SURFBOARD ANATOMY BY DAVE PARMENTER

LONGBOARDS: The garden-variety longboard shape is indisputably the most resilient design in surfing history. A lot of people forget that if the Polynesians hadn't finally migrated to an island with big enough trees to make their olo boards, we'd probably all still be riding prone on paipo boards. The ancient Hawaiian longboards literally created the sport we know today. The papa nui went on to bridge the ancient and modern eras, and is the only design archetype to have been built with every conceivable material, from koa to redwood to balsa, foam and even sponge. Today, the longboard is back in a big way and more versatile than ever. Often debunked for its "old guy" stigma or "unfair" paddling superiority, the longboard has endured for a millennia for the same reason we all surf - we love the "glide."

BIG-WAVE GUNS: The big-wave gun is the "warbird" of the surfboard design kingdom. Let the other boards strut down the catwalk with their garish frills and fashions -- the gun is as lethal and purely functional as the rhino-stoppers they're named for. The big-wave gun has changed the least over the years of any type of surfboard because the mission has never changed: build up a head of steam with three strokes, bust through the ledge, skitter down the face, reconnect and worry about the rest later. You really want to learn about surfboard design? Look at a gun. Its design components are the simplest and purest of any board because they're not made for Quasimodos, roundhouses or 540-to-out-of-its. They're shaped strictly for two things: paddle-power and survival.

SHORTBOARDS: We call them "shortboards," but today's state-of-the-art high-performance surfing isn't happening because the boards are "short." The ultra-radical surfing you see on shortboards is more due to an amazingly deft balancing of design features that seem contradictory. Curves and flats, torque and drag are all combined into the most complex, temperamental and volatile surfboard design ever built, then fused to the power plant of the power-hungry Thruster fin array and heaven help you if you're a sloth-foot or over 30.

THE HYBRID: Since all forward motion in surfboard design stems from combining established ideas into new combinations, then technically the "hybrid" surfboard should be granted the status of being the most progressive surfboard type of them all. What?! You mean those bulbous, hideous "funboards" are more progressive than my Merrick, dude? Well, take a fresh peek into the "hybrid" skunkworks: these aren't yuppie-doofus eggs anymore. The hybrid design family is burgeoning into fresh new fields and is robbing the shortboard blind of its edges, flats and rockers.

Now, they're faster, more forgiving and more versatile than anything the "hotties" are riding - why else would all the pros consider riding them in contests as "cheating"?

BOARD ONE Kingdom: surfboard Phylum: longboard Class: classic longboard/neo-traditional longboard

Description: The surfboards of the classic longboard era were a drag -- literally. No, they were (and still are) great to ride, it's just that virtually every component of their design intentionally or unwittingly contributed to the forces of drag. The bottom contours, the templates, the rail shapes, rocker and fins all served, for one reason or another, to slow the board down.

Classic longboards of the '50s and '60s, as well as the modern replicas of such boards, have a clear design link to the wooden olo boards of ancient Hawaii. These boards had basically rounded, convex bottoms that attempted to reduce the drag on their enormous lengths by pushing the water aside from the centerline as the board plowed through the water. This application of a shape known as the "displacement hull" shows that in earlier times, board-builders had only canoes, and later, boats to draw their inspiration from.

The inherent drag and suction of this type of bottom granted the rider enhanced control and easier handling -- there were no fins on boards prior to 1935 -- if not contributing much in the way of planing speed. By the '50s, turning ability was further improved by placing more pronounced hips (the peak or wide-point of the board's one-dimensional outline curve) farther back toward the tail. The resultant contour drag acted as a sort of power steering that let surfers of the day -at a further cost in drag -- to pursue tighter turns and hotdogging.

Rails on the classic longboard were mostly of the 50/50 variety, completely round and bulbous with little or no release or breakaway edges; the water had no choice but to wrap completely around the rail onto the deck. Once again, user-friendly but slow.

Another feature of the classic longboard that relied on drag forces was the rocker profile, which usually had its peak, or apex, well behind the center of the board, and employed a heavier tail kick with a flatter nose lift. When the rider pulled the board into a tight trim along the top of the wave and moved onto the nose, this rocker design -- along with many of the other previously mentioned features -- created a counterbalance of drag and suction that allowed a full-grown man the ability to perch indefinitely on the very tip of the coasting surfboard.

The length, width and comparatively flat bottom rocker of the classic longboard overcame many of its drag-inducing features, giving these boards their distinctive Cadillac glide and stability, but there was a relatively low terminal velocity: these boards would only go so fast before they'd shimmy, hum and basically try to buck the rider.

Dimensions (in decimal inches): Length: 9'8" Nose: 16.5 inches (at 12 inches down) Widepoint: 23 inches Tail width: typically 15 to 16 inches (at 12inches up)

Thickness: Nose: 1.7 inches (at 12 inches down) Thickest point: 3 inches Tail: 1.9 inches (at 12 inches up)

Foil: Thickness usually peaks a little behind center, with the main volume pooled around the behind-center hips and rocker apex. Thickness tapers down to a fairly thin nose and holds a medium volume as it meets the fin/tailblock area. This conjunction of foil, rocker and outline creates the characteristically slow feel of the board when turned from the tail and provides for the marked increase in speed when the rider moves forward to the optimum trim position (usually in the front third of the board), changing the whole angle of attack of the planing surfaces.

Rocker:

Volan cloth top and bottom. Stringer: . providing the greatest amount of tail area and thus allowing for more flotation and speed in slower. it's slower and almost impossible to surf with modern body English. as is the deck.75 inches The apex. or peak. but requires more power to keep it up on step and planing.rather than the modern. displacement hull-style bottom fades to a slightly flatter surface near the nose and behind the fin. of the rocker curve is placed much farther back than modern boards and is centered back at the thick-point/hip area. This tubby hull design has its roots more in boat design -. which carries the rail line to its maximum extension. flatter planing hull-type of surfboard that skims on top of the water. clumsy rudders were designed when the sciences of aerodynamics were still just so much unfathomable mumbo-jumbo. These squarish. It's a userfriendly. The amount of nose-lift tends to be a lower measurement than the tail. Tail shape: Rounded squaretail. Rails: Rails are the classic 50/50 shape. Tips were as wide as the bases. weaker waves.5 inches Tail: 3. Some 50/50 rails were completely round-shaped and others were more elliptical or almond-shaped. had near-vertical leading edges and . soft and stable rail shape but. This rounded. Once again.375 inches redwood/spruce/redwood T-band Glass specs: Two layers of 10 ounces. little more than a stabilizer.and one method of dealing with pushing a large surface with a weak power source through the water -. Bottom shape: Bottom is basically convex. with the apex at the center of the rail. Fin setup: The classic longboard fin is a crude affair.Nose: 3. being edge-free (water-flow wraps around rounder rails but doesn't do so as easily around a sharp edge or corner). a feature that shows the separation of the trim position of the board and the sweet spot for turning.

