The Surfboard Tail
The surfboard tail is located at the end of the surfboard. The tail of a surfboard may not be a very important aspect of surfboard design to beginner surfers but it is very important to professional and experienced surfers.
Surfboard Tail Shapes
There are a variety of different surfboard tails each having their own unique effect on the way a surfboard is maneuvered. Let us take a look at the different types of surfboard tails.
The Squash Tail
The squash tail surfboard has become the most common surfboard tail design to date. The most important feature of the squash tail design is the amount of drive it provides while not sacrificing maneuverability.
This means that you can have tons of speed while still being able to set your surfboard tail free to do whippy lip maneuvers.
The Round Tail / Thumb Tail
The round tail design has a smooth flowing curvy edges like a semi circle, creating smooth transition from the rail to tail to rail. What this does is adds more surface area to the tail of the surfboard providing smooth arcing turns in average size surf.
The Pin Tail
The pin tail surfboard design as the name implies is a very pointy surfboard tail shape. What this surfboard tail does is creates a point for a surfer to pivot off of when turning their surfboard and therefore makes for a very sensitive surfboard.
This surfboard tail is most suited for big wave surfing where surfers require a stable and responsive surfboard.
The Rounded Pin Tail
The rounded pin tail is a combination of the round tail design and the pin tail design.
Like the round tail this surfboard tail shape has a smooth transition from the rails of the surfboard to the tail of the surfboard. However the surfboard tail is then pulled into a point or pin shape at the tip of the tail.
This surfboard tail design therefore allows for smooth rail to rail turning like a round tail put also offers the sensitivity and quick response of a pin tail.
The Swallow Tail
Of all the surfboard tail types this is my favorite.
A swallow tail surfboard has a surfboard tail with an upside down V shape. This creates two points at the end of either rail to pivot off of making for a very loose feeling surfboard. This also allows you to have more hold on your bottom turns.
A swallow tail surfboard is therefore best suited for small wave surfboards, like fishs, and is also very common on quads.
More Unique Surfboard Tail Designs
These next few tail designs are less common more unique designs that you may come across when looking through the surfboard rack.
The Bat Tail
The bat tail design is a relatively new surfboard tail shape and has not really be picked up like many of the other tail designs.
As the name implies this tail shape resembles a bat creating three points for the surfer to pivot off of when turning their surfboard. This is very similar to the swallow tail but has an extra point in the center to add stability.
You may want to consider buying a bat tail surfboard if you love your swallow tail but find that it’s a bit too loose.
The Diamond Tail
What the diamond surfboard tail shape does is it allows surfers to do turns with really tight turning arcs. This tail is not a very common tail shape but is featured on a number of surfboard model including the Lost Surfboards Rocket.
The Fang Tail
The Fang tail is a tail designed by Lost Surfboards and is featured on their “The Stealth” surfboard model. The fang tail is essentially a diamond tail with a tiny point or “fang” at the bottom of each rail.
These fangs add more bite to the diamond tail giving you more control when making tight turns.
The Stealth Tail
The Stealth Tail is a Patent Pending tail design featured on shaper Bill Johnson’s Teqoph Stealth Quad model surfboard. The stealth tail has a 4 point deep cut in the center of the tail. This causes the two sides of the tail to flex and act like a fin free of drag. What this does is allows the surfer to have more control through his turns.
This surfboard tail design was ridden by team rider CJ Hobgood at Lower Trestles 4 Star Jeep Body Glove Surf Bout which he went on to win and was the first time a professional surfing competition was won on a quad.
Surfboard Tail Wings
Some surfboard tails feature “wings” along the edge of the rails. These wings are added to the tail of the surfboard to help the surfer maintain control at high speeds, especially when making turns.
Wings are often featured on surfboards with wide tails that may “slide” during turns due to the wide tail area. The wings add that necessary extra hold.