6'4" x 21 ¼" x 2 5/8"
Roll-concave- double concave -spiral Vee.
Rail: Mid-low.

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Available lengths: 5'8"-- 7'2"
Available widths: 20"-- 22 1/4"
Available thicknesses: 2 3/8"-- 3 1/8"
Price Up to 6'8" AUD$780
6'9"-- 7'0" AUD$850
7'1"-- 7'2" AUD$900
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"easy paddling,loose and fast"......

The F-SKATE is a dedicated small wave fish...... perfect for waves up to 4’ (a touch overhead). Low rocker combined with well concealed volume and subtle concaves create a board with excellent paddle power and high speed potential. The F-SKATE is fast in a straight line and when encouraged really takes off over flat sections and in gutless conditions.....in good waves....all the better.

In contrast with other fish (which mostly surf flat) the F-SKATE surfs freely from rail to rail......creating an easy transition when changing over with other boards.

This board is unmatched for speed and ease of turning in smaller waves. Having almost identical displacement volume to the Waterskate, F-SKATE’S should typically be ordered approximately 2"--3" shorter than your regular board. The boards are available in both thruster and quadfin setups by request.

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F-SKATE
Background. 
During the past few years there have been a proliferation of "Fish" type boards.  Most Australian manufacturers are now offering some type of fish.....and these have been copied by the same foreign manufacturers responsible for the theft of other surfboard design related intellectual property.

Many of these imports,and some Australian made fish,are complete rubbish.  Suffice to say that many designs are not properly formulated/integrated,and as a result......the surfing standard of those riding them will inevitably deteriorate.   I have witnessed this in the water many times recently.

Why then,are fish designs so popular?

1. Many people buying fish....are buying hope.  They recognise that often these surfboards are wider and thicker than conventional boards......they are not happy with their current boards for a variety of reasons and hope that a fish will solve their problems.   It may.....and it may not.

Because we still remain largely in the grip of an undervolumed period in surfboard design,many surfers continue to struggle on boards with inadequate flotation.   Most manufacturers have eventually become conscious of this.....but rather than adjust the volumes of their conventional boards upwards to address the issue.....they simply bring out a fish model to sell more boards.  Its pathetic and unethical.

2. The other motivation for buying a fish(apart from fashion)is to have more fun in small waves.   Serious surfers recognise that often their allround boards are sorely lacking in smaller surf......they naturally would like to be able to compete for waves with longboards and other better paddling craft in 1’---3’ conditions.

So these are the essential reasons for the growth of interest in fish.   In practice however,what often happens is that although these fish are wider and thicker......they are also invariably shorter,and often have quite heavily thinned out noses and tails.....so that overall....its quite possible to end up with a board with the same(or even less) volume than the one you are having problems with.

Others.....cheaper imports in particular.......simply cut a swallowtail into their conventional boards and call them fish in an attempt to capitalise on this growing market.

I don’t have time at the moment to write an article on the ethics surrounding the marketing and sale of many fish type boards.....but I’m sure that you have grasped the essentials.

F-SKATE......Design Origin.
For a long time now, Miller Surfboards have been repeatedly asked whether we manufacture fish.   Over the years I’ve shaped them now and again for friends or customers by request.....yet it seemed to me that the existing models we offered (Waterskates,V-SKATES and Powerglides,as well as custom shapes)were sufficient to meet the needs of our clients.

However due to continuing popular demand (and the psychological pain I experience when I see what other shapers are passing off as fish) I’ve spent the past 3 months working intensively on a unique fish contribution....as usual without gimmicks.....the F-SKATE.

Design focus.
The F-SKATE is a dedicated small wave surfboard......designed to surf best in waves up to 4’(a touch overhead).   The F-SKATE integrates features which allow superior paddling,stability and speed....as well as rail to rail turns and tight arcs.

Design breakdown.

Planshape/outline. 

As you can see,the F-SKATE has a continuous outline curve.....coming together at the tail in a baby swallow.  This contrasts strongly with the majority of other fish which have quite straight outlines(ie.pronounced parallel rails)and wide tails.

