Surf Science: Original Fish

Kane Garden’s late-70s-style fish is like a longboard for the pocket.

Board: Kane Garden

Shaper: Larry Mabile

Model: fish

Board type: Original Fish

Size: 5’11”

Width: 21 1/4″

Thickness: 2 3/4″

Tail: big ol’ swallow


Height: 6’0″-6’4″

Weight: 180-220 lbs.

Optimal Conditions

Anything from six foot to six inches, preferably waves with a lot of face.

Win A Free Custom-Shaped Kane Garden Fish

Tired of trying to make a high-performance board go on weak summer days? Tire no longer. Fish are the answer to flat spells. To be entered in a drawing to win a Kane Garden fish shaped by legendary San Diego shaper Larry Mabile, send in a postcard with your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, height, and weight, and you just may get hooked up. Send entries to:

Kane Garden Fishing Contest

c/o TransWorld SURF

353 Airport Road

Oceanside, California 92054

Fish are supposed to have volume. The board is 2 3/4″ thick almost everywhere. From nose to tail and rail to rail, the volume of this board is very evenly distributed. Buoyant boards work better in weaker waves that lack the power to generate a lot of speed. Think about it.

Very low rocker makes the board plane better and acts as an accelerator to help you speed through flat sections to the next peak.

The bottom is flat. No concave, no vee, just like in the 1970s when fish were created as an alternative to riding a ten-foot longboard. It’s like a longboard that fits in the pocket and does floaters and doesn’t weigh as much as a manhole cover.

Resin tints look really good. Don’t get clear unless you’re going for that “don’t beat me up at New Break” look. Airbrushes of dolphins with pot leaves in their mouths work, too.

Double-foiled fins make for even water displacement and smooth flow. Larry likes to use marine plywood, which is very buoyant and adds little or no weight to the board. Looks irie, too.

Get it glassed as you like. Four-ounce makes it lighter, six-ounce makes it last longer. You choose.

Shaper Notes:

Larry told me that he started making fish like this about fifteen years ago when a lot of his friends were fed up with riding longboards and wanted a shape to transition them to a shorter board. The fish is easy to ride and will get you into the pocket easily. Don’t worry about purists who want you to think that fish mess up your style. Surfing is about having fun. You either have style when you’re born or you don’t-Gerr excepted. Get a fish.