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Seven Basic Surfboard Tail Shapes

surfboard tail

The pin tail shape is designed for hold and down the line speed on very big waves.

There are seven basic surfboard tail shapes, all with a specific propose in mind.

The shape of the tail on a surfboard effects how the surfboard will move and react to a surfers motions. This is how each surfboard tail shape effects how a surfboard performs and responds.   

Pin Tails

Pin tails are usually used on surfboard designed to ride big waves. The pin tail creates more hold and speed while riding down the face of the wave and reduces the chance of the surfboard sliding out from the tail. Pin tails usually do not allow for smooth turns and transitions. Most big wave guns use a pin tail shape.

 Rounded Pin Tails

surfboard tail

The round tail shape combines the hold and speed of the pin tail with the manuverability of the square tail.

The Rounded in has a looser feel than a pin tail which allows the surfboard to do smooth turns while keeping the speed of the pin tail for bigger waves. This also makes the board quite stable.

 Round Tails

The Round Tail is considered to be an ‘all round’ performance shape and works will in most surf conditions. This tail design allows you to do very sharp and smooth turns while maintaining speed.

 Square Tails or Squash Tails

surfboard tail

The squash tail or square tail is the most common shape for small to medium waves.

The Square Tail is what you will find on most surfboards as it is the most common modern surfboard tail. This tail shape is extremely responsive in turning and maintains speed through slower or fatter sections of a wave.

 Rounded Square Tails

A Rounded Square tail combines the performance of a round tail and a square tail, great all round performance for most types of waves.

 Swallow Tails

surfboard tail

Fish Tail Surfboards work well in very small surf

Swallow tails are excellent for controlling sharp turning arcs because of the wider tail area and larger planning surface.

 Fish Tails

Designed with the small wave in mind, with the less push in the wave the fish will keep planning longer helping you do turns.


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