how many surfboards excel in 0. Rennie Yater and Bill Stewart contributed to the refinement of the modern longboard. rockers. Today's modern longboard bears little resemblance to its clunky ancestors: the templates. fins and glassing technology have borrowed heavily from all we've learned since the shortboard revolution in 1968. surfers and shapers such as Herbie Fletcher. rails. there were editorials and letters in the surf magazines that pined over the lost glide of the longboard. Over the next two decades. the re-revolution really has its roots in the early '70s. Only a few years after the 1968 shortboard coup. As each new generation of surfers and shapers rediscover timeless designs. or similar brand of that era BOARD TWO Kingdom: surfboard Phylum: longboard Class: modern longboard Order: Tri-fin longboard Description: The modern longboard is a textbook example of how surfboard design evolves in a spiral progression -. Anti-tank snobbery aside. Performance envelope: 1 to 4 feet Optimum generic example: Any early to mid-'60s Hobie production board.cyclical and yet still moving forward.were poorly foiled. Ben Aipa. the modern tri-fin longboards may well be some of the most versatile boards ever built -.to 4-foot slop and yet can still be ridden convincingly (by some) in the 12-foot Pipeline? While the modern incarnation of the longboard was the underdog trend and cash cow of the '90s. foils. Steve Walden. . they invariably will combine more contemporary or progressive ideas to create a seemingly new archetype. So much drag was created that you can see them throwing off rooster tails in the old surf films taken at faster waves like Sunset.

for most. This order of surfboard is an example of a hybrid that is obedient to too many masters.otherwise. so they get a 9'0". Because of this. The real caveat is this: remember that a tri-fin surfboard must be constantly pumped. "Hey. But they're spoiled by their memories of shortboard performance. so they rocker it out and make it a tri-fin. trimming with pumping and ash-canning the sluggish 50/50 rail for the lightning release of the down-rail and tucked-under edge. And then there's the overarching paddling superiority of the longboard -. Many veteran advocates of the single-fin would say. So there's little chance that many surfers will trade away the wave-grabbing advantage and whittle their boards back toward the more sensible middle ground. you get a sort-of half-assed longboard and a half-assed shortboard that will. so this design will be with us for a long time.'" Dimensions (in decimal inches): Length: 9'0" Nose: 17.25 inches (at 12 inches down) Widepoint: 22 inches Tail: 13. the fins are just parasite drag.replacing drag with planing.75 inches (at 12 inches up) Thickness: Nose: 1. go ahead and ride them newfangled things.65 inches (12 inches down) Thickest point: 2.4 inches . grant the ability to be a full-ass. What exactly is the modern tri-fin longboard? A progressive throw-ahead? A fun gun with ears? An abomination (as the "traditional" cadre may claim)? A wave-catching crutch? They don't noseride as well as a traditional single-fin longboard and can't be turned as sharply as a tri-fin shortboard. many of the better-built versions of this order of surfboard work pretty well.it's like being on horseback amidst the foot soldiers. but don't call it 'longboarding. Surfers want in on the whole longboard groove. hopped or turned to earn its keep -. And yet.

medium vee panels seem to suit the tri-fin best. The older guard of longboard shapers tend to give their boards a more convex cross section. Tails are generally thinner than the nose. boxier rail).5-inch boards. as they quicken the rail-to-rail transfer. which is basically a super-thin. as too much volume or "corkiness" placed aft will fight the tri-fin setup. but lack the crisp reaction of the more shortboard-oriented flat bottom.375inch to 2. soft rails) or has a flatter deck that holds the volume farther out to the rail edge (fuller. Rocker Nose: 5. This blank revolutionized the shaping of modern longboards and put an end to the drastic over-shaping epidemic. Vee peaks between the front fins and fades to flat again behind the rear fin.25 inches Bottom rockers for the modern longboard have perhaps the greatest variation of any current surfboard type. The rolled bottoms handle well and are non-threatening. This strategy hides .5 inches (12 inches up) Foil: Thickness distribution borrows from the thin-thick-thin foil of the "state of the art" surfboard or semi-gun. flat-decked plug designed for 2. Rails: Rail shapes depend on whether the board has a rolled dome deck (low. depending on whether the board is intended to be more of a noserider (flatter nose and kicked up tail) or a rockand-roller (accelerated nose lift and a healthy kick right behind the fins). Flat.25 inches Tail: 3.Tail: 1. thicker line of longboard blanks. and yet still has the nose-totail play that prevents the board from locking up in turns or catching too easily in tighter positions on the wave face. which relies on constant turning leverage to provide speed. pinched. graceful bottom curve is designed to hold just enough straightness to be fast. The more high-performance or pro-model modern longboards lean heavily on a blank shaped by Bill Stewart. the 9'5" S from Clark Foam. Bottom shape: Bottoms are relatively flat from rail to rail. soft rails. The typical 9'0" has a slow-arcing and continual bottom curve that is tweaked at the nose or tail (usually . The even.5 inches to 1 inch either way). There are four or five really good blanks for the basic 9'0" progressive. when shapers tried to mine sub-2.5-inch boards from the older. and each has dozens of custom rockers available. Most modern longboards have a mild dome deck with somewhat tapered.

much like those on the standardissue 6'2".with the curve of the tail outline accelerating in synergy with fin placement. 4 degrees of cant. there's not too much of a difference between the rails on these boards and the modern shortboard rail.4-inch base.25 inches off the rail. tapering thickness and the final sweep of tail rocker to create a sweet spot for turning. Bottom edges are tucked under and softened. 4. Side fins set 1. a little less toe-in than a shortboard (more speed.the thickness and gives the rider a more sensitive turning reaction. Removable fins allow the rider to change the leverage of the board to suit the mood or surf conditions. A thinner board with fuller rails and harder edges has more speed and stored energy coming out of turns. Stringer: . . Tri-fins set at 13 inches and 4 inches. Performance envelope: 1 to 8 feet Optimum generic example: Stewart stock model BOARD THREE Kingdom: surfboard Phylum: longboard Class: modern longboard Order: 2x1 longboard .25-inch basswood stringer Glass specs: 2x4 ounces on the deck.6-inch depth. 1x4 ounces on the bottom Fin setup: Removable fins standard. longer turning radius). Tail shape: Rounded squash -. Except for the added thickness. 4.175-inch toe-in. but are more demanding and frighten the typical intermediate surfer. medium rake.

but can also jump the tracks and go offroad when the wave demands more than just a stately trim.on the nose or off the tail -. They are meant to be driven and turned rather than trimmed. The side fins don't intrude on the single-fin feel and provide bite at higher speeds. too. It incorporates a reduced-area center single fin (usually set in a box) and two small side finlets that are placed along the rail in a basic tri-fin setting.65 inches Tail: 1. such as increased traction in noseriding.25 inches (at 12 inches down) Widepoint: 22 inches Tail: 13. as well as giving the rider a hint of the tri-fin turning axis coming off the top or in a committed parabolic roundhouse. When the rocker. rails and outline are moderated toward a happy medium. Dimensions (in decimal inches): Length: 9'0" Nose: 17. like it or not." yet this model.65 inches (at 12 inches down) Thickest point: 2. the option to trim instead of pump. delivers the most versatility of any longboard design. thickness. with proper rocker. The idea is to give the surfer all the benefits of a single-fin longboard. The 2x1 works best when the rest of the board is a compromise. Single-fin purists disparage them as "single-fins with training wheels.Description: The 2x1 longboard (aka "2-plus-1. 180-degree left-go-right bottom turns without skipping or staginess and.85 inches (at 12 inches up) Thickness: Nose: 1. the surfer will have a versatile longboard that can be ridden cleanly and smoothly -." "single-fin with side-bites" or "single-tri") is a design based on compromise. so the nose and tail taper to reduce bulk (corkiness) and shorten turning reaction time.65 inches (at 12 inches up) Foil: Thickness distribution on modern longboards borrows from the thin-thick-thin foil of the contemporary shortboard and semi-gun. Rocker: .

