Tyler Warren OG Fish
Ordering a fish is never a simple task. The battle in your head between what size, what fin, and what shaper will leave you feeling helpless. Good thing we at Surf Only have friends like Tyler Warren who have spent years dissecting what goes into the perfect fish design. We sat down with Tyler and ordered a board, but not after picking his brain on a few key design theories.
When you are shaping a traditional fish what do you look for and what works?
You start with a classic Steve Lish or Skip Frye as a base point for what the template should look like. What I tend to do is pull the nose in a hair, add a little more curve through the tail and less straight out the back so it’s a little more forgiving and less tracky. I picture it being able to turn tighter in the pocket. The bottoms are usually flat with a little bit of roll on the rails, slight single concave in the center then into a double around the fins and then to a Spiral V out the back. That creates lift and loosens with the v off the tail around the fins and keeps it pretty forgiving from rail to rail. That’s proven to work well for the fishes. I've slowly been changing the rails from less down to a more contemporary rail forward.
Keel fin as opposed to more raked fin?
The keel fin has the classic drive feeling. I've had some fun boards with them, but as I've been making more high-performance ones I've had these mod keels that I put an Al Merrick template on the back fin, so it has a contemporary back still with a long base in the front. Those have proven to work really well and they're a little more performance oriented where you can slide the tail more and have a lot of hold, so it’s really just different feelings. Those mod keels are more fun in beach break where keels are more fun in points.
Magic number for board height?
It depends on someone’s size, but I usually say you want it up to around your chin. 5’5 is what I like to ride, but I've had as small as 4’10 and up to as long as an 11-footer.
What do you get out of 4’10 that you don't on a 5’5?
You get that real agile loose feeling, more skate but also harder to paddle and get waves. Maybe more of a happy balance with a 5’3 but I'm riding the 5’5 lately. The yellow deck board is a fish template with diamond tail 3 fins. You have the fast speed of a fish and then you can stop it and pivot quick and get into the lip straight up. Like a thruster blended with a fish.
Damn I should have got that …
Nah, you’ve got to start with an OG fish.