surfer getting ready to head into the water

7 Best Fish Surfboards for Sale

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Looking for the Best Fish style surfboards?

Fish surfboards are not a new invention.

They've been around for around five decades, but they have seen a huge resurgence in popularity in recent years.

If you're new to the world of fish surfboards, you may be wondering how you would choose the best one for your needs. 

There are many shapes to choose from, such as the retro fish and the hybrid fish. Then you've got to decide between quad or the more classical style of twin fin set-up.

Oh, and do you want a soft or hard top? The decision is yours.

Here are some of our favorite fish style boards.

top and bottom view of the SKIPPER QUAD X JAMIE O'BRIEN PRO

What Makes This Board Stand Out:

  • soft board
  • 3 different size options: 5ft 6in, 6ft, 6ft 6in
  • Maximum stoke for all skill levels
  • Available in 2 colors: pink and blue
  • Hi performance fin system

"The best soft surfboards ever! “ – Jamie O’Brien

This surfboard aims to let you catch more waves and save energy when you're paddling out. This soft top is buoyant and easy to ride, as well as versatile enough to handle a variety of waves. 

This latest addition to the Skipper Quad Fin line has been upgraded with Catch Surf's innovative fin system for high performance, giving you more drive and better speed when it counts.

This is a fun and durable board that lets anyone shred some waves, even if they're not a pro.

With the Skipper Quad X Jamie O'Brien Pro, you're gonna stay psyched!

Pros of this Board

  • Small and light
  • Still rips, even with its volume
  • Don't have to worry about it getting dinged up
  • Easy to popup on steep waves because the board is short and fast

Cons of this option

  • The leash is sold separately
top and bottom view of the paragon retro fish surfboard

What Makes This Board Stand Out:

  • Classic look
  • Available in 3 sizes: 5ft 10in, 6ft, 6ft 5in
  • Designed for speed
  • Turns on a dime
  • Has the look and feel of much more expensive boards

Paragon offers retro fish surfboards in three different sizes, ranging from 5ft 10in, to 6ft 5in.

These boards have a shallow swallowtail and feature a bit more of a rounded outline which makes them look and feel like more of a hybrid than a pure fish, and the setup is more like that of a performance shortboard too.

These boards are available in PU or epoxy core construction, are fully glassed, and have twin Futures fins as a standard configuration. They are not soft tops, and are squarely aimed at experienced surfers who aren't worried about taking the odd fall.

The range of sizes means the boards can suit adults and younger surfers too.

These boards are an interesting option for someone who wants a fish design with a bit of extra performance. The slightly pulled-in tail is a nice compromise between the control of a shortboard and the speed that you'll be used to getting from the standard fish.

It's hard to strike this balance but if you're an experienced surfer, one of Paragon's retro fish boards could be a good choice for your day-to-day needs.

Pros of this Board

  • Several sizes are available
  • Performance shortboard
  • Comes with Futures Fins
  • Works in bigger waves

Cons of this option

  • Only available as a twin fin
top and bottom of the wave bandit retro fish

What Makes This Board Stand Out:

  • Timeless design
  • Great for smaller summer waves
  • Quad fin design gives the board extra traction when the waves get bigger
  • Available in 2 colors, blue or pink

This trendy board from Catch Surf is ideal for beginners and experienced surfers and is popular with all ages too. It's quite a chunky board, but it fills a role well in the category of quad fin soft tops.

The retro look; wide tail, full nose, and low rocker work well, and the quad fins offer better control even if they're a less conventional choice.

Catch Surf opted for a dual composite core. HDPE base and twin stringers for this board, making it nice and durable and giving it a satisfying stiffness. Some other soft top boards tend to flex a little too much, which can make them difficult to handle if you're a large rider. 

Younger riders or relatively lightweight people may not feel the benefits there, but they're apparent if you're at the upper end of the size range for the board.

The tail and rail line on the board means that it can work well even in relatively small surf. Slimmer hybrids are unlikely to offer the same level of performance.

Pros of this Board

  • Comes with a quad fin set
  • Dual composite core
  • A reasonable price for a fishing SUP

Cons of this option

  • Requires waxing
  • Not compatible with third-party fins
top, side, and bottom view of the formula fun fish surfboard

What Makes This Board Stand Out:

  • Good for beginners, and experts looking for a fun time
  • EVA deck pad creates a slip-free surface
  • Made from a solid piece of copolymer foam that can take loads of abuse
  • Futures Fins included
  • Made in the USA

This USA-made fish board is made from 100% recycled materials. It's a single copolymer unit with a textured EVA Deck and molded stringers. The board lacks a fiberglass bottom, but it's not an absence you'd notice. It can still pick up speed and performs well in most conditions.