5 inches Bottom rockers for the modern longboard have the greatest variation of any current surfboard type. more tail kick) or geared toward maneuverability (more overall bottom curve). graceful bottom curve holds just enough straightness to be fast. but the extra curve and reduced tail area of the pin compensate for the greater resistance of the larger center fin.25-inch basswood Glass specs: 1x4 ounces. Stringer: .usually based on whether the board is more of a noserider (less nose rocker. Tail shape: Rounded pin. This gives the board a softer neutral feel that suits this single-fin hybrid. Not as much tail area as a squaretail.5 inches to 1 inch) by the shaper or blank manufacturer. This strategy "hides" the thickness and gives the rider a more sensitive turning reaction as there is not as much resistance when pressure is applied to the rail. This even. 1x6-ounce deck. 1x6-ounce bottom. except aft of the fins. and each is cataloged with dozens of custom rockers. polished gloss .Nose: 5 inches Tail: 3. and yet has the nose-to-tail play that prevents it from locking up in turns or pearling too easily in tight positions on the wave. There are four or five really good blanks available for the basic modern 9'0". The typical 9'0" has a slow-arcing and continuous rocker that is tweaked at the nose and tail (usually plus or minus . more drawn-out rail-to-rail transfer of this fin arrangement. This single-fin hybrid rarely sees the use of hard edges along the bottom. making sweeping turns easier to stay on top of. pinched rails) or has a flatter deck that holds the volume farther out to the rail edge (suits fuller. Each is patterned after the board's intent -. Bottom shape: The 2x1 longboard tends to have more rail-to-rail roll in the bottom than its tri-fin cousin. which facilitates the smoother. Rails: Rail shapes depend on whether the board has a rolled. boxier rails). domed deck (suits low. Most 2x1s have a mildly domed deck with somewhat tapered and soft rails. A mild rolled vee is placed in a dome-like configuration right under the main fin.

Side fins set at 14.125 inches to .175 inches. teardrop planshape. cut-away base. . This design is a volatile hybrid.5 inches up from tail. Center fin 7 inches deep. the better-designed 9'0" will start to hit its stride in 8-foot surf and keep on going up to 15 feet.Fin setup: Large center single fin in a box with small side fins. Performance envelope: 1 to 6 feet Optimum generic example: 9'0" Takayama 2x1 BOARD FOUR Kingdom: surfboard Phylum: longboard Class: modern longboard Order: modern longboard gun Description: An obscure and underrated entry. using components garnered from some of the best surfboard modalities of the past 30 years.25 inches off rail and toed-in at . open-ocean bomboras due to their superior paddling penetration.ever. That covers. If you could have only one surfboard. 4 degrees of cant. Enough of a spud to enjoyably tinker with knee-high surf. arguably one of the cleanest outlines of any surfboard -. set 1. depth 3. gun and modern longboards are coupled to the chassis of a template that resembles a Dick Brewer Pipeliner model. modern foil and a fast bottom that neatly lifts this design up and away from the longboard gene pool.65 inches. the modern longboard gun could well be the ultimate deserted island board. Delivers the best of both designs -. this design would probably cover all the bases. The result is a progressive synergy of efficient rocker. usually removable.85 inches. what a six-board Sunset quiver used to. This fin array has the sure-footed stability of a classic single-fin combined with the jet-age bite of the trifin.a rarity in compromise design. base 3. in one board. All the hot-rod features of the state-of-the-art shortboard. Variations of this design stretch up to 12'0" and are adapted for use in giant.

and thins out quickly toward the tail.6 inches (at 12 inches up) Foil: Thickness is centered nose-ward of center.25 inches Tail: 2. . the narrower. This board works best when the nose rocker accelerates in the last 12 to 18 inches. Tail: 12.5 inches (at 12 inches up from tail) Thickness: Nose: 1. complimenting the outline. The tail is thin and pinched low to penetrate and bite at high speeds. This is a classic gun-style. making for a flatter.5 inches (at 12 inches down) Widepoint: 21 inches. maximizing useable rail as well as streamlining the board and giving it the spear-like attributes of a gun.Dimensions (in decimal inches): Length: 9'0" Nose: 14. Tail rockers are straighter and flatter than typical longboard shapes for more drive and speed (and reducing high speed max-outs). Placing the widepoint farther up carries the straighter outline farther up toward the nose.75 inches Tail: 1. faster entry rocker than one that begins lifting from the center of the board.75 inches Bottom rocker mimics the standard gun bottom. forward-thickness profile that helps the board project forward with the inertia of a well-swung baseball bat. Widepoint 8 inches up from center.75 inches (at 12 inches down) Thickest point: 2. thinner tail compensates for lost tail kick. Rocker: Nose: 5.

1x6-ounce bottom. the medium volume is a compromise between the maximum stored energy of a boxy rail and the easily-sunk low. flat panel vee provides a turning fulcrum at the fin array. glued up side-by-side and crossgrain to provide a little more stiffness during the unavoidable flex and stress this longer. Stringer: 2x. Pulled in enough to provide traction in big surf. This board can be turned pivotally off the fins or driven on the rail (after 9'6". This rail is designed to be pushed as hard as possible. Tail shape: Basic round pin. depth 4. The middle part of the rail is somewhat like a boxy rail. This helps push the water to the side as the board cleaves through the chop and bump of bigger surf. but the top is blended into the deck by way of a sloping "panel" that helps taper the thickness into a slightly convex deck.75 inches and 4 inches. Rails: Medium rails flow from nose to tail with as little transition as possible. paddleboard-like hull at front third of the board. but not so spiky that the board will lose friskiness in average conditions. like a modern semi-gun. The bottom edge is tucked under and undefined. when a medium.65 inches. Glass specs: 2x6-ounce deck. This contour blends into a flatter belly and then remains flat until the fin area.125-inch toe-in and 4-degree cant. polished gloss Fin setup: Glassed on tri-fins. Set at 12. it's time for a single-fin or 2x1 array). Drawn in at a comparable rate to the tail rocker curve and thickness taper. Though basically a type of gun. . fin base 4.125-inch spruce stringers. thinner board will endure. Performance envelope: 4 to 12 feet Optimum generic board: Stewart LB gun. set 1.Bottom shape: The flatter entry rocker calls for a convex. Vee fades to flat behind fin for maximum punch in turns.65 inches.25 inches off rail. Rusty model . a tri-fin setup allows this board a larger performance envelope. tapered rail.

