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Thread: Tail Shapes

  1. #1
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    Tail Shapes

    Fashion or Function?

    I've heard all kinds of theories. Everything from... "There are only two kinds of tails, pin tails and square tails... everything else is cosmetic," to... "Everything matters."

    I have a theory of my own, but I'd like to know what everybody here thinks.

    Can you feel the subtle difference between a thumb and a rounded pin? A square and a squash? A swallow and a round tail? I'd like to know what you can FEEL... not what you've heard.

    Weigh in...

  2. #2
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    i can feel a difference between square, thumb, pin, swallow and squash, but truthfully the thing that matter more is the fins in my opinion, i can make my swallow perform like my square tail with the right fins. to much about surfing is just theory, and we will never really know the answer.

  3. #3
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    Definately feel the difference between a standard squash tail and swallow tail.

    The drag of the twin pins of a swallow tail, mainly one or the other buried a bit during a turn, feel like they stabilize the board during a turn and provide control during a steep angled drop, and seem to lend themselves to larger smoother turning radii.

    squashes seem happy to turn sharply, quickly, and with far less pressure needed. You can whip the board around more easily than the same board with swallow tails, and break it out of a line easier.
    Last edited by mitchell; Nov 7, 2011 at 02:09 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchell View Post
    Definately feel the difference between a standard squash tail and swallow tail.

    The drag of the twin pins of a swallow tail, mainly one or the other buried a bit during a turn, feel like they stabilize the board during a turn and provide control during a steep angled drop, and seem to lend themselves to larger smoother turning radii.

    squashes seem happy to turn sharply, quickly, and with far less pressure needed. You can whip the board around more easily than the same board with swallow tails, and break it out of a line easier.
    I have to agree here. I get more dig with a squash, more slide with a pin and the swallow tail works somewhere in the middle. Although I do have a wide fish with a sharply decreased swallow tail that will turn on a dime but I personally think its the drastic cut down and not the swallow tail that has the most influence on this board.
    Last edited by wave1rider65; Nov 29, 2011 at 01:55 PM.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by a2tall View Post
    i can feel a difference between square, thumb, pin, swallow and squash, but truthfully the thing that matter more is the fins in my opinion, i can make my swallow perform like my square tail with the right fins. to much about surfing is just theory, and we will never really know the answer.
    Are you referring to a quad or twin fin? I have been riding a swallow with a quad fin set up for the last few months with slightly larger fins in the front than in the rear. The fins are set up pretty close to the rails, like a twin fin, if you know what I mean. What sort of fins do you use to make the board feel more like a squash? Are you referring to a quad or twin fin? sorry so many questions but your comment intrigued me. Thanks!

  6. #6
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    The long-held belief on tail shapes, generally speaking, has been, "square tail, square turns... round tail, round turns." And I get that.

    But that's only half of the equation. That hard, square turn scrubs off a lot of speed, whereas a round tail carries more speed through the turn, even though it's not as tight a turn.

    In terms of rail-to-rail sensitivity, the tail with a corner - a square, rounded square or squash - will be more sensitive and responsive, while a tail without corners - round or rounded pin - will be smoother and more controlled.

  7. #7

    correct

    Quote Originally Posted by LBCrew View Post
    Fashion or Function?

    I've heard all kinds of theories. Everything from... "There are only two kinds of tails, pin tails and square tails... everything else is cosmetic," to... "Everything matters."

    I have a theory of my own, but I'd like to know what everybody here thinks.

    Can you feel the subtle difference between a thumb and a rounded pin? A square and a squash? A swallow and a round tail? I'd like to know what you can FEEL... not what you've heard.

    Weigh in...
    *Coming from the top shapers on this planet, there are 2 types of tails; Rounded pin and everything else. As soon as you interrupt the flow of a clean line, the tail becomes cosmetic. Anything besides a rounded pin is a sales pitch! Now, hear me outů

    ***This theory excludes the width of a tail and the rocker in the tail. That is a completely different element of its own!

  8. #8
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    OBlove... exactly what I didn't want to hear - what all the "top shapers on the planet" have said. Baaaaahhhhh.....

    I'm more interested in what YOU feel... you're opinion matters more to me than theirs right now.
    Last edited by LBCrew; Nov 7, 2011 at 11:26 PM.

  9. #9
    I have a longboard with a double bump swallow tail, at first I was skeptical. It was shaped for Puerto Escondido. Really fun to surf in all size waves. When your feet are back it will do anything, run to the front and your longboarding again. Until this board i never really felt a huge difference in what tail I ride.

  10. #10
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    Great thread. Let's hope we don't get too many people regurgitating something they've read or heard.

    In my experience I feel like I can turn a round tail quicker than a squash and I can turn a squash quicker than swallow/square. It seems to be more about the rail line than the tail shape. The straighter the rail line the more drawn out my turns feel. So I guess I agree with Mitchell. I also feel that I loose some drive with more curve in the rail so there is a trade off.