Best Fish Surfboards of 2022

Daniel Lofaso

The fish surfboard has made a major resurgence in surf lineups around the globe. They are fast, versatile, and most of all, fun. 

Unlike your traditional shortboard, the purchase of a fish takes a bit more of your surfing into consideration. For example, you can get a modern fish that allows you to do more pocket surfing or a more traditional shape for down the line surfing.

Fish surfboards of today can be your daily driver, allowing you to perform on average mushy days and rip on fun, offshore days alike. Many shapers are going after the do-everything surfer with their fish, allowing their shapes to perform like a shortboard with the speed and flow benefits of a fish.

Below you’ll find some options for each type of surfing.

Note that we’ve only listed one board per shaper to keep things simple.

Our pick for

Best all around fish surfboard



Fishbeard by Channel Islands

This board is meant to be a hybrid between a Neck Beard 2 – a wide-nosed user-friendly board – and a keel-fin fish – something that absolutely hauls ass down the line but can get funky wit it. It’s also a bit of a hybrid in the sense that it does a lot of things a typical shortboard will do but it has the desired down-the-line speed capabilities you look for in a fish.

Check out our original review of the Fishbeard.

Our pick for

Best eco-friendly surfboard


Seaside by Firewire 

I’ve spoken to people who absolutely loved this board and others who passionately hated it. When you see Rob Machado surf it you probably get mesmerized by his style and flow, which is what this board was built to do. Like the FishBeard from Channel Islands, this fish is meant to give you the traditional cruisy and fun feel most enjoy from a fish, but with a pulled in tail and narrower nose than a traditional fish which allows for tighter turns.

Note that this board can only be ridden as a quad, so if you are looking to reuse some existing fins, you may have to invest in some fins too.

Our pick for

Best low cost fish surfboard


Foamie 6’0 Softboard by Buell

This softtop fish from Buell is the perfect summertime board for kids or someone who really doesn’t want to take their surfing too serious. That said, it doesn’t mean you can’t do some serious surfing on this board, I’ve seen some guys out on these on fun days catching tons of waves whilst performing on them, so this is certainly a high-performance softtop, as far as softtops go.

Our pick for

Best old school fish surfboard


Something Fishy by Gerry Lopez

The most traditional of all the fish shapes on this list, the Something Fishy by Gerry Lopez will give you a smile out in the water as much as it would as a piece of wall art.

This shape dates back to the 70’s, so expect a very fun, fast, down-the-line fish that floats over sections, provides a fairly user-friendly feel, but is limited in terms of vertical surfing.

Our pick for

Best modern fish surfboard


Sugar by Chilli

Like most shapers notoriously known for high performance shortboards, Chilli has ventured into the fish space with his version of what is a fun, high-performance shape. With the traditional wide point forward, wide swallow tail, and minimal rocker, this board is a nod to the fish surfboards of yesteryear. As expected, it has modern enhancements such as a foiled out tail and modern rails for those of you who wish to attack the lip.

Our pick for

Best surf-anything fish surfboard

Round Nose Fish by …Lost

No fish list is complete without mentioning the …Lost Round Nose Fish (RNF). The RNF is best described by shaper Matt Biolos in his write up on his site:

I’ve always felt the key difference between our RNF and the majority of others, from the 90’s and beyond, is the fact that our outline was always more based off of MR inspired, high performance, competitive minded, twin fins of the late 70’s/early 80’s. Relatively pulled in tails, developed through trial and error, for maximum performance and control…not just in small surf, but in all size and shape of waves.

Our pick for

Best small wave fish surfboard


Red Baron by JS

Not to be outdone by other larger brands capitalizing on the resurgence of the fish movement, JS Industries has created this fun little Red Baron fish. You may have seen it’s older brother, the Black Baron, the more high performance version of their fish. This option is the more entry-level of the two, with a little extra width in the tail and a board more suited for speed generation while maintaining some modicum of vertical surfing. If you are a fan of JS boards and want a fish, either the Red of Black Baron options will certainly suit your fancy and can be seen at beaches everywhere.

Best Fish Surfboard for Beginners

If you are looking for a beginner fish to surf on and enjoy the benefits of a little extra foam and the ability to progress your surfing, I have to give the recommendation to the Buell Foamie. It’s the best pick for beginners because of its price point – the Foamie is just north of $175 depending on the size – and because of its foam construction. For a fun, floatie board that won’t break the bank and comes with fins, this is an easy choice.

Best Fish Surfboard Analysis Criteria 

As mentioned, the best fish surfboard for you may not be the best fish surfboard for someone else. Where you may want something cruisy for styling down the line, someone else may want something they can do some new school maneuvers on.

I’ve personally surfed most of the boards on this list or have friends who own one of these boards. I love board design, so naturally I talk to my friends (and strangers!) in the lineup about what they are riding and how they like their boards.

Surfboard shapers don’t publish sales data, and there is no central hub where surfers buy boards where you can find loads of reviews (like Amazon), so you just sort of have to know a thing or two about boards, brands, and shapers.

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