Building a mid-1960s type noserider and fin. Seeking input.

I’m not a longboard guy so I’m not that savvy about the finer points of noserider design or which fin design to use.  I think I might build the fin first and I’m interested in doing one with a fat base, like maybe 1".   Aside from that I’n not sure about what kind of template I should be looking for.  I was thinking of a hatchet type but I’m open to input.  . 


The surfer is large in stature, but he has always surfed traditional style longboards - strictly singlefin.  Any suggestions?      

I’m not really a longboard guy either, but I have ridden a few, and made a few.  I’m a fan of the pivot fin on a traditional longboard shape.  The 60s longboards I’ve seen had belly throughout, neutral rails, very flat rocker, and were heavy and difficult to ride.  Seems like modern noserider longboards are lighter, have more rocker, especially in the tail, tend more toward a flat bottom, 60/40 rails, concave in the nose for a noserider, and V in the tail, with a soft 50/50 rail in back, if its a noserider. 

Just a little input as requested, maybe tenover or some of the longboard guys will chime in with more useful information.

…hello; aside the design, I want to add a significant point if you build an old style longboard in these times: materials.

Go for heavier density foam and this is a must. Heavier cloth and more layers.

If not, is not the same feeling.

All mid 60s noseriders had one thing in common and that was nose width. The Con Ugly took it to an extreme with a 20" nose. Most were around 18" on boards in the 9’6" to 10’ range.

Another common element was some generous kick in the tail. This was found on shapes like the Bing Nuuhiwa Noserider. Of course, a noserider has some focus on how the nose is done. Two major schools in that area were the downrail style, or concave. Many went with a concave under the nose. Some were teardrop style, like the Bing, others were more elongated and faded into the mid section of the board, such as the Hobie version. Moery Pope and Con were in the other camp. Totally flat bottom with a “wing” or toilet seat rail nose.

I have an 8’ noserider with the latter style. It works very well. Some claim that a concave slows a board down. The wingtip style does not suffer from that at all.

As far as weight goes, don’t get carried away. The average board in 1962 weighed under 30 lbs. A standard density longboard blank with a double 8 glass job and full wrap rails should get you a board with some heft without being ridiculous.


Don’t build your board around a fin.  Kick the tail and don’t sacrifice the ability to turn or cutback the board for noseriding.  If you Surf a lined up point break, turning isn’t as necessary, but the ability to turn or cutback gets you into position and sections that can be ridden on the nose.  There’s plenty of discussion in the Archives on what makes a good Noserider…

A friend sent me this clip the other day (Instagram), and it greatly opened my eyes & will affect my next attempt at a board specifically aimed at noseriding:

Thanks for all the input so far.  

I was already planning on signficant tail kick, heavy construction to get the glide and other design elements from the boards from that era.   Wide point a bit forward instead of back, someting similar to a 19" nose and 23" width, a little belly to smooth the ride out, wide tail block with 50/50 rails to get the hold, and so on.   I’m just not sure of the numbers for the nose and tail rocker;  or like I said, about which fin template to use with this design.  

I’m making the fin, not buying it; so I can do anything I want with it.  

My surfer is 240#+, has longboarded a lot over the last 20 years, and is looking for the one-trick-pony for use in waist-high and under; not a versatile daily driver.   He wants a super flat nose rocker.  I want the tail to hold for him when he’s up in front.   I’m not worried about turning because he has all the leverage and technique he needs for that.   But by the same token I also don’t think a D-fin goes with this kind of design.   




So… was there a question in there? Haha.

Hope you post up some pics!

As a side note, from a google search I see a lot of what I would call a “pivot fin” listed as a hatchet fin, but then some of those tomahawk type hatchet fins also.  When you google “noserider fin” you get a pretty interesting selection, a lot would depend on your client’s favorite noserider fin.  Seems like he has a pretty clear idea of what works for him.

I was just asking here because I know there are some regulars who are experts on the design - which I am not.  

I think I would reconsider on the “wide point forward”. This is not a feature of older nose-riders which usually had some hip in the tail. Wide point behind center works better.

if you search the archives for “reverse rocker” you can find some good info on tail rocker for a noserider

Nope, incorrect. Most noserider shapes had fairly parallel rails but they sure as hell had the wide point forward. As I already mentioned, the one distinct thing they had in common was a wide nose. That necessitates having the wide point forward. You can easily have generous hips in the tail with the wide point well ahead of center. You just tighten the arc in the last two feet of the outline.

Just one example of a board that was essentially a noserider in 1967 was the Hobie Propper model.

Where is the wide point?

Rick noserider model, 1966.

Wide point forward

The Hobie I used to own, wide point was ahead of center

A Gordie Noserider. Again, wide point forward

I was hoping you’d comment

Another pic of the Propper model that shows the outline a bit better.

Standard Specs:   18–181/2” Nose @ 1’ from the tip.    23–231/2” @ center.    15–15 1/2 —-16” a 1’ from tailblock.   Connect the dots between and at each end any way you want.   Hap Jacob’s 422 is a good example of “ less aft, more forward”.    Most of the Morey/Pope models fron 65–68 were pretty damned Paralell outlines.  Some had huge noses and hips at the tail, but wide tailblocks.   The early noseriders(pre 64-65) had kicked tails at the last foot.  Concave in the nose was not subtle.   It was usually carved out and ran back up to two foot.  Most of those early boards were nothing more than a stock board with a concave nose and a kicked tail.  The rocker wasn’t some reverse rockered blank that could be ordered from US Blank.  The flip in the tail was carved in with a Skil.  Most long boards in those days were 22 1/2” at wide point maximum.  By 1965 Noseriders had came into their own.  They had their own characteristics depending on who made them.   23—23 1/2” is a width that was popularized years later.   As much as I like the 23” width;  It is primarily an aesthetic.

Interesting. I wouldn’t have pegged this as wide point forward if you hadn’t told me.

Love the look of that pintail version.

Yeah I’ve seen that Propper model in real life.  Wouldn’t be first board I would think of as an example of wide point forward…