they're not. the balance of this shape tends to set the rail at .much like a clunky jet plane trying to go supersonic.it must have enormous three-stroke paddle power to penetrate and bust over the ledge -. which gives the gun more rail contact with the water for holding power.75 inches. And. as well as having less drag than a curvier outline.the wave provides the voltage. spear-like surfboard that has changed little since the '70s. Dimensions: (in decimal inches) Length: 10 feet Nose: 10 inches (at 12 inches down) Widepoint: 20. this class of surfboard is designed to deal with the problematic jacking-and-then-plunging Bay wave (and has yet to be adapted successfully to new arenas such as Maverick's. allowing for a longer stretch of straight rail running back to the tail.BOARD FIVE Kingdom: surfboard Phylum: big-wave gun Class: traditional single-fin gun Description: The big-wave gun is the surfboard most shrouded in myth. not the board. at 8 inches up from center. Many of the features of the gun are put there to control speed -. the collection of design components must be efficient and shed the waterflow from its surface a split second after it hits or the resultant drag and loading up of waterflow will cause the board to max-out -. But. where the wave sustains its momentum after the initial plunge). The widepoint is pulled way up toward the nose. windy elevator drops because it allows him a more forward stance. one that is built for a demanding arena where the only performance is survival. Also. Virtually all of this board's design is devoted to getting in and getting down -. few of the gun features are put there for performance. while still beating the lip to the bottom.and yet must still be drag-free enough so the surfer can get down the face against the considerable upward suck of water. on the other hand. Thus. Because they are sleek and racy-looking. This type of template also lets the surfer have more control in late. we have a streamlined. many surfers believe them to be inherently fast boards -. Built for serious 20-foot-plus Waimea surf.

5 inches (at 12 inches up) Foil: Thickness is pooled more forward to complement the forward-centered outline.75 inches (at 12 inches down) Thickest point: 3. The rocker shown here depicts that of a classic Brewer-esque single-fin. It has a nice even nose-lift and gradual entry rocker. Tail: 9. in some instances. more vee than the tail. an overlooked function that is lacking in more modern tail-heavy outlines.35 inches (at 12 inches up) Thickness: Nose: 1. This foil also creates a sort of javelin inertia coming out of drawn-out turns at top speed. Too much in the way of vee. Thus. all gun rockers should have a clean-flowing. but lacks the punch coming out of the pit. but the tail rocker is much more subdued than current boards. the meat is where the width is. some of which have tail numbers in excess of 3. Bottom shape: Bottoms are best kept simple. This helps the board cleave through the chop when paddling hard at take-off. bottom roll or exotic configurations can make the board spin out or behave erratically.the optimum angle when turned hard off the bottom. plunging wave.75 inches Whatever the nose and tail dimensions. You want the water to exit the planing surface as fast as possible and not bend or suck over undue contour. where . as well as being under the chest when paddling. continuous bottom curve with no flat spots or stages that could cause the board to catch or lurch at speed or in precarious situations.5 inches Tail: 1. Remember: curve equals drag.5 inches. Rocker: Nose: 8 inches Tail: 1. Extra tail rocker helps fit the length of this gun into the curves of a steep. The belly area is flat back through to the last 3 feet of the board. The nose has.

medium rake. polished gloss Fin setup: Glass-on single fin. Performance envelope: 18. tighter-radius tuck for the power mongers who love speed and can sink the rail.375-inch spruce. 6-inch base. Too much wood and the board loses its flex and will actually snap more easily. some play or flex is needed to help displace the load (engineering term for "a bloody good pounding"). Like all surfboards. Tail shape: Hard. giving more thrust and less suction during rail changes. and the tail wafers into a penetrating. eggy radius for lighter. This rail acts like a boxier rail. narrow board and still keep a comfortable and stable flat deck. Glass specs: 2x-6-ounce deck. Should be as thick as possible to achieve a true foil and lessen cavitation and resultant drag. Stringer: A . spiky pintail must penetrate and claw into the face of 20-foot-plus waves when your fin is humming and your knees are starting to buckle. but is still fairly thin out at the rail edge so it can be sunk at high speeds. drawn-out turns.to 25-foot Waimea Optimum generic example: classic Brewer single-fin gun. Rails: These are the classic Brewer-style "angular boxy" rails that let you hide the volume of a thick. 9 inches deep.it blends into a mild panel vee that peaks just in front of the fin. There will be a tuckedunder edge with a soft. 10-foot plus BOARD SIX Kingdom: surfboard . thin blade-like flange that can act as a stabilizer "fin" in long. Nose rails blend to soft 50/50 neutrality. 2x6-ounce bottom (blank left rougher-finished to enhance glass to foam bond). less powerful surfers and a more hard-edged. The vee gives way to flat again behind the fin.

neutral feel. the leverage and drive of the side fins get a boost from the rear stabilizing fin. When surfed aggressively from rail to rail.75 inches (at 12 inches down) Widepoint: The 18. Since the tri-fin gun must be surfed aggressively. The banana rocker. This fin setup will probably always be with us. curvy outlines and thin foil all serve to give the board an easily dominated.Phylum: big-wave gun Class: tri-fin gun Description: The modern tri-fin gun has been around for almost 20 years now. but remains the dominant surfboard design in the world today.like his 6'1". Its application on guns has brought mixed results.5 inches (at 12 inches up) Thickness: Nose: 1. it perfectly suits the rotary turning axis of a board ridden from the tail.65 inches .75-inch widepoint is at center. and the modern surfer wants to turn a gun tightly. soft low rails. short-arc performance surfing. the board's design components will emphasize maneuverability over planing speed. but the hips are placed back between the stance as a concession to the built-in tail-turning M. of the tri-fin. Dimensions (in decimal inches): Length: 7'6" Nose: 10. The speed comes from the wave. and a forward projection is built and sustained as long as the board is surfed properly.O. A tri-fin is a speed-gathering design.375 inches (at 12 inches down) Thickest point: 2. since Simon Anderson single-handedly proved their validity at Pipeline and huge Bell's Beach. vertically and instantly -. Thus. Tail: 11. the modern tri-fin gun is stripped of most of its leverage and down-the-line range and aims toward radical.

Rocker: Nose: 6. But this type of rocker fails at a broader-based. so spiky hard pintails are a thing of the past. More suction from the waterflow wrapping around the rail means that there will be more holding power in turns. as this design -. .not often possible on a rockered-out tri-fin gun that needs to be constantly pumped and nursed along. which demands longer projection and solidly planted bottom turns -. where the rocker sheds excess speed and allows the longer board to notch into tighter drops and tubes. low and soft. and the side fins create more thrust when they are farther apart from each other. Tail shape: Round pintail. so control features like roll or vee aren't really necessary.Tail: 1. there's not much board fighting you. The excess curve in the board helps immensely at hollow breaks like Pipeline. with the decrease in volume and increase in outline curve and rocker. The inclusion of this type of rail underscores the main design aim of the modern trifin surfboard: neutrality equals maneuverability. more tail area is needed for it to work properly. You'd be hard-pressed to find the classic tucked-under hard edge anywhere on these rails -. Rail: Rail shape is tapered. Bottom shape: Bottom shape is standard tri-fin issue: flat with slight vee panels that peak near the front fins.75 inches A healthy bottom curve dumps all the responsibility on the rider or wave to generate speed.they resemble more the 50/50 egg rails of the longboard era. thicker Sunset-type of wave. The typical modern tri-fin gun has half the volume that a similar-size gun did 15 or 20 years ago. The nose area thins out rapidly. Since the tri-fin is surfed from the tail only. with the bulk of the foam pooled in the tail half of the board.75 inches Tail: 2.4 inches (at 12 inches up) Foil: This is basically a tri-fin foil.like the tri-fin shortboard -.is meant to be surfed from pretty much one position: back foot over the fin and front foot up at the apex of the hips.