One frequent legitimate criticism of conventional fish,is that because of their straighter outlines....they can be quite stiff and very difficult to surf rail to rail........and tend to surf "flat".   This is because originally they were designed for the long lined up pointbreaks and reefbreaks in San Diego/California....and later for waves like Crescent and Noosa where they merely needed to be guided or aimed along the wave.

This is a good example of inexperienced/unethical? shapers taking a valid design from one area and applying it inappropriately to another.  Here in Sydney....we don’t have long lined up waves......yet most fish have these straight outlines and can be very frustrating to surf.....and quite difficult to change over onto conventional boards and back again.

Advertised claims have been made in the surf media (in relation to fish)that if the boards planshape curve and bottom curve are similar.....then the board will be more responsive and surf in a superior fashion.   That is to say....a fish with a straight outline should have a matching/corrospondingly straight bottom curve.  No published empirical evidence for this assertion exists.   In my opinion......this claim is spurious and is simply a marketing ploy.

So with the F-SKATE we have a smoothly curved planshape which fits "into" the wave face and allows for easy turning and tight arcs.

Rocker.


In common with most well designed fish......the F-SKATE has very straight bottom rocker to allow for easy paddling and high levels of drive.  However in addition, there is a late increase in tail lift beginning approximately 8"back from the tail.  This unique rocker setup allows the boards to be surfed from further forward if desired.....for longer turns....or turned tightly off the back foot.     In common with the Waterskate,V-SKATE and Powerglide therefore....the F-SKATE also has multiple sweet spots, allowing for longer drawn out turns or tight arcs/rail to rail....as the situation demands.

Bottom shape.
Up front is a slight roll to facilitate top turns......this blends into a soft single concave......promoting speed,and then into a subtle double concave and spiral vee arrangement(spiral vees are discussed in detail within the V-SKATE technical article on the site).   The overall effect of this bottom shape is to allow for high speeds and looseness,without the tracking which plagues many fish(usually the result of straight outlines and too much concave).

Thickness,rails,fins and things.
As you can see......the thickness distribution is reasonably constant,with a fairly chunky nose and tail. This is after all a small wave board, which particularly requires adequate flotation.  Refined rails through the centre blend into fairly blocky tail rails,with hard tucked under edges.   This allows the board to sit up on top of the water whilst turning in small surf rather than bogging down.  The thruster fins are strategically located to achieve the fine balance between drive and looseness.

We are also currently working on adapting the F-SKATE to be set up in quad fin format.  It will then be available as either a regular 3 fin thruster,a quad fin......or in a combined format with 5 sets of FCS fin plugs.

Conclusion.
The F-SKATE represents a thoughtful synthesis of original fish and contemporary shortboard designs.  The board offers a serious option for small wave perfomance with easy paddling, and high speed potential. 

What particularly sets this fish apart from others is its ability to be surfed rail to rail like a conventional thruster......thereby making the transition between this board and your regular board seamless.   The F-SKATE is available in lengths from 5’8"-- 7’2". Widths from 20"--22 ¼" and thicknesses from 2 3/8"-- 3 1/8".

Typical dimensions for a 90kg surfer would be around 6’4" X 21 1/4" X 2 5/8".  The appropriate length of board for each individual is typically around 2"--3" shorter than what they normally ride (assuming that they are happy with their present board).

Following is what we generally recommend for various weights. Experienced surfers may wish to ride shorter than this. These are general recommendations only. Grant will carefully assess your situation with you at time of ordering.

Weight/length ratio.

60/65kg: 5'8"
65/70kg: 5'10"
70/75kg: 6'0"
75/80kg: 6'2"
80/85kg: 6'3"
85/90kg: 6'4"
90/95kg: 6'6"
95/100kg: 6'8"
100kg+: 6'10"-7'2"

This guide is an approximation only and needs to be carefully interpreted with regard to a surfers level of experience/typical wave locations to be surfed/other boards if any/and overall expectations.

Happy surfing.........Grant Miller.