What tail to choose on your surfboard?

The surface of the board in contact with the water is key to understanding and picking the ideal tail shape for what you are willing to achieve in the water. 

A wide tail will provide stability, the ability to float, speed and a bigger feeling of losing the grip while a narrow tail will help you to hold the line. 

More angular tails will result in looser, sharper, more pivotal, and more aggressive turns while a curved shaped tail will hold the water flow and give you smoother, and rounder turns. 

Surfboards are shaped in many different tails to offer you the best hook you are looking for while surfing. Depending on the kind of waves.

The tail is where your back foot usually is ( at least on a shortboard ). They are part of the outline of a board and are composed of rails, bottom contours and fins to perform is a given way. 

Whether you buy from a shop or get your board shaped by a local shaper, it is very important to understand what you are willing to buy and the different options you have. 

Below, we will go through the most popular surfboard tails and explain what they are made for. 


 The square tail:

The Square Tail

The square tail is the first inspiration to all other designs. It has quiet a lot of volumes to keep the speed across the water and offer good stability as well. 

Nowadays, we rarely see them.

  • Waves: Mushy, Slow, less powerful waves. 
  • Attribute: react fast in tight turns, floats a lot

    The Squash Tail

    The Squash Tail





    Also know as the round-square tail, it is the most common tail in the world.
    Winning the benefits of a round and a square tail, it will provide a good mix between stability and manoeuvrability.

    • Waves: every kind of waves
    • Attribute: hold well, react fast, very stable, provide good control.

    The Pin Tail

    The Pin Tail

    The pin tails are the shapes for the ones that want to go deep in the barrels and draw a straight line in the wave. This design will hold your board when going fast and minimize the lifts. They are the narrowest tails. 

    They are not ideal for radical turns and aggressive manoeuvres. 

    • Waves: Fast, hollow, barrels, big wave riding.
    • Attribute: holds good, important water flow, 

      The Round Tail

      The Round Tail

      A round tail will provide less manoeuvrability and won't hold as good as a squash tail but will hold good in steeper waves. It is more versatile than the pin tail, and the extra surface area will deliver more speed in slow sections of the wave.

      • Waves: fast, hollow, barrels.
      • Attribute: holds good, generate more speed than a pin tail.

        The Swallow Tail

        The Swallow Tail

        A swallow tail are a good combination for punchy and smaller waves.

        • Waves: Mushy, Slow, less powerful, fast, hollow waves.  
        • Attribute: good stability, holds good, very versatile. 


        The Fish Tail

        The Fish Tail

        The fish tail is a wider version of the swallow tail that will excel in small wave conditions. It was a popular tail for the twin-fins.

        • Waves: Mushy, Slow, less powerful, fast, hollow waves.  
        • Attribute: good stability, holds good, very versatile. 



        Of course, these are the main tails but there is a lot of combination of these tails in the shaping industry. You can find mixed between them all that would work better in certain waves. The experience will help you understand what you are exactly looking for. 

        We hope this article is helping you in buying your next surfboards. 

        Have a look at our surfboards selection right here


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