Dimensions: 5’3 x 20 x 2″ 5/8
I’ve recently been riding this Kane Garden 5’3 quad fish courtesy of Peter Johnson. The board features a domed deck with a lot of volume near the stringer which makes paddling this thing so easy yet offers foiled rails (more foiled than normal for retro fish boards) for performance. Most of the twin and quad retro type fishes I’ve seen in the past have flatter decks and chunky rails which help with paddling but make it harder to sink your rail during turns. I was pleasantly surprised to see more foil in the rails for more performance from these type of wave catching hogs.
I took this board out for its first go in less than ideal conditions; waist high and onshore slop. Normally I would’ve passed surfing on this type of day but I had to go out and give this board a test run. I was surprised at how well the board paddled considering it had a domed deck and short length. I zipped out to the lineup with ease and took a late drop on the first onshore mushburger that I caught. The board felt a bit short and loose though my timing was off and these waves were barely surfable…hardly any wall or wave face, choppy, and weak.
I caught several okay waves and noticed the responsiveness of the board…once you start pumping the board it really flies and carves pretty tight…more so than a lot of the other fishes I’ve ridden. I think the short length, rails, and quad fin setup make this board perform well.
The 5’3 Kane Garden fish was surfed a few more times during that same week in small but more favorable wind conditions. I was beginning to realize how fast this board is on the open face and it was weird how it had a good amount of drive off the bottom but was pretty loose in turns and carves. Usually a board is drivey and turns tight or feels loose turning and has absolutely no drive. This board somehow is able to provide you with drive, projection, and speed down the line combined with tight turning ability when you really need it on the open face and the shoulder. Another cool aspect about this board is it has more flip in the nose rocker than any other fish I’ve seen which to me, allows you to throw the board up in the lip and ride high on the face without fearing that you’re going to dig the nose.
My advice for intermediate to advanced surfers looking to get a fish for those small mushy days is to get one at least a couple inches shorter than your height. These board are wide and buoyant so you don’t really have to worry about paddling ability when you cut off several inches in length. I’ve ridden other fishes like this in the 5’6 range and even those boards feel too long. With this width and thickness, I could probably ride this board as low as 5’0 but I will say that having an extra three inches helps with paddle battles with longboarders!
Lastly, you have to hand it to Kane Garden’s craftsmanship. This board has a beautiful acid splash on the deck with complimenting black rails and the glass job is second to none. Overall, KG makes well made high performance fishes that every fish enthusiast should try at least once.
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