy. The term fattie is one of the last few politically correct derogatory terms left, of course it stings when it is socially acceptable for people to demean and insult you in front of your family for a laugh. What a fucken elitist prick you are. Dithering old cunt.

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink commented Tuesday, 3 Apr 2018 at 10:26am

"Since when did getting a bit older entitle people to become complete kooks?"

I'm inclined to be with you BB, without getting into the slanging match. Getting older is no excuse for giving up, and by giving up I mean riding surfcraft that you really don't want to but feel you have to to compete.

I'm 56, don't even consider myself particularly fit, (by surfers standards) but not carrying a spare tyre and I'll be on a short board for as long as I can. Currently riding a 6'0''. There are plenty of options for volume in short boards that can paddle like demons, but it's a combo of volume, rocker, width, a whole batch of things.

Comment above about not being able to paddle faster than a SUP. Sure, that's true, once there up and running, but they are like the Queen Mary, take ages to turn and get going, and most people on them have not mastered them sufficiently to be able to out-paddle a mal, or a committed and strong short-boarder with the right equipment. Their capacity to take anything that isn't a fat wave is limited, and this is the short board advantage.

Good luck Murph. There are plenty of mals around where I am up the coast on my break, and a few are trying their SUPping, but BB's comments about fitness and capacity hold. Just don't go surfing at breaks where there is only one small take-off zone, try to frequent breaks that you can't paddle into from way out the back, waves that steepen quickly and break steeply. Very few mal riders can compete with a short board in those conditions and even less SUPs, and you'll find your not competing with them at all.

The average beach break at the moment qualifies. Shorebreak, gutter, outer bank that is often coming from deeper water. Get where it's a bit more critical.

Quite a few of the older crew on mals and SUPs are giving it away or won't last much longer, or they're out there for a social as much as a wave. The beauty of them is that they like to congregate, love to show off their latest 10' mal, all polished up, it's replaced the golf club or the RSL for cashed up boomers, and what cred you get when you call yourself a surfer. It's a lifestyle man, only a surfer knows the feeling, yada yada yada. Go to a more isolated bank or beach and enjoy the solitude, or being out there with people who aren't doing it as a 'lifestyle'.

I'm still no closer to understanding why someone would want to surf a mal or a SUP if they were still capable of surfing a short board. It totally escapes me, though each to their own.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Tuesday, 3 Apr 2018 at 10:29am

Mate what are you on? Insult you in front of your family? I said nothing directed at you personally until YOU insulted me. So yeh go again with your pathetic insults. I have made my point.

Laurie McGinness

crustt's picture
crustt's picture
crustt commented Tuesday, 3 Apr 2018 at 11:43am

Okay I will, your a fucktard!

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 3 Apr 2018 at 11:49am

Get a Mackie mid-length fish. Lotta foam, paddles and turns well, looks even better.

ljkarma's picture
ljkarma's picture
ljkarma commented Tuesday, 3 Apr 2018 at 12:43pm

Thanks Stu for answering his question.
for BB et al, drop the sledging, put the sandpaper away, grow up and if you can't answer the question with a constructive answer, shut your big mouth and keep kidding yourself you can still surf at 65

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Tuesday, 3 Apr 2018 at 5:20pm

No worries Murph, cheers for the reply. Swellnet did a midrange thread that was quite fun a while back, it's in the forums somewhere. Worth looking up.
I'd be curious to hear how a large size fish would work tbh. Imagine it would be really skatey and planey forehand.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Tuesday, 3 Apr 2018 at 5:25pm

You could do this too, 0:34:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVrnM6mEH2E

That would stuff them :)

I focus's picture
I focus's picture
I focus commented Tuesday, 3 Apr 2018 at 6:15pm

Blindboy how dare you question the man hood of fat over weight middle age lazy bums taking the soft option while sitting out the back on more board than the Titanic.

Haha love it I train hard to still surf long may you do to.

markxxx's picture
markxxx's picture
markxxx commented Sunday, 15 Apr 2018 at 11:23am

Vouch Vish is an option. I’ve got a 5’4 “Small Vish” and love it but they do them all the way to 9’ plus.
https://vouchsurf.com/vish/

Ralph's picture
Ralph's picture
Ralph commented Thursday, 3 May 2018 at 5:12pm

5:32 is a classic - referring to Jonno's youtube above

Ralph's picture
Ralph's picture
Ralph commented Thursday, 3 May 2018 at 5:10pm

5:32 is a classic