Board test: The Super Fish II
Testing surfboards is a tricky business. There are so many variables at play including your own head space at the time. Some days you can do no wrong; other days you can’t take a trick. So when Global Surf Industries asked me to test their new Super Fish II I said sure but give me a few weeks. A few weeks later I asked for a few weeks more. A month later and same thing: more time. Eventually, GSI correspondence became more frequent and expectant and I figured I better bite the bullet. So here goes.
The Super Fish II is designed by 7S and utilises Hayden Cox’s Future Flex technology (black bands of carbon fibre are wrapped around the rails for strength and a rapid response flex pattern). It’s super light-weight, made in GSI’s Thailand factory with epoxy resin and EPS foam, and measures 6’0x 20 1/4x 2 7/16s. It’s set up with a FCS system and with five plugs so you can ride it quad, tri or, if you want to slide around a bit, twin.
I’ve ridden plenty of modern fish shapes –including a much-loved MR super fish with similar dimensions. This board was noticeably lighter and didn’t seem to have quite the glide of the heavier PU board. I rode it in a variety of conditions from pumping overhead surf to tiny grovelly slop and found it a very conditions specific craft. In steep barrelling waves the wide plan shape and low rocker made catching the nose a real possibility and I found it hard to get any real drive from a bottom turn. That noted I’ve seen Craig Anderson and Dave Rastovich ride these wider outlines in throaty barrels and make it look easy. So it depends on the operator.
The board came into its own in waist to head high down-the-line point style surf. Here the board’s generous planning surface allowed for instant speed when you hit your feet and you really flew after a few high line pumps. The board has a raised step deck which gives it plenty of floatation while maintaining a narrower performance rail. This assisted the board’s paddling speed meaning you can catch a lot of waves. In one crowded session I got so many I opted to retire early, but with a big piggy grin.
GSI describe it as “a high volume surfboard that will increase your wave count” and I can’t fault them on that claim. Durability wise: after six weeks of use and about a dozen surfs there were a few small depressions and small amount of deck sinkage. Not a bad addition to your summer quiver if you haven’t already got yourself a modern fish.