My opinion is that I would say stick to a Tri fin for now until you feel confident going down line and are able to make bottom and top turns. The quad is a lot faster and may be too much for you if you are just starting to going down line. I went from a 6'2 piranha tri fin last year to a 5'10 quad this year and there is a pretty good difference which depending on how good you feel you are, i would wait and get more comfortable until you feel yourself that you are ready to go to a quad. I mean don't get me wrong if you feel you are ready now by all means go ahead, but like the guy above me said, if u can find a good board with a 5 fin box setup, you could always try it out so its not like you have to buy another board you can change whenever u want. I think that would be your best bet.
I have a lost rnf. It's pretty fun but I probably ride it the least. I only use it for waist/chest mush. if its small and clean i'll use my 9'2 log. If its clean waist/chest+, I'll use a thruster. oh yeah, and i'm 6'2 210lbs and my rnf is 6'4 X 20.5 X 2.56
right, well i am new to surfing, and it has turned out to be pretty addicting.
i've got a 6'2 rip curl shortboard with a bit of a swallow tail that i have been learning on. i can now pretty much stand up and drop in on almost every wave that i am in position for, the biggest i've tried being about chest high. right now i'm working on dropping into a turn to consistently stay clear of the whitewater so i can get some turns in on the wave.
i will only be out in the summer, since i am completely involved with snowboarding in the winter. since the waves are usually so weak during summer, i've noticed the shortboard isn't always the best choice.
my question is would a fish be a good investment? i don't have too much money to throw around so it would have to be a good reason. i've been researching them a bit, and they seem like they would be fun. i realize they are only good on smaller surf, but thats what i surf anyway, and when i get to the level to surf those bigger waves i have my shortboard anyway. are fish's able to be surfed as aggressively as a shortboards are, but on smaller waves?
i'm 6', 170 pounds if that matters
I think I am close to you in terms size (6'0 ft, 185lbs) and surfing progress although I am not a snowboarder and I surf winter waves in a hooded suit. I too am looking into getting a fish shape for the summer mush and for possible winter use as well. I am currently using an 8'6 Ricky Carroll EPS longboard, and I also have a 6'8 Lost SD-2 which I am honestly not that good on yet but I am working my way up to it.
I love both Lost and Ricky Carroll boards, the shapes are great, responsive and although I don't have a fish from either company I have never heard a bad thing about either of them in the performance area, although I know some people that have had issues with the glass jobs on the Lost RNF. My buddy that is on his 4th or 5th RNF has had some issues with delam's and the fin boxes being weak (he has future fins). I broke the FCS plug out of my SD-2 the first day I bought it but I think that was more my fault than issues with the construction...I think (I am still not buying a board with FCS plugs again).
That being said I have looked into the Lost RNF's and the MR fish shapes, and I think I prefer the MR's, even Matt at Lost says he has been using an MR fish and tweeking the RNF to have a lot of the same features as some of the MR's. I also contacted Ricky Carroll about which of his fish shapes would suit my current level, and the places and times I would be using it. I was directed to the Ros Rocket model and found that it is similar to an RNF in a lot of ways. It also suits almost any wave that someone with my limited current skill set should be thinking about riding on. Also comes with a 5 fin option which I think is a big plus for different conditions and also for people learning to use a multitude of set up and finding their grove as well as those on a limited budget and in need of a workhorse/1-2 board quiver.
Personally I would go bigger than 6ft (maybe 6'2-6'4) because I am used to riding a larger board but width and thickness make a big impact as well. I usually get advice from my more experienced friends and Lee at Malibu's in Ocean City MD, and they always say a few extra inches and foam isn't going to hurt if your still learning the game. You don't want to get out there and not be able to use your board or no matter how much you spend it, that money will have been a waste.
I have been to Brave New World, and they had a nice selection upstairs in the used room of RNF's and you might be able to find a solid used one to figure out if its the shape for you and what size you should be riding. I found their staff pretty helpful and they should be able to point you in a good direction.
If you are going to get a fish, make sure you examine the width and thickness as well (both just as important as the length). I am 6'1" and 185lbs and have a couple of fishes and short-boards. If I were you and only able to buy one board and don't have alot to spend...... then, I would go to Chauncey's, K-Coast and check out the used selection of long boards and funshapes. I recently got a fun-shape since getting rid of my last one almost 10 years ago just to paddle out on any sized surf during the summer to get wet. I have a 7'8" Donald Takiyama Tuf-lite that floats like a 9' log and is responsive (depending on fin set-up) like a fish. Def go bigger then 7' and check out some egg shapes, long boards, or something like a little bit larger Walden Compact Disc. This will allow you to catch more waves and from further out. Go see Blair @ the 54th St Chauncey's n tell him what you said on here. He'll help you out.
This is excellent advice. I see so many ppl trying to learn on small boards. Fishes/thrusters etc. Forget "cool" you'll learn faster on a fun shape.