To all the guys who know a thing or two about shaping or just boards in general:
im looking to replace my CI dumpster diver in the next few months or so and want to get some feedback on round tails (thumb or something similar) for my small to medium wave board. I ride my DD probably 75% of the time that i surf here in jersey, from thigh high up to chest/shoulder high. im looking to stay with a similar kind of shape and will probably end up ordering something custom from a local guy but was thinking about switching it up from a squash to a round tail. Why? i have a couple of other boards (shortboards) that have a round tail and im a big fan. anyway, im just trying to get a little feedback as to how a round tail would affect a board like this.
A round tail won't plane as high, so it' won't be as fast across flat sections. But you could help compensate for that by going a little wider in the tail (a foot up). I'm a big fan of round tails, too, and think that if you to go with a round tail in small waves, you might bump out your tail width, like, 3/8 to a half inch, maybe go a little more parallel in the outline, and lower your tail rocker a touch.
This is good stuff. So on a board that has a winged approach to the tail, would you get the best of all worlds with a winged swallow tail?
no, the wing acts to create a "break point" for the rail, providing both a pivot point & a way to abruptly narrow the tail of the board, which will increase hold & add responsiveness to an otherwise wide board.
Agree NJsurfer his statement is odd. Drive never equals loose. Plus I would not describe a round pin like a skateboard with loose trucks. If anything that longer rail will give a more drawn out locked in turn. I have a wide fish tail on my fish (imagine that a fish tail on a fish!) and a 6 footer with a diamond tail with 5 fins boxes that is fun as hell.
My preference with round tails is to go with a smooth, elliptical rail line. This maximizes the effect of the round tail and accentuates the smoothness flow when going rail to rail or pulling through turns. Hips, bumps, wings... all bump down the tail width and create varying degrees of "pivot," which has the opposite effect of a smooth rail line... it creates a sharper transition from rail to rail, and helps put a sort of "corner" on your turns. To understand how these "pivot points" are created by breaks in the rail line, understand that they are really "release points"... places where water that's flowing along the bottom and along the rail, providing lift and hold, suddenly are released by the form of the board... kinda like knocking a chair leg out from under you... you want to fall to that side. Except because you're moving, that "release" of force is perpetually there, and you can play with it. It becomes a point of released pressure around which you can integrate other elements of design... like fin placement.
So... elliptical outlines and round tails complement each other, just like wings, etc., and tails with corners, IMHO. This includes swallows, bat tails, and other "cut-out" tail shapes, as well as squares and squashes. Everything else is a hybrid or just a fashion statement... like those round tails or diamond tails with low wings that Biolos seems to do a lot of. But there's nothing wrong with that, either!