Surfboard Tail Design
Surfboard tail design can get a little bit confusing if you let it.
A Breakdown of Each Different Surfboard Tail Design
There are basically two tail designs — the Square Tail (wide) and The Pin Tail (narrow), everything else is a version of them.
The Square tail is not as common today as it used to be. Its functionality is that this tail lets you surf with square turns of the bottom and quick direction turns mid face. Lots of maneuverability, best surfed in small to head high waves.
The Squash Tail is the son of the square tail. By far one of the most common and versatile surfboard tail designs. Able to be surfed by beginners and the experienced surfer.
The Squash tail offers the surfer a stable ride but at the same time the board will feel loose and responsive. The rounded corners offers a bit more bite and control than a rounded tail, and the square part permits the board to release. The corners allow for more pivotal, quick turns off the bottom or in the middle face of the wave. This tail really depends on the thruster or three fin setup to provide and maintain control.
These can be surfed in small to overhead surf.
The Swallow Tail like the squash provides more surface area which allows for more planning speed and lift. The gap of the swallow tail creates two points. These end points allow this surfboard tail design to have more bite and control while doing critical maneuvers.
These tails are generally good for small to medium surf, although you fill find them on step up and semi guns because the gap allows water to flow freely between the two ends and holds a hard turn well which helps when going fast and doing big turns.
Pintails are designed to give most control and surface hold on the wave. They have the least surface area of all tail designs, they come to a point at the end with little curvature. This decreased surface area diminishes the lift on the tail and allows the point to grab into the face of the wave, causing the board to maintain direction.
Pintails are used almost solely on big wave guns, where control is the one of the most important things you want. Pintails don’t provide much maneuverability, but when the surf is big and serious you aren’t looking to do a top turn.
This tail design works best when you need to remind yourself of this quote “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear”
This surfboard tail design is a bit more versatile then the pintail with more width and curve. It is a cross between the round tail and pintail. This design also has less surface area which aids in control, however not as much control as the pintail. Roundpin tails have less release and create smoother, longer turns.
These are ideal for moderately sized surf, anywhere from head to double overhead.
This tail can be found on a bunch of different boards,shortboards,hybrids and longboards, as well as small guns to step ups.
The Round Tail is a continuation of the rounded pin. The increased surface area helps give the board a bit more lift in the rear and allows for a looser, more turnable board. These are popular on shortboards where maneuverability is key.
A round tail will provide more release off the top of a wave than a squash or swallow tail, however it makes square turns off the bottom or mid face a bit more difficult without a corner to work with.
Round tails help move the water around the end of the board which makes it more stable when the waves are powerful and hollow.
These tails can be surfed in small to big surf, it is best suited for the surfer who likes to carve and do drawn out turns.
A further extension of the round tail, basically the same with subtle differences/ maybe not as pulled in as a rounded tail.
There are few different other types of tail shapes out there but for the most part they are more cosmetic then anything, Maybe the fish tail is an exception, but that is just a giant swallow tail.
Here are a couple of other types of tails, you can see that they are just variations of the above tails