Top 5 Surfboard Tail Designs


Top 5 Surfboard Tail Designs

When choosing what kind of surfboard to buy a question you are going to  want to ask yourself is, “What kind of tail do I want on my board?”

Surfboards come with all kinds of tails. Square, Squash, Diamond, Fish, Swallow, Pin, Thumb, Moon and the list goes on. These are the main types of tails you will see in a line up but with innovation you might see tails you never imagined popping up at anytime.  So to help you better understand what kind of tail you should have on your next board, this will cover the top 5 most common tails and what purpose they serve.

Square Tail


Square tails were the most common type of tail you would find on a surfboard years ago. Square tails allow you to have more area in the back of your board which provides better stability and drive in your surfing.  A new trend in surfboards is to make them shorter, wider and thicker and a square tail allows you to put more foam in the back of your board.  This also makes them great for small waves.


Squash Tail

Squash tails are what you would find on most boards.  They look just like their name.  I f you were to take a pin tails and squash it, you would end up with a squash tail. (Don’t try squashing your pin to get a squash, that isn’t how it works, just how it looks).  Squash tails are very similar to square tails but allow you to have a little more release in your turns.  Since the corners are rounded off you have less foam to push through the water as you turn.  This is a very common shape for 3 fin shortboards a d can be surfed in small to medium plus surf.  If you are buying your first shortboard, a squash tail is a great  choice.


Round Tail:

Round tails are the next step after squash.  Pretty much  if you took a square tail and sanded the corners you would get a squash tail.  with each step you get smoother looser turns.  again the reason being you have less foam to push and throw around on the wave.  Round tails are a lot looser and can be wobbly for a beginner.  A big advantage for round tails is staying in the pocket on hollow waves.  These tails are found on boards used in more advanced surf.

screen-shot-2009-09-26-at-42754-pm1  Pin Tail: 

Pin Tails are used for big waves.  These are the boards you see at Waimea, Mavericks, Sunsets and other big wave spots around the world.  Traditionally they had a single fin but now they make pin tail boards with 3 fins and even quads.  The narrow pin tail allows you to hold in the large waves.

Fish /swallow Tail


Fish tail boards were a thing of the past but have take off again as of late.  Fish tails are usually found on shorter,  wider  boards with a lot of foam and has a large cut up the middle making the tail look like that of a fish.  They are super fun in small waves. They have either a twin fin or quad fin set up.  Swallow tails are similar but just doesn’t have the as big of a cut up the middle of the board.  The cut is usually only an inch and is again just another way to get rid of some foam in the tail allowing you to push through the water.

See you at the beach!

underwater leg


2 responses to “Top 5 Surfboard Tail Designs

  1. Pingback: Surfboard Art – Drew Brophy’s Amazing Work «

  2. Pingback: Types of Surfboards « Professional Surfers

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