Surfboard Tails: What’s the difference?

Today’s post will define the different variations of surfboard tails and explain how this may affect the way your surfboard rides.

There are really only two types of surfboard tails: Square Tails and Pin Tails. All the other types like Squash Tails, Rounded Tails, Swallow Tails, Diamond Tails and everything else are basically variations of these two.
Example of different types of surfboard tails

The major difference is the width or volume. Wider tails catch waves easier because the extra surface area helps the surfboard plane across the wave’s surface and gain speed quicker. This is helpful in smaller mushier waves. Narrower tails hold control better in bigger steeper waves but can drag and be harder to turn in weaker surf.

Pintails are pointed and most commonly used on long and narrow ‘gun’ type surfboards but can also be seen on Longboards. Really pointed Pintails are designed for very steep or hollow waves, while variations such as the rounded pin or diamond tail can be more versatile in medium to smaller sized waves. Personally, my favorite is the Round Tail, as I feel it provides nice smooth turns and cutbacks, and can be used as a great step-up surfboard when the waves get a bit bigger.

Square Tails are designed so that the widest part of a surfboard is towards the tail. Most modern short-board designs utilize a variation of the Square tail such as Rounded Squash or Swallow Tails to maximize speed and maneuverability in smaller waves. The extra width towards makes it easier to ‘flick’ the tail, but by contrast can get squirrelly on steeper waves.

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