a funboard and a big-wave gun.6-inch depth. Oahu surf Optimum generic example: Pat Rawson. John Carper.) Fin setup: Removable fins standard. that are made just for this burgeoning class of board.to 12-foot North Shore.75 inches by 3. medium-heavy rake. but the typical stock gun in the racks at the local surf shop is narrow. There are now a couple of blanks available from Clark Foam. Eric Arakawa or Rusty BOARD SEVEN Kingdom: surfboard Phylum: big-wave guns Class: fun gun Description: The fun gun is best described as an oversize gun leavened with some highperformance shortboard components.125-inch spruce stringers. glued up cross-grain to each other Glass specs: 2x4-ounce deck. set at 11.Stringer: 2x. Although a cousin of the funboard. side fins 1 inch off rail with . modern rocker and curvy outline all conspire to give this shape a wide performance envelope.175-inch toe-in and 4 degrees of cant. The fun gun can be used as a big-guy shortboard. 1x4-ounce bottom. 4. 4. This type of board represents a quickly expanding area of "geromarket" surfboard design. this is a much more versatile board.75 inches. . (This is a North Shore pro board and is built for light. paper-thin and built for the 25 and younger set. extra width. There are more older or heavier surfers now than ever before. not might. designed by Rusty Preisendorfer. sanded hot coat. The ample thickness.4-inch base. Performance envelope: 8.

under the torso. after all -. at center.The three main components that really make this board come alive are the proper rocker.it's a big-guy board. the application of the tri-fin (with the right fins and placement) and the use of a lighter weight blank. A clean outline with an even rate of curve at critical areas at the nose and tail gives this board versatility. Rocker: Nose: 6.but thins out at the tail around the fin array.75 inches (at 12 inches up) Foil: Holds thickness throughout its length -. the well-shaped fun gun can feel 6 inches shorter than its actual length and help notch up the average surfer's performance much higher than what the typical bulbous funboard or modern longboard would allow. allowing it to be surfed from both the tail and midsection. With that foundation in place. for better paddling.5 inches. The bulk of the volume is pooled.7 inches (at 12 inches down) Thickest point: 3.125 inches Tail: 1. Dimensions: Length: 8'6" Nose: 12. Tail: 13 inches (at 12 inches up) Thickness: Nose: 1.25 inches Tail: 2.9 inches .25 inches (at 12 inches down) Widepoint: 21.the type of synergy that best creates functional boards. The thickness distribution should fit hand-in-glove with the similarly balanced bottom rocker and outline curve -.

5 inches by 3. gives a more neutral and less positive or angular feel to the handling. this model mimics the ultra-modern gun and shortboard bottom: dead flat from nose to the fin area. boxier middle and blended into a semi-convex deck by way of tapering panels along each rail that help feather the bulk into the deck without creating too much of a dome or a crown.Even rate of curve with no flats or stages. Bottom edge is tucked under with the radius of a 50-cent piece and is firm without actually having an edge.75 inches. medium rake. where a moderate. with a fuller. giving this shape more holding power in large surf than funboards. side fins 1. polished gloss Fin setup: Removable fins are standard.not exaggerated enough to push water or create a lot of drag. Bottom shape: Unlike other big-guy boards like mini-tanks or funboards. Stringer: . 1x4-ounce deck.25 inches of rail. Set at 12. but still retains enough area to be frisky in smaller surf. Optimum generic example: Rusty's personal board BOARD EIGHT Kingdom: surfboard . as opposed to a flatter panel vee. 1x6-ounce bottom. depth 4.25-inch basswood Glass specs: 1x6 ounces. rolled vee tempers the extra width and thickness. This rolled vee.75 inches.175-inch toe-in and 4 degree cant. This makes the board fairly loose for its size and much more maneuverable than a typical funboard or mini-tank of comparable size. Rocker peak (apex) is at dead center and has fairly modern nose and tail lifts -. Tail shape: A soft round pin pulls the clean outline together. Fin base 4. Rails: Classic medium rail. . which probably suits the greater volume of this board anyway.6 inches.

All areas of board design will likely benefit. narrow miniature gun. the forces of parasite drag are quadrupled. Of the numerous dragons that designers will have to slay. Also in contrast to the rhino chaser. rooted mainly in the submissiveness of this ultra-thin. The field of tow-in surfboard construction represents a sort of design race that will produce quantum leaps fairly regularly once those involved break loose from using standard surfboard modalities as the foundation for ideas. the tow-in board has to have features that serve to maintain control at high speeds -. Dimensions (in decimal inches): Length: 7'2" . they're a completely different set of components. This is almost certainly part of the reason behind the failure of traditional gun designs to have ever consistently allowed riders to make critical drops and bottom turns on waves over 20 feet. Strip away that necessity (via the Jet Ski) and you see.but unlike those of the classic 10'6" rhino chaser.that quantifying it now is like trying to sketch an F111 jet during the Medieval age. In aerodynamics. for our purposes -. we see that the drag on projecting surfaces (parasite drag) -. the hydra-headed problems of drag will be the toughest to overcome. they should be able to handle any velocity without maxing out.Phylum: big-wave guns Class: tow-in surfboard Description: This is an emerging surfboard design that is so dynamic -.fins.increase exponentially with greater speed.and destined to evolve so quickly -. Like the paddle-in gun. The tow-in board dramatically underscores just how much the conventional big-wave gun is hobbled by its overriding need to paddle fast enough to attain takeoff velocity on a massive groundswell. If you double the speed of a fixed-wing aircraft. These boards have to be designed so that they never "hit the wall" speedwise. The rider is able to stay in control mostly due to the diminutive size of this board. there is a healthy dose of speed-enhancing features. immediately. what we had wanted all along was a surfboard-cum-snowboard.

5 inches Tow board rockers mimic the standard sailboard bottom curve: super-flat in the middle and tail.35 inches Tail: 1.getting the water across and off the planing surface as efficiently as possible. almost parallel rail line from there through to the tail. Widepoint is at center and holds a straight. At the speeds that this type of board attains. The template -. Tail: 11. The feet are strapped in one spot. The flatter the rocker.1 inches Tail: 1. cleanest. This gives the surfer a bit more resistance (more leverage) in turns and helps carry the board across any flat spots or transitions on waves that aren't full-on smokers.25 inches (at 12 inches down) Thickest point: 2. the attributes of even simple contours like vee or concaves will be greatly exaggerated. short and thin that they are submissive enough to get away with the stiffness that such a straight rocker would normally bring.Nose: 9. .and the rest of the board -. There's a fairly uniform thickness. most reliable exhaust -. A dead-flat bottom has the fastest. with a tendency to hold the volume through to the tail.must be designed around the stance. so the best angle of attack or trim position must be set accordingly.5 inches (at 12 inches down) Widepoint: 16 inches. the faster the board.35 inches (at 12 inches up) Foil: Tow-in boards are so thin that the traditional surfboard foils aren't usually applied. Rocker: Nose: 5. and these overgrown water skis are so narrow. Bottom shape: Bottoms are dead flat from nose to tail and rail to rail.15 inches (at 12 inches up) Thickness: Nose: 1. then lifting fairly late at the nose (around the 18-inch mark).

