Know your weapon
Rocker is the amount of curve from the nose to the tail
that determines the turning characteristics of your surfboard. The more
board has the easier it will turn, but it will also mean you have less drive.
A thicker surfboard will be very buoyant and easy to paddle, but will be sluggish and hard to manoeuvre for someone who is small and light. Know your weight and conditions.
CONCAVE: Feeds water under your board and out through the tail, giving it more speed and acceleration. Varieties include single concave, double concave and single to double concave (single under the front root feeding into a double under the back foot).
CHANNELS: Designed primarily for clean surf, channels will give your board Road Runner-like speed and are great for power carves. The negative is they can tend to 'track' on the wave face if too deep.
VEE: Designed to guide the board from
rail to rail quickly, the Vee design’s increased movement compensates
its lack in speed.
ROUNDED SQUARE TAIL: The most popular design for performance shortboards. The rounded square is smooth and forgiving in all conditions.
SQUARE TAIL: Not a really common tail shape, the square is primarily for small waves but the sharp, square corners aren't as forgiving as the rounded square.
SWALLOW TAIL: Allows for good drive and leverage with the extra rail length but with a nice squirt of looseness with the reduced tail area. Great tail for a fish.
ROUND TAIL: Good on the rail, the round tail promotes smoother turns. Suits a surfer who tends to be more front-footed.
PIN TAIL: Traditionally a bigger wave tail. Holds in well and rides smooth, great for holding a line in a sick pit.
LOW RAILS: Very sensitive and tend to bite into the wave face. Good for bigger or hollow waves and longer, smoother turns.
BASE LENGTH: Base length affects the amount of drive and speed the board has. The greater the base length, the greater the drive.
RAKE: The rake is the angle that the fin top's trailing edge sweeps back beyond the fin's rear point. Fins with plenty of rake cut through the water well and are good for big turns. Less rake means tighter turning arcs.
FLEX: Stiff fins with a small amount of flex have more speed and feel. Heavy flex fins are more forgiving and are better for novice surfers.
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