The Formula Fun boasts futures fins, but it's set up for twin, not quad, so you have fewer chances to experiment. However, that's something you can easily overlook when you consider the build quality and the choice of materials.

Even if you damage the foam, you don't have to worry about the board suffering more damage if you keep taking it out on the water. Even banged up, it can still be taken out for more use.

The board is short but strong and can handle riders with a weight of around 200lbs, but it's not particularly suited to tall riders. If you're over 6ft yourself, you might want a bigger board.

Pros of this Board

  • Durable and rigged
  • Good grip
  • Made from recycled materials

Cons of this option

  • No option for quad fins
3 surfboards with accessories

What Makes This Board Stand Out:

  • Soft top
  • 3 sizes available: 4ft 10in, 5ft 5in, 6ft 8in
  • Wax free textures
  •  Many different options for fin setups
  • Soft top material makes it easy to stand up on

The South Bay Board Company voted this as their favorite hybrid surfboard design. If you choose on of the larger sizes compared to other surfboards in this collection,  it can be a bit less responsive than some of the more lightweight fish. 

However, the extra size makes it a good starter board for a beginner. It's big enough to feel stable but small enough to be light and easy to handle.

The build quality is unquestionable. The EPS Core and I-Beam stringer, plus the heat release valve make it easy to take care of. Leave the board in the back of your van and it won't get destroyed by the heat.

The deck is textured so you don't have to worry about waxing, and the glassed base is available with a few different wood veneer options.

The board comes with several quad fins, and they're interchangeable. If you want to swap to a twin set, that's an option too, and it still handles well, although it feels like it was designed with the quad fin setup in mind.

Pros of this Board

  • Choose from a quad or twin fin setup
  • Lots of volume makes it beginner-friendly
  • Fiberglass base

Cons of this option

  • Much bigger than other fish
top, bottom, and side view of the stormblade modern retro fish

What Makes This Board Stand Out:

  • Provides a combination of control and comfort
  • Reasonably priced
  • Designed for long drawn out turns and stylish free-surfing
  • Can be surfed as a quad or dual fin setup

This board has a similar volume to the Wave Bandit Retro Fish, but more of the volume on this board is carried into the rails, which means you get more stability but it's harder to get the board on rail.

Whether that balance works for you is a personal decision, but in general, digging the rail into a wave isn't what people do with fish boards, so most people won't have a problem with this design.

With an EPS core and 3 marine-ply stringers, this is far from the lightest board in the fish style, weighing in at 9.2lbs. It is, however, very strong and durable. While it's a soft top, it's coated with a 5mm barrier layer that offers some extra protection.

Even if the board gets dented or scratched, it's unlikely to experience damage that would compromise the core. The base is HDPE coated for extra protection and feed.

The board has bolt-through fin boxes and the board comes with a set of fins included. It can be used with quad or twin fins, but in most cases, a quad fin configuration will offer better stability and performance, especially for riders who are relatively tall or heavy.

Pros of this Board

  • Coated board for extra durability
  • Slick HDPE base for speed and ruggedness

Cons of this option

  • Small fins make for poor twin control

Should You Choose a Fish Surfboard?

Fish surfboards make it easy to catch waves and are great for generating speed even when the waves are small. They're loose into turns, and allow surfers to slide out the fins, drawing a very different line to what you would achieve if you were using a bigger surfboard with a more normal shape.

However, the fish shape doesn't typically work so well if the waves are bigger. The shape that is an asset in weaker surf becomes the enemy when the waves are bigger and mean the board tends to skip or slide as the surf becomes steep. Many avid surfers carry multiple boards.

A narrow, more performance-focused board, and tri or quad fin set for days when a bigger board is needed, and a fish for the flatter days.

If you're a beginner or someone who tends to see only smaller waves, a hybrid or a fish design could help you get out there on those days when people with big boards wouldn't even waste the energy to paddle out. In the right conditions, fish can be a lot of fun.

If you're a newer surfer, look for something like the SBBC Mahi 6 footer if you're an adult or a taller than average teen, or something smaller like the Wave Bandit for a teen or a child.

If you're an experienced surfer, Paragon has a lot to offer in terms of performance and flexibility, making it a strong pick in this category, although it's a little bit less beginner-friendly.