indio fishy 5'6 review pukas

Indio by Pukas surfboard review – Fishy 5’6 soft top

How is the performance of this Pukas soft board? We put the Indio Fishy 5’6 to the test.

– Wow, superfast! This foamie doesn’t like going straight: super skatey and bouncy. 

Indio 5'6 Fishy review
The Indio Fishy

I’ve always had a soft spot for the Basque brand. Maybe it’s because my first surftrip was to Zarautz – deep into Pukas country. For the first time I saw jaw-dropping surf candy: fishes,mini malibus and retro’s – at an affordable price.

Off course the Spanish entrepreneurs were smart enough to jump on the foamie train. They have initiated the Indio label for all things soft. Very recognizable boards with the rectangles on the deck. Entry-level pricing and a suberb sales channel strategy. A surf school favorite in Europe, for sure. Indio Surfboards might not be available in your country. If you’re not European you might want to read our post on foam fish surfboards were we highlight different models that are available outside of Europe.

Indio has released a whole range of soft surfboards, varying from small foam nuggets to 10ft SUPs. They have two fish-shaped models:

  1. the Indio Fish, a 6’0 with a 47 liters of volume, perfect for kids and novice surfers
  2. the smaller but wider Indio Fishy, a 5’6 little rocket with a good volume of 42 liters

We were keen to try out the Fishy rather than it’s taller brother. The wide shape seemed attractive for steep wedgy waves and this is confirmed by Indio’s product description of the 5’6 Fishy: “Good surfers can handle the heaviest shore break closeouts and try to maximize the fun of powerful waves without the risks of hardboards.”

So let’s find out. How is the Indio Fishy for intermediate surfers? We rode the board several times and we’re pretty stoked about it.

Indo Fishy – what does the brochure promise?

An attractively priced fish foam board with 3 soft fins for a thruster setup. Like the other Indio’s the board has a handle in the middle for carrying it to the water (which seems a bit overdone for such a small board). Rounded nose, wide body and a fish tail.

After some research, we found out that this board belongs to the foamie family that doesn’t have a fiberglass layer. Which is not a surprise given it’s price tag. Instead, the guys from Pukas added a ‘polymer layer’ to the PS core. A polymer layer can be any type of plastic, really, so that doesn’t tell us much. All Indio boards have two wooden stringers – which is pretty standard for entry level soft tops.

Volume (L): 42
Dimensions (inches): 5’6″ x 21″ x 2  7/8″
Dimensions (cm): 167 x 53.3 x 5.3

Indio 5'6 Fishy review
I guess the handle is useful for some surfers! Photo by Indio

Our experience surfing the Indio Fishy 5’6

We put the Indio Fishy foam board to the test. After a surf session in onshore 1ft conditions, we can say that it’s a super fun board for intermediate surfers. It paddles into waves pretty easily and once you’re on your feet it feels like a skateboard.

I’m an intermediate surfer (with a pretty lousy take-off technique) but I felt really confident in riding this little machine. Fact is, you can fit a lot of turns in small sections. Sure, they’re not going to be huge carves but it feels dynamic. The fish-tail makes the board want to ‘pick a side’ which encourages dynamic surfing. The rails aren’t the best but you won’t really feel that in small surf.

We yet have to test the Indio Fishy in big conditions. I fear that it might get a bit bouncy and flex on more powerful waves. Also, the basic fin setup (and the lack of possibility to upgrade the fins) don’t make the 5’6 Fishy a true big wave option. But maybe there’s some footage out there to prove me wrong? We’d love to see!

After some inquiry with different surf rentals in Spain it turns out that the Indio boards shape are well appreciated – but the durability isn’t the best. All foamies have difficulties handling fin cuts and other sharp impact. Some brands use special types of coating, put extra foam on the rails and use top notch gluing technologies to make their soft top boards the sturdiest and most durable in the market. I’d say the Indio Fishy is not one of them. And this isn’t necessarily a problem, as these durability enhancements come at a cost. Of both price and looks. The Indio Fishy looks good, feels light and is not expensive. As long as you’re not going to treat your softie the way surf school pupils do (dragging the boards through the sand and piling them up 8 boards high on a Landrover) you should be able to enjoy the Fishy for years.

It too looks like a really good choice for kids – I’d say up to 10 years old. Their parents might really benefit, too! I think the 5’6 Fishy will perform fine up to 70 kg. If you’re a heavier surfer you probably should look for a more sturdy (fiberglass layer) soft top option, such as the MF DHD Twin, which we reviewed in this article. 

Indio Fish review
These fish are found in cold waters too. Another fun looking board from the Indio fish family: the 6′. Check out @Bourkesteer for more photography candy

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