Illiberalism and other fishy concepts


These stubby craft have become a familiar sight in line ups over the past decade or so. There are a million and one descriptors for this type of board but ‘fish’  seems to be the catch all phrase that conveys the essential characteristics to the cognoscenti. What’s the big deal?

I can’t resist a good list….Stub Vector, Fireball, keel fin, Dumpster, Rocket, twin fin, quad fish, planning hull, Bar of Soap,Piranha, retro fish, mini-simmons, Lis fish, spoon, and asymmetric hull. All lovely names that engender images and feelings in the user. Ultimately  though they are all short , wide, flat boards that go fast in fairly straight lines

Popularised by many great surfers over the last 60 years (another list coming:Ed)… Bob Simmons, George Greenough, Steve Lis, Reno Abellira, Mark Richards, Derek Hynd,Tom Curren, Andrew Kidman,Dave Rastovich and Tyler Warren…They have been surfed in mushy waves, small waves, big waves, groomed waves and… well any type of waves really. However the likes of you and I tend to surf them in onshore mush and if we are lucky tatty point breaks. Why do we do it and eschew the delights of Simon’s thruster?

Simple… its’s flow, speed, speed, speed, flow, speed and more speed.If you do n’t want to  hit the lip directly too often these are the boards for you.There is no section that you cannot hit or float over.Ahh… and there we have it…length of ride. Tread on a fish and with a little skill an average wave turns into an exploration to the shore. Give it a go!

Be wary, though, of the hipster, egg surfing, coffee drinking, board collecting, art loving and floppy haired neighbour to the fish rider. These guys surf/parade upon longboards and sometimes fish. It’s a different deal.Each to their own. I learnt to surf in the late 70s/early 80s and have preconceived ideas,  bias ,partiality and prejudice towards this type of surfer. I cannot put my finger on the reason why though….classic prejudice.

Hey I surf at Saunton…….very occasionally. Some of my friends have boards more than 8 feet long. I have tried surfing a long board,  I surf on yellow boards,my best friend……….,

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