The compromise deal with this board is the need for leverage balanced against the need for control at knee-buckling speeds. The blanks used are molded with the old 60s heavier density formula and are glassed with two or three deck layers of 6 ounces and 2 layers of 6-ounce cloth on the bottom. usually composed of a T-band. Stringer: Stringer setups vary. so the decks are flatter and the rails are medium-boxy with a firm (but not knifey) edge tucked under with a dime-sized radius. The stored energy of the boxy rail on this super-thin.5 inches is standard. Performance envelope: 18 to 30 feet Optimum generic example: Maui boards from Brewer. Fin setup: Fin arrays vary greatly. The fins are placed on the rail 4 inches or so (box-fin system) up from the tail and are pointed straight ahead for speed -. crossgrain glue-up of two strips of . Tail shape: Hard squaretail that carries the straightness of the outline to its furthest possible extension -.even a square inch or so of area is amplified at faster and faster speeds. but a twin-fin setup seems most efficient at this time. Fins are foiled on both sides and should be thick enough to achieve a true foil.with no cant. along with the high speeds that this board operates. Timpone or Lopez BOARD NINE . as this causes drag-inducing cavitation. but . meaning there should be no flat area on the side faces of the fins. demands that these features are calibrated to the weight and leg strength of the individual to achieve the proper compression in and out of turns. It gives the board a wood-like drive and carries through all the bumps and the chop.Rails: The tow-in board is evolving toward a thinner skimboard/wakeboard-style of planing surface. Wet-sanded gloss finish.25-inch spruce. flatdecked hull. Glass specs: Extra weight is desirable.

The funboard is a textbook hybrid design. There are no flats or edges to provide leverage or breakaway release. The nose is wider than the tail. The funboard doesn't set out to challenge the rider. combining the superior paddling attributes of a longboard.Kingdom: surfboard Phylum: hybrids Class: funboard Description: The funboard pandemic represents a design revolution that will never have its tickertape parade. But instead of cobbling together the more potent elements from other surfboard types. unlike the modern shortboard or high-performance hybrid. surfers of decidedly average ability. the funboard is out there in greater numbers than you might think -. and there's plenty of thickness for comfortable flotation. this board picks whiffle ball components suited to novice or intermediate-level surfers. which have wider tails than noses.5 inches (at 12 inches down) Widepoint: 21. Widepoint at 4 inches up from center. This outline is a bit dated and links up with the other components of this design that favor paddling ease over performance. but stripped of some of the unwieldy length and bulk so the rider may have a taste of shortboard maneuverability. Dimensions (in decimal inches) Length: 7'8" Nose: 15. This board experienced explosive growth in the '80s by zeroing in on an emerging demographic clump: a surfing version of a "middle class" composed of older. .they're the Volkswagen Beetles of the surfboard high-concept coterie. but rather cossets him with reassuring mediocrity.5 inches. outline and rocker are soft or neutral. maybe heavier." "beer belly board" and a host of other brand-model names. Known also as the "mini-tank. The rails. It's a compromise design.

The newer series of funboard blanks have more modern rockers (accelerated at the tips) that can shorten the turning axis of the funboard and give it a wider range of use -. so this board is fairly thick from nose to tail. user-friendly turning capability.more demanding surf. . and are blended well into the middle of the deck to create the typical dome deck foil. constant rate of curve to help keep this thick. Use of one of the newer. Not as temperamental or volatile as a flat-bottomed board with harder rail edges. with a slight taper after the fins. more foiled-out funboard blanks can counter this tendency and help redress the corky feeling of this design. Rails: Rails are soft and low.75 inches (at 12 inches down) Thickest point: 2. The bulk of the thickness is hidden in the center of the board for paddling flotation. When used with the typically soft egg rail.5 inches (12 inches up) Thickness: Nose: 1. it will serve to give the rider an easy-going. of the egg rail school.65 inches There is a lower.75 inches Tail: 1. but the rail extremities are tapered thinner and softer to be as forgiving as possible. which continue on to the tail with a smooth. either. flatter longboard-style nose-kick and entry rocker. bulbous board from locking up in turns. Rocker: Nose: 5 inches Tail: 2. Bottom shape: Bottoms tend toward a slightly rolled belly similar to a classic longboard. but not nearly as fast.75 inches Foil: The primary concern is flotation.Tail: 14.

The application of the tri-fin has added spark to these egg-shaped boards. 4.25-inch toe-in and 4 degrees of cant. They were far more mulish as single-fins. side fins set at 1.75 inches and 3. but they share a common mission. with . unlike the more high concept funboard.25 inches off the rail.65-inch base.65inch depth. which is put together for novice to intermediate use. set at 11. medium-low rake. 4. polished gloss Fin setup: Basic tri-fin setup. 1x6-ounce bottom. The ultimate compromise tail shape for the ultimate compromise surfboard.Tail shape: Rounded squashtail -. Stringer: .25-inch basswood stringer Glass Specs: 2x6-ounce deck." "Evolutions" or "Ole Blues." they are hybrid offshoots of funboards geared toward the experienced surfer with better-than-average skills.has the benefits of both an area round pin and a squashtail. Optimum generic example: Becker funboard BOARD TEN Kingdom: surfboard Phylum: hybrids Class: funboards� Order: high-performance funboard Description: High-performance hybrids come in all shapes and sizes. This design scavenges from the better templates of the '70s and early '80s for a chassis and bolts on state-of-the-art shortboard power plant components to create fast and responsive gliders that . Whether they're called "Turbo Spuds. glassed on.5 inches.

