The mini fish, well where do I start. Aimed at intermediate to advanced surfers. Not one for beginners – stick to the mals, mini mals, and bigger boards peeps. Intermediate in my book means your doing turns and starting to look at creating your own speed.
Described by Webber as a board with the glide, drive and paddling ability of a retro twin but the turning of a hi-performance thruster.
If your intermediate or better, and your in a hurry or have a short attention span, then yep, it does exactly that… go buy one for Summer junk, you will not regret it.
HOWEVER if your sitting at work, bored and looking for something to read instead of doing mundane office work then read on….
Looking at it’s plan shape it doesn’t look too bad. Pretty pulled out template but nothing approaching obese. Quite sexy really, but then….
Then you look at it’s rocker line and almost laugh. The thing is thick, no, fat as fuck to put it bluntly. To most people they’d write it off right there! Put it back in the rack. Back away slowly whilst whistling. Hoping no one saw them considering this chunky ugly little play thing as a serious ride.
However if you can look passed it’s oversized form and check out it’s underneath, it’ll make you shiver. The bottom contours on this baby are something else. Smoother and more beautiful than a Reef girl’s butt (well not really but I needed a metaphor), this thing is “blended” to quote Gregg. A huge double concave starts from the first 1ft to the last 1ft. It then blends out to the tail and through the….. er… fins. The fins, I think thats what they are. These things are about 8 inches high, red and flex more than………. well……. something really flexible. They also hurt if you fall on them when trying mad shit… eh Gav?
So enough funny shit, how does it go?
Dimensions & Construction —– Board I have is 5’9 x 20 1/2″ x 3 1/8″ in SLX. SLX is an Epoxy/fibreglass shell over a pretty light but dense EPS core. So the thing is light for it’s girth, and very solid. There is also a 3/4 deck patch too and the rails are lapped over a few times. All giving extra strength where needed.
The fin plugs have extra dense foam inserts as well to give the FCS plugs better resiliance. The side fins have 3 plugs rather than 2, which gives extra strength for those massive red blades. There’s also a centre fin set-up for a trailer fin.
Performance — First surf was at Porto Do Mos on the softish right reef break there. Very long sectioning waves. Pretty fat faces too. Quite setty, so average wave about waist to chest high, sets overhead but every 15 minutes or so.
Paddle out, felt like I was paddling with just my finger tips. This thing is super bouyant. You have to lay pretty high up it because of it’s length too. However speeds out when paddling, duckdiving needs a little extra push to get it deep. All in all felt bouyant but good.
Catching waves was a doddle, barely a stroke needed to pick up anything. Felt like a good board to tackle crowds with if you get what I mean.
Straight off the bottom turn, huge drive. No waiting for the board to come with you, just sheer down the line squirt, like a magic trusty thruster. Top turn after that felt a little twitchy and slidey. Well it is a twin. However after a few more waves, you start to tune into it. At first thought you may have to flatten out your surfing, so nothing vertical just linking turns and speed lining it.
However went back to the beach to get out the Trailer fin. I’m a big bloke and heavily backfooted. So this should sort it out. Next surf was definately better. This thing will get vertical no problem. Roundhouses, just whip through with ease. It’ll really hold and whip out of the turn thanks to those massive fins and that bottom.
The speed of this thing is mental too. Mos is usually a 3 sectioned right hand wave, everyone favouring the final section. However on the MF I could paddle over to the deepest section and just blitz straight round or float over them. I’m grinning like an idiot now.
That was early Feb 09, and I’ve been on it since. It’s my go to board for anything weak and onshore or junky. However anything overhead and this thing freaks out a little. Maybe a bigger trailer fin would sort it out, but I’d rather be using my regular shortboard. So all these great things being said about this board. If the surf suits I’d rather be on my Bufo MK. So the Mini-fish will never be better than a hi performance thruster but it gets bloody close. However try your shortboard in junk and there’s no question that the MF will outsurf it.
Durability – After 4 months of heavy use, it’s holding up well. Deck has light compression but nothing to worry about. Still light and reactive. Fins a little damaged thanks to rocks and sand during some shorey action. However seems a solid board.
So conclusion is exactly how I started this blurb. It does exactly what Webber wanted it to do. It does surf very similarly to a thruster but with the glide and speed of a retro twin. It’s by far the best small wave groveller board I’ve ever ridden, it’s tons of fun, but can be difficult to reign in a little when waves have a lot of push. You’ll never get a board that’ll give you enough float in weak waves but hold well in decent solid waves, but I think this board is the closest you’ll get.
So go on ride a little fat thing which I promise will give you tons of fun
If you want to hear and see this board in the hands of it’s creator click on this http://www.youtube.com/swf/l.swf?swf=http%3A//s.ytimg.com/yt/swf/cps-vfl99456.swf&video_id=CpA6eBDYQiY&rel=0&eurl=&iurl=http%3A//i4.ytimg.com/vi/CpA6eBDYQiY/hqdefault.jpg&sk=xUuPqGgXe7spIW4cGLS2GxP8c4Xbo-IiC&fexp=900037%2C901709&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&feature=&cr=US&avg_rating=5.0&length_seconds=346&allow_ratings=1&allow_embed=1&title=Webber%20SLX%20Mini%20Fish=player_embedded&fs=1″></param><param