6 Fin 7'8" Big Guy Shortboard :-)

As always, clean work!  I too am interested in ‘big guy’ boards but am curious what kind of weight range we’re talking about for this rider.  Also curious about how much tail rocker you’re putting in.  I can estimate the bottom curvature - it looks slightly more ‘old school’ than some of the modern shortboard rockers out there currently.  I suspect that it (and the fins, and the rail foil, and the outline…) provide a good solid bottom turn that covers a lot of distance.

In any case, an inquiring mind would like to know!

Hi greg,

Do you toe-in the fins, or are they parallel?

I guess that you use less toe than a typical thruster?

I hope you don’t mind sharing these details.


Front 2 sets of fins are toed 1/4" in 4 1/2 

Rear fins are toed 1/8" 

I have used less on certin boards .


This is a pic of a 6’5" Modern Fish  , which have the lowest tail rocker I make for a design .

Using a flat bottom contour maximizes the planing and rocker curve of that surface .

All the curve you need for release and changing your angle of attack . Looking at this bar you can see Lift ( entry) , plane and release at where it sits even with this boards very low rocker .

What I’ve found is that the energy you put into a turn with these boards is converted into forward thrust. I like to slightly unweight before pushing down hard when I turn on these boards. The board’s lift and the hold from all those fins allow you to make very powerful and fast turns, yet it also can make wonderfully long cutbacks. It doesn’t bog down halfway throught the cutback, so you have enough energy to come around and back off the top and then you have the full drop down to do it all over again.

It’s not unusual to fall off the back of your board the first time you put all your energy into a turn.

Even in the old days of single fins, I never thought that burying your rails is like putting on the brakes. I think there’s a action/reaction that converts energy you put into the turn and slingshots you out of that turn. I’ve always felt that when I surfed backside and made hard of the bottom turns. If you watch old clips of Tom Carrol or Damien Hardman going backside you’ll see how much speed they get after stomping on a hard backside turn. BK did it on his frontside. The excepttion would be when you shove the whole edge of you board into a cutback like Occy some others. I always enjoyed that feeling but I don’t surf like that much these days. Back when I did I destroyed a few boards very quickly.

Maybe a better term would be you are driving the board off the rail. Burying the rail seems to indicate a stalling turn.   One of things I notice  is that a great many of us average surfers surf off the back foot turning with little in the way of forward drive.  One of the great feelings in surfing is putting the board on rail in a really tight hard bottom turn The feeling of the resistance building and releasing driving the board forward.  Terry Fitzgerald 
was another master of the driving rail turn.

This is myself in late 1968.

I just came off the top and now projecting forward off the bottom to go there again .

You can see the spray where I came from at the top of the wave above and behind me .

At no time am I “sinking” the rail , I am planing with speed thru all this .

Not a new concept  ;-)

For those just tuning in, gotta remember that Greg’s boards have a distinctive hard tuck rail adding to the grip. 


With respect Greg Tate, I believe the tucked edge is to release the water.


Great visual, and your explanation really hit home with me.