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Surfboard Tail Shapes

What are the commonly found tail shapes in surfboards?

There are plenty of different types of surfboard tail shapes that you can choose from for your board. Each tail shape has been designed to give your board a different feel and type of performance. Not only does the board effect your performance, but it also is considered as a part of the overall outline of the board. Your surfboard shaper will take into account the rails, volume and bottom contours (along with a number of other aspects of design) to decide which surfboard tail shape will work best with your board model.

While there are a number of different styles of tailshapes (along with ‘crazier’ types like the asymmetrical tail) five of the main shapes are:
  • The square tail,
  • The squash tail,
  • The round tail,
  • The swallow tail and
  • The pin tail

Square tail (chop tail)

Boards with a square tail are going to help you plane easily across fat or weaker sections of the wave because of the amount of volume in the tail of the board. This extra surface area in the tail will also increase the riders stability when riding the wave.

Squash tail

A squash tail is commonly found in performance focused boards. This tail shape allows a balance of both manoeuvrability and stability in the board by combining features of the square tail and round tail. A squash tail will enable the rider to draw tighter turns and surf the board comfortably in the pocket of the wave.

Round tail

A round tail is similar to the square tail in regards to helping plane over fat or weak sections of a wave. However a round tail will offer more of a performance feel compared to a square tail. The round tail will also feel looser and easier to manoeuvre compared to the feel of a square tail. It will also provide hold when surfing in steeper waves and barreling conditions.

Swallow tail

This shape is found on small wave boards all the way through to high performance boards. The swallow tail offers hold and stability from the 2 points at the end of each rail. These 2 points on the tail of the board also help when transitioning from rail to rail when making turns.

Pin tail

Boards with a pin tail are great for barrel riding as they hold really well in a steep wave face. The drawn in shape of a pin tail helps the board to accommodate the shape of the wave when surfing in bigger barreling conditions.

There are plenty more types of tails, make sure you check out our design article focusing on surfboard tail shapes.

surfboard tail shapes