Surfboard Tail and Bottom Shapes
An incredibly important thing to consider when choosing a surfboard is both tail shape and bottom shape. A variety of tail and bottom shapes are available on all types of boards. Each type has a very unique effect on the performance and handling of the board. The following outlines the most commonly used designs.
Tail Shapes
Used for big, hollow and sucky barrel riding. This tail design is often found on big wave guns where maximum speed is required.
Rounded Pintail
Not unlike the pintail, this shape is used for slightly smaller yest still hollow, speedy waves. It provides slightly better turning ability than the pintail.
Stability is the word with this shape. It is a great all round tail that provides decent turning ability yet retains speed and stability. It allows the rider to perform large carves and powerful turns.
Squash tail
A very common tail shape. It perfoms well in most surf conditions as well as for all levels of surfer.
Swallowtails are common on wider boards such as fish and other small wave boards. Sliding the tail is also easier with swallowtails due to water being able to flow through the "V" when pressure is applied to the tail in a turn.
Bottom (Base) Shapes
The base shape of a Surfboard plays a very important role in giving it it's characteristics. Base shape changes a boards Speed, drive, edge hold and rail to rail manoeuvrability. Picking the right shaped base is just as important as picking the right shape or size. The following diagrams are cross section views to show how the different shapes vary.
Single Concave
Single concave boards consist of a cutaway base that runs the entire width and length of the board. It is designed to channel water neatly down the length and through the fins at the rear. It works well in fast, clean and slightly larger surf.
Double Concave
A very common design for today's modern boards. Most of the time a double concave design will have a single concave at the nose that gradualy blends into a double. The idear behind this is that the single at the nose provides a good planing surface then the double splits the channeling water into two channels. Splitting the flow of water into two channels through the fins makes the ride looser and more responsive.
The Vee shape uses the center of the board as a pivot point. Doing this allows the board to to transfer from rail to rail easily. Most boards that use a Vee design do so at the tail only. Using this design all the way through the board would cause an inability to hold the rail in the wave face.
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