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Board Options


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Surfboard concaves are subtle channels on the bottom of a surfboard.

During the surfboard shaping process, some foam is sanded down further than the ‘rail line’ of the board in order to form these concaves. 

This is done for many reasons and can majorly change how a board feels. 

Concaves are almost invisible to the untrained eye, but ask an experienced surfer or shaper about them and they'll be able to tell you not only if a board has concaves, but what type of concave and how it affects the board. 


There are two main reasons a shaper will add concaves to a surfboard and it is largely to do with increasing the board's bottom surface area and changing the way the water flows through the board.




The square or squash tail is easily the most popular tail design in today’s high-performance surfboards. Its two square (or slightly rounded) edges act as a pair of release points for the water flowing off the back of your board that allows for quick, sharp turns in small to medium surf. This instant maneuverability has made the squash tail the preferred design for the vast majority of professional surfers. 


When dealing with smaller, gutless surf, fish or swallow tails are your best friend. The upside down “v” cut out from a square tail essentially creates a pair of pin tails that bite really well in and out of turns. The relatively wide outline helps users to generate high speeds through any mushy or slow sections of a wave. But they’re not just for small waves boards, either. The original purpose of this tail design was to shred in the hollow and large waves of South San Diego.


Round tails have much less surface area than most of the other standard tail shapes. And with less material fighting against the water, it’s easier to force your board under the water to initiate a turn. Surfers will describe this ease of maneuverability as feeling “loose” in the water. Turns on surfboards with round tails are smooth and drawn out because the tail doesn’t have a sharp or abrupt release point for the water flowing off the board.

Round tails are great for holding long and smooth turns without losing speed, but they won’t help much with quick or sharp movements in the most critical section of a wave.


Pin tail surfboards are typically only ridden on bigger waves. These tails create the most hold and speed, providing surfers with maximum control in powerful waves. However, the trade-off for increased hold is a lack of maneuverability. When you’re racing down the face of a 20-foot wave crashing over a shallow reef, holding your line is far more important than a quick turn.

Pin tails are perfect for setting a line and holding it at maximum speed in powerful surf, and that’s why they’re the preferred tail design for step-up surfboards and big wave guns.


The asymmetric tail is one of the wilder designs you’ll ever come across, but it actually makes perfect sense. That’s because surfers aren’t able to turn the same on frontside vs. backside waves. A surfer’s toeside turn is smoother and more drawn out than the heelside turn, which is a result of the way we’re able to bend our bodies forward. A heelside turn is more abrupt and sharp because we have less control over our bodies when we lean backward.

These boards will usually feature a round tail for heelside turns and a much sharper square or even a fish tail for toeside turns. Once you realize that we approach waves differently depending on the direction we’re turning, you’ll wonder why more boards aren’t designed like this.

RELAXED rocker is a Speed Box or Continuous rocker with reduced entry and tail rocker. These lower rockers offer performance characteristics of Speed Box and Continuous rockers in small and marginal conditions. Relaxed rockers are designed to help a surfboard carve and accelerate through turns and hold speed and power through transitions in marginal smaller waves.

STAGED rocker is flattened in the middle of the board and curved in the nose and tail. This helps drive and down the line speed. It also helps catch waves earlier. Like with continuous rocker, staged rocker can be tweaked to have more or less nose flip or tail kick.

CONTINUOUS rocker is a bottom curve with no flat spots or notable staged transitions. They excel in high quality, hollow, and critical waves. The curves flow from accelerated curve in the nose and entry, to less curve in the mid board, to accelerated curve in the tail. Continuous rocker curves keep boards loose and rails clean in the tight sections of hollow critical waves. These smooth and continuous curves allow a surfboard to turn with ease and accelerate, project, and create speed in critical sections


50/50 foil is found in more soft rail options and traditionally on longboards.

60/40 rail is going to be turned down with the apex slightly under the middle of the curve of the rail. This type of rail can be blended into both soft and hard rails and is also a great option on smaller wave grovelers, fish and Fun Board options. They generally give you a good blend of maneuverability and stability.          

80/20 rail is when the apex is even closer to the bottom of the board. This type of rail is generally found on surfboard shapes that incorporate a hard rail closer to the tail. These are made for easy maneuvering and rail to rail surfing as well as performance through turns.

A single fin box is most common on longboards and is the most traditional surfboard fin configuration. Turning with a single fin is limited, meaning single fins are ideal for fast, straight shot surfing. Single fins will provide stability, control, and predictability to your longboard. Longboard single fin boxes are long and allow you to move the fin forward for a looser feel, or further back for more control.

Twin fins or a dual fin configuration will make your surfboard fun, playful, and maneuverable. Two fin setups are not ideal for big-wave riding and are commonly featured on shortboards to enhance their speed. Twin fins offer a skatier feel and longer, more drawn out turns.

Tri Fin, Nowadays, 3 fins is the most common configuration and can be found on a variety of surfboard shapes and sizes. The two outer fins are closer to the middle of the board, angled towards the board center (“toed-in”) and can be flat on the inside in order to increase water tracking and speed. The center fin is the closest to the tail and is symmetric on both sides for stability (see Foil for more info). Tri-fins perform well because they add stability, control, and maneuverability that beginners to pros excel on. A thruster configuration also gives you options – ride twin or single if you want!

Quad fin configurations offer speed in smaller surf by channeling the water to the end of the surfboard and out the tail for acceleration. Two fins near the rails of your surfboard will also add stability and hold in big-wave surfing. Lastly, quad fins are great for generating drive through turns.

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