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Isle Surfboards Retro Fish

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating
User Rating 4 Star Rating (1 Review)


Since they say that honesty is the best policy, I have to level with you. I wasn’t happy when I pulled out the Retro Fish from Isle Surfboardsand contemplated writing this review. When Marc said he would send a board for a quick trial and review, I checked out his website and pictured getting a sweet epoxy shortboard. You see, I’m one of those shortboarding thirty-something dorks who are fighting tooth and nail the gradual but apparently inevitable move from 6’2” blade to 7’ rounded, soft-railed funboard.
Aaaaack! There it was. I saw it as I pulled it from the cardboard and bubblewrap: a rounded longboard nose, extra wide midpoint, and the old standard wide swallow tail.

As I waited for a swell event to push over the horizon, I pictured myself pulling the Retro Fish from my car and having to explain to the boys, “This isn’t really my board.” “This is just a trial for my website…Seriously.”

The buoys bounced up and a dawn session was on. The surf was 3-4 feet with clean off-shores, breaking slowly over a deep outside trough..Clean, long, and peeling.

Now here comes the honesty again. The board friggin ripped. The wide nose, flat bottom, and wide midpoint of the board made for an easy friction free paddle from outback. Gliding in early, I slid into the pit before it broke and could immediately feel the freedom afforded by the lack of a third fin.

The subtle rocker (bottom curve) is an ally in the small summer surf since there is never a need for a fully committed bottom turn. The chemistry of the extra wide swallow tail (split fish tail) and the twin fin configuration allow the board to let loose and sail through sections effortlessly.

That is the most serious strength in this board. Twin fins generate twice the speed of a tri-fin with minimal effort; however, there is a lack of overall control. If you normally ride a tri-fin, twin fins take a little getting used to, but the speed difference is obvious and a bonus.

Bottom line: the Isle Surfboards Retro Fish is packed with speed.

I was also feeling the options and creativity that the wide longboard nose (front tip) offered. Riding in the pit, the Retro Fish is a demon once you get used to using more rail than fin and then it’s a cruiser in flats where noseriding can drive you into the inside section.

Overall, the Retro Fish is an innovative hybrid that blends the best of several surfboard dimensions.

The Retro Fish is a longboard that catches waves like it’s nobody’s business and offers the possibility of noseriding.

The Retro Fish is a shortboard that easily maneuvers up and down the face and up on the lip.

The Retro Fish is a freak of nature that uses all its unique attributes to create blazing speed that blows through sections like a bomb.

I really enjoyed riding this board and would recommend it as a "fun"-tional addition to any surfer's quiver, adding needed spice to old board boredom and filling the gap between predictable short board blades and longboard logs. Isle Surfboardsoffers a wide range of traditional fiberglass shapes as well as handshaped epoxy boards and epoxy “pop outs”. They have beginner soft boards for kids and surf instructors and some sick advanced models.
User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 4 out of 5
Isle surfboard, Member robp81

this board is super buoyant and really makes it easy to catch waves. I have used other fishes, but this thing is just really buoyant and living in Southern California where there is lots of mushy surf I think most people should ride a fish out there for MOST days. The reason why I gave it 4 stars is because the one I have an epoxy XPS closed cell foam board. I have had the board for 2 years and it worked great. Recently though something strange happened, the spot to where I pop up my front foot has a big crack in it. My guess is that my 200 pound body did enough compression to push in the foam core enough so that there was space between the outer epoxy layer and foam core causing it to crack almost completely across the board. Would I buy it again? Yes, I have got more than enough rides..this board rocks...I would love to buy a firewire, but I haven't seen anything else that is maneuverable, yet built like a tank

1 out of 1 people found this helpful.

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