It also allows it to be pushed to the limits of the rider's ability.65 inches Tail: 1. The more that flats. Rocker: . Basically a widened shortboard template. centered template and relaxed modern rocker to give the board an even-tempered handling.5 inches (at 12 inches down) Thickest point: 2. thinner and fuller rails are applied.5 inches. the more potent the side fins of the tri-fin cluster become. it all depends on the intent of the design. skate over flat spots and generally out-perform the others with muddier lines and softer corners.7 inches (at 12 inches up) Foil: Has a balanced foil that tapers evenly to both the nose and the tail from the thickest point at center.25 inches (at 12 inches up) Thickness: Nose: 1. Dimensions: (in decimal inches) Length: 7'2" Nose: 12 inches (at 12 inches down) Widepoint: 20. The standard 6'1" to 6'3" boards used by Occy and Curren in the early to mid-'80s had tails that were all over 15 inches wide. the more it will leap out of turns. but without the pronounced tail-ward hips of the modern shortboard. Tail: 14. The outline resembles a standard mid-'80s tri-fin. They range from generic to advanced. This works in concert with the rolled deck. Almost every manufacturer has some version of this board available. Widepoint is placed at center. The original Thruster boards shaped and ridden by Simon Anderson had tails well over 16 inches wide.would be considered revolutionary if they weren't all tarred with the same brush: the "they're for old guys" stigma. Note: the wider the tail. edges.

reliable bottom for most surfboards.7-inch base. It's a design compromise that gives the best of both the hard and soft rail. Fins set at 11. then soft and 50/50 in the nose. 1x4-ounce bottom. but contemporary enough for experts.5 inches. Rails: The slightly rolled deck that hides some of the thickness blends into a medium rail -. 4.175 inches and with 4 degrees of cant.25 inches off the rail.5 inches by 3. For the contrasting poles of speed versus control. side fins set 1.175-inch basswood stringer Glass specs: 2x4-ounce deck. Performance envelope: 2 to 8 feet . The tucked-under edge is contemporary: sharp and steep in front of the fins.Nose: 5. and this one is geared toward versatility.75 inches Tail: 2. toed in at . melding into firm and tucked-under through the middle. but a hybrid combo of both. Stable enough for intermediates. 4. Bottom shape: Standard shortboard or semi-gun flat bottom with a typical mild panel vee placed under the fins.7-inch depth. wet-sanded gloss Fin setup: Removable fins systems enhance the versatility of this board. with the drawbacks of neither. A good bottom rocker is the foundation of a magic board. medium-heavy rake. Stringer: . this is the most efficient. Tail shape: A rounded squashtail best fits the outline and tail width of this shape.5 inches Not a three-stage shortboard rocker (lift-flat-lift) or a semi-gun rocker (continuous curve).a bit boxy and full in the bottom third.

in direct contrast to the overhyped and superstar-endorsed log models put out by the major manufacturers at that time. was the seminal board that begat the Mark Richards twin-fin era in the late '70s. Just how deep and tight a rider could surf in the curl was still being mapped out. The Fish was designed in obscurity and popularized by word of mouth -. before Steve Lis is credited with combining both the split tail (swallow) and the twin-fin into what came to be known as the "Fish.influenced by George Greenough's example -. In fact. as ridden by Reno Abellira. and the original Fish design is still popular today. as new ideas came faster -.Optimum generic example: Rusty/Wayne Lynch "Evolution" BOARD ELEVEN Kingdom: surfboard Phylum: hybrids Class: Fish Description: The Fish was originally designed in the early '70s as a board that could be used as a kneeboard and stand-up surfboard. It's a potent design. many surfers were infatuated with the new concept of "total involvement" surfing. nor was it the first twin-fin. cookie-cutter surf industry could react to in time. ultra-short twin-fins were already making the rounds in the very early '70s. . even period boards that are shackled with some of the cruder features that were standard in the '70s can be much faster than a modern pro-model shortboard.and old dogma tossed away more readily -. The backyard revolution was sweeping through the surfing world in the late '60s and early '70s. At the time. Both of these designs had been done in balsa as far back as Bob Simmon's and even Tom Blake's time. A Fish board.who thought that perhaps kneeriding was the best path to "total involvement in the curl. and there were those -. hence its designation as a hybrid." The Fish was the epitome of the backyard board.than the big-time." The Fish wasn't the first split-tailed board.

they create a calibrated leverage.5 inches.85 inches (at 12 inches up) Foil: The board is thick throughout for flotation and to pump up the compression out of turns.35 inches This flat.this board is meant to be driven off of the front foot. but on the short Fish.15 inches (at 12 inches down) Thickest point: 2.7 inches (at 12 inches down) Widepoint: 21. fast rocker lets the board skate and plane like a paipo. this serves to give this ultra-short design as much straight rail line as possible. Along with the wide nose and tail.Perhaps that is why so many young hotties scrounge garage sales and used board racks to find a vintage Fish that will give them a taste of blinding horizontal speed that the modern shortboard lacks. Dimensions: (in decimal inches) Length: 5'6" Nose: 16. On a bigger board they bring an unwieldy stiffness. The thickness peaks up forward in conjunction with the widepoint and rocker apex -. Thickness: Nose: 2.75 inches Tail: 1. Widepoint is 4 inches up from center. The straight rails and this rocker are the energizers of this design. .4 inches Tail: 1. Rocker: Nose: 3. which equals more speed down the line and the authority of a much longer board.

They were known as "split tails. and with the straight outline and wide tail.but not easily cranked into tight arcs. fast down the line -.75-inch bases and 5-inch depths and low rake.8 inches off the rail. the Fish had a tendency to track if there wasn't a little vee to help the board feed over from rail to rail. The fins were pointed pretty much straight ahead with almost no cant. as this board is effectively a deep-biting pintail when put on a rail while providing the planing speed of a wider squaretail when driving horizontally." "twin pins" and.125-inch redwood Glass specs: 2x6-ounce deck. 1x6-ounce bottom. Performance envelope: 1 to 4 feet Optimum generic example: Steve Lis. after the establishment of this design.Bottom shape: The Fish has far less "wetted surface" than a conventional board. Bottom edge is firm from fins to nose and tucked under with a nickel-size radius. Stringer: . polished gloss Fin setup: Keel-shape twin fins. well before there was such a name. Rails: Fuller rails and a fairly flat deck conserve every bit of volume and give this sawed-off board more drive than would a rolled. with 6. 1." "Twin pins" is an apt name. so drag is reduced considerably (as we see with today's tow-in boards). double-side foils. Skip Frye or other comparable period Fish shape BOARD TWELVE Kingdom: surfboard Phylum: contemporary shortboard . Set 8 inches up from the tail. There's a dead-flat bottom with medium vee panels extending off each swallow. convex deck and low rails. Tail shape: A deep swallow. lined up straight ahead with no outward cant (tilt). "Fish tails.

the side fins create enormous rail-to-rail leverage that is stabilized and given farther forward direction by the rear fin. edge-free soft rails and ultra-thin volumes. even in the pocket. This board will only perform to the level of the surfer using it.25 inches. what really makes it work is the rider. imagine trying to push this basically sluggish hull across a wave face with only a single fin on it. How volatile is this fin setup? Well. making it easy to turn on a dime.5 inches behind center. This curvy template is accentuated further by moving the widepoint back.it only feels as if we are.a strength or pitfall of this board -. Only when aggressively pumped do these surfboards come alive -. Only the very best surfers are really ripping on them.Class: tri-fin Description: Most surfboard design is based on compromise -. Dimensions: (in decimal inches) Length: 6'2" Nose: 10. . This design must be pumped to obtain speed. For the rest of us -. The contemporary tri-fin shortboard is not a design "compromise" but a wholesale surrender. When properly set. This creates a pronounced hip that lies between the surfer's stance.balancing components that create speed (but are stiff) with those that promote maneuverability (but are slow). While the tri-fin is the power plant for this surfboard design. bounce and control you have. This board has the most outline curve of all the surfboard families.8 inches (at 12 inches down) Widepoint: 18. This is a fickle and sensitive board design. The greatest trim master in the world would be bogging no matter how high and tight he may set up one of Kelly Slater's boards. Virtually all of the components of this board instill a "neutral" feeling: the curvy outline. The forward gears of this board lie in the tri-fin array itself. full rocker. The planing speed is not built-in: watch beginners struggling to keep simple trim on the same board that a pro would be fluttering around on like a hummingbird.like a well-dribbled basketball: the harder and snappier it is pushed. Widepoint is 2. the more spring.

