Perhaps the day that Tom Curren rode that little fireball fish shaped by Tommy Peterson out at solid Bower in the Hinakos, I think, was the day the fish concept got its foot in the door. The originals by Mike Hynson and crew back in the day were buried deeper than the Dead Sea scrolls and to many people this new fish concept was a revelation. Remembering at this point in history the Webber Merrick battle was at full scale with skinnier and skinnier little bananas offered up to a disillusioned market who must have been asking themselves, “how come I can’t surf good anymore”? Well that day out the Bower broke the ice, and none too soon. Although the fish concept did not take over from the performance thruster it slowly etched away at retail inventory until many realized that as well as as being a good small wave board for the proficient surfer it was also a good next step for the learner market.
You hear many people refer to a board being stable which is seen as an imperative component for the learner, actually what delivers stability is not excess length as many would believe, but it is excess width that minimizes a board rocking from rail to rail too much. The short end of it is that narrow boards are too unstable! In fact board designers try to make the most unstable boards they can for the pros because that is what they need to get to rail in a blink of an eye but the beginner needs a stable platform in which to learn how to get to his feet and this can only be achieved through width. Flat decks are more user friendly as well, and forgiving bottom shapes can also make the board easier to surf when it is widish.
The Glider fish is an attempt to encourage the proficient surfer small wave board market and the beginner that has decided to step off his mini mal and get even more serious. Firstly the Glider Fish has plenty of width meaning it is stable for one and also allows it to plane faster in small gutless waves for the customer who can surf and has consciously downsized for the smaller waves.
DIAGRAM OF TAIL VEE
Secondly it has a planning hull and more area forward; two attributes that deliver extra paddle and more drive when surfing in slightly bigger waves. Thirdly it is a quad which is by far an easier board to learn on than a thruster, as explained in the mini mal blog. The bight power and face cling of a quad encourages the use of wider plan shapes because they do not slide out and this paddle and run facility is a big plus for experienced surfers as it is for the learner.
The bottom shape is quite radical starting up front with the paddling hull then running into a slight concave through the centre then twisting down to a 3 mm vee running through the front fins and out the tail. This vee decreases the tail pressure and allows one to surf further up the board and also encourages the board to rail: a facility handy for both the learner and the experienced.
The glider fish is glassed with a 4×4 on the deck and 1x4oz on the bottom. Small wave boards have to be reasonably light or they will be too slow to react. In small waves things happen quickly so reaction times have to be equally quick.
The full finish coat does however give this fish added strength in the dent department. There are some sanded finishes available in sizes 6.4 and down for the guys that want a lighter more reactive board. The swallow is also reinforced with solid black carbon so it will be tough enough to handle most of the punishment dished out. Carbon flaps along the rear rails are designed to thwart heavy heel and toe dents and to ultimately preserve the sharp rail edges underneath that are so important to the feel of the ride. All fishes come with good quality FCS glass flex 5 fins- for thruster or quad modes.
DIMENSIONS OF THE GLIDER FISH RANGE
5.8 Glider Fish – 5.8 x 20 ¾ x 2 7/16 …….31.59 ltrs
5.10 Glider Fish – 5.10 x 21 x 2 ½ ……33.55 ltrs
6.0 Glider Fish – 6.0 x 21 ¼ x 2 9/16 ……35.48 ltrs
6.2 Glider Fish – 6.2 x 21 ½ x 2 5/8 …….37.45 ltrs
6.4 Glider Fish – 6.4 x 21 ¾ x 2 11/16 …….39.73 litrs
6.6 Glider Fish – 6.6 x 22 x 2 ¾ ……..42.47 ltrs
6.8 Glider Fish – 6.8 x 22 ¼ x 2 13/16 ……..45.21 ltrs
6.10 Glider Fish – 6.10 x 22 ½ x 2 7/8 …….47.88 ltrs
7.0 Glider Fish – 7.0 x 22 ¾ x 2 15/16 ………50.62 ltrs
7.6 Glider Fish – 7.6 x 23 ½ x 3 1/8 ………59.83 ltrs