these rails are so soft and forgiving (they also abandon the tucked .if anyone wanted such a rail anymore." which is an exaggerated way to describe a bottom that is fairly flat through the midsection of the bottom and accelerates in the last 14 inches of both the nose and tail. but still have .5 inches over that of the more efficient bottom curves we're seeing in the newer postmodern Fish models. This works in synergy with a foil that complements this rocker and gives back some of the drive lost with the curvy outline and thin. closetolerance plugs -.55 inches (at 12 inches up) Foil: Every shaper uses pretty much the same couple of blanks for this design -. In order to allow quick pivot turns and a breezy neutrality.all thin.2 inches Tail: 1. The rocker profile is referred to as a "three-stage rocker.5-inch drop in nose and tail kick from the banana rockers of the past decade. Bottom shape: A completely flat bottom (from rail to rail) maximizes the planing area.2 inches thick (and that rolled into the deck) there isn't much foam left out on the rail for a classic 70/30 down rail -. and the bulk of what passes for volume is pooled in the center of the deck between the front and back foot. Rocker: Nose: 5. as is the last foot of the tail.375 inches These dimensions reflect a . A slight vee with the panels dished out to just this side of concave helps give a bit more back foot projection and also enables the lightning-fast rail-to-rail changes that this board is known for.25 inches (at 12 inches down) Thickest point: 2. Rails: At 2. The noses are super thin.Thickness: Nose: 1.25 inches Tail: 2.so there is not much room for variation in thickness distribution. soft rails. Why? The lack of volume in this design makes for a passive surfboard -.it doesn't push back.

a sweet spot. where the wings or bumps used to be). fin setting and taper to create an efficient turning axis and. Set at 10.125-inch basswood Glass Specs: 2x4-ounce deck. Stringer: .under edge) that they almost resemble the old round 50/50 rails on the '60s longboards. 1x-4-ounce bottom. flat and short kneeboard/stand-up hybrid with a deep swallowtail and two keelshaped side fins. or much release. .2 inches. Tail shape: Rounded squashtail. but user-friendly. The hip is placed there to complement the tail rocker. coming off a pronounced hip-curve at the 18-inch mark (just in front of the forward fins.that it is difficult to quantify this emerging class of surfboard. Only one thing is certain: these aren't really Fish boards. hopefully.5 inches with medium rake. bases 4.175. toe-in and 4 degrees of cant. Optimum generic example: Merrick Slater/Machado models. dimensions and fin arrays -. depths 4. Not a lot of stored energy in and out of turns. Side fins set at 1 inch off rail. or Rusty pro boards BOARD THIRTEEN Kingdom: surfboard Phylum: contemporary shortboard Class: postmodern Fish Description: What is a postmodern Fish? There are so many of these designs cropping up lately -each with its own model name. A true Fish is extremely wide. sanded hot coat Fin setup: Removable fins are standard.85 inches by 3. with .35 inches.

rockered-out designs of the past decade and. buzzwords or wacky paint jobs to appeal to a certain market. This design is really a splinter off of the funboard branch. more balanced outlines and flatter rockers offer so much more speed and easy lift in junk surf that many of the Hot Young Breed sniff at serious day-to-day use of these boards.3 inches (at 12 inches down) Thickest point: 2. The fuller. claiming that it is cheating. To the rest of us. or that they are too easy to ride. it's a rebound from the super-narrow. must be camouflaged with gimmickry.Today's postmodern Fish boards are just slightly wider shortboards with swallowtails -. ultra-short lengths and often garish or prurient airbrushes reassure the younger set that these boards are kitschy. and any board over 19 inches would be the equivalent of the '70s or early '80s surfer riding a 21-inch wide board. Dimensions: (in decimal inches) Length: 6'0" Nose: 12 inches (at 12 inches down) Widepoint: 19.and not just a slightly hipper version of a funboard.5 inches to 18.25 inches . but the swallowtails. The typical postmodern Fish borrows more from the mid-'80s tri-fin than it does from the more extreme Lis Fish.just add a swallowtail and call it a "Fish.the younger generation of surfers using them have been riding 17. like any truly sensible or functional trend in surfboard design. they're just a thinner notch-tailed version of what we were riding in 1984." Tail: 15 inches (at 12 inches up) Thickness: Nose: 1. The template uses curves and dimensions not unlike the typical mid-'80s shortboard -. exotic fin combos. Widepoint at center. fool-around.5 inches wide Pixie Sticks all through the '90s. The postmodern Fish design is where hotdog surfboard design is going.75 inches. small-wave dragsters -.

Not the fastest rail application. It's less foiled out at the nose and tail extremities (about . Along with the wider tail and flatter rocker. the rocker is typical mid-'80s issue. but a forgiving.but they can't really be called concaves.5-inch rocker profile. . on-edge turns. Though not a true Fish tail swallow. Bottom edge is nonexistent. catch waves easier and allows far greater projection out of turns than a comparably sized board with the standard 5. designed by Rusty Preisendorfer and Rick Hamon. Getting away from the banana rocker of the modern shortboard lets this model paddle better. while keeping a maximum tail area for horizontal driving. Tail shape: Is basically a hard squaretail with a notch in the center.5-inch wide 6'1". This creates greater stored energy when the board is compressed and then released into a speed-gathering turn and ameliorates that mushy or drive-less feeling of a typical 18. this design gives the wider tail a slightly shortened turning radius and more bite in hard.25 inches thicker).25inch by 2. It has a lot of the same characteristics of a typical mid-'80s Rusty board such as the thickness distribution on this postmodern Fish. this bottom serves to deliver a high-performance surfboard that gets up and planing with little effort from either the surfer or the wave. This places a few oblong flat areas through the curve of the tail rocker area that can act as an accelerator pedal under the back foot.2 inches Tail: 2 inches As with the other features of this design. Rails: Low.Tail: 1.5 inches (at 12 inches up) Foil: This board has become popular enough to have its own blank. giving the board more resistance when pushed against. neutral rail borrowed from the modern shortboard blueprint. Bottom shape: Flat bottom with mild vee panels that are slightly dished out -. although the overall thinness compensates for the added stiffness that such a flat rocker brings. soft rails tapered into the deck. Rocker: Nose: 4.

with . Interchangeable fin system gives this board tremendous versatility. twin-fin or twin with a small trailer -. 4. Tri fins with 4.5-inch depth. Can be a tri-fin.175-inch toe-in and 4 degrees of cant.it's up to your imagination.125-inch basswood stringer Glass Specs: 2x4 ounce deck.125 inches off rail. medium rake. bottom.35-inch base. 1x4 oz. sanded hot coat Fin setup: Removable fins are standard. Side fins set 1.Stringer: . Performance envelope: 1 to 5 feet Optimum generic example: Lost or Rusty < BACK TO ABSTRACT .

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