lets talk balance point

I have a 6’8" thruster that I really like to use on days here in florida that are over 3’. The balance point is up around the middle of the board which means in order to do quick turns, cutbacks and off the lips I have to shuffle back on the board in order to get my back foot over the fins and then do the turn.

If i take a template form this board and build another to match it, only the new board will have either more volume in the tail or more width in the tail, can you reliably predict where the new balance point will be and do those changes have a major affect on board performance, how it paddles and catches waves?

Some background. The board in question is a big boy thruster 6’8" 21"x 12"N x 14"T x 3" thick. the rails are tucked under and then turn pretty hard towards the tail in the last 18". the board has a squash tail.

What I would like to be able to do is surf the board from the back and not have to carry so much weight on my front foot. I have a pretty narrow stance and this may have something to do with it.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. I am not tied down to any of the dimentions of this board, so totally new ideas are very welcome. I was thinking just shaping something like a speed egg would be good if I could maintain some manuverability.


I don’t pretend to have your answer, but have you read Greg Loehr’s theory of pitch? It is in the resources section and quite interesting if you have not read it already. I would think it would be more volume in the tail rather than more width that would help,people with more experience will answer I am sure. Good luck…peace and waves…

I think area in the tail definitly helps. I have similar problems when surfing and a retro fish(16.5" tail) feels much more natural to me with my stance with a more equal weight on both feet.



Main problem with wider tail, more volume in tail, or WP back farther is that you have more nose dangling in front of you, so the board can pearl, catch rails, or get blown around easier. You might have to drop length, then go with wider, more voluminous tail (hehe).

Adding volume or surface area in the back end helps tip the board down the wave, and catching waves is easier, so giving up about 3" won’t hurt. Plus, it paddles better.

But if you have removable fins, try moving them forwards, or go smaller on the tail fin.

I was thinking of adding a smaller back fin after reading Mr. Loehr’s article. I am going to shape a blank with the design ideas discussed in this post reguardless. So if you got ideas lets hear them. Thanks for the help so far.


Please check your current board for:

[]wide point position relative to mid point. []thickest point relative to mid point. []fattest part of rail relative to mid point. []tail width

If you like the board overall, it might just take some subtle modifications in the above areas to get what you’re after.

Generally speaking, moving the wide/thick points and rail bulk back while increasing tail width should allow a more aft center of balance. Precisely where the center of balance point will be is hard to say as your rocker, stance and style (i.e. surfing off forward foot or back foot) will play a part.

A wide tail speed egg with a 2+1 fin set up for fine tuning can be fast and maneuverable.


14T" sounds very narrow for a board that long and wide.

Who shaped it? With those dimensions, a 15" tail would seem more proportional for average FL surf (I live in SE FL).

I’ve been riding (and shaping) bigboy thrusters for about 10 years now and know exactly what youre talking about not having your feet set right…so I went from 6’10s to 6’4 - 6’6s. Makes a big difference. I set my stance a little wider, drive the board with about a 50/50 weight distribution and turn off my back foot which is usually set right over or just behind the rail fins. I weigh 175 and Im 40 y/o.

To get an idea of a good board for your needs, go the the Channel Islands web site and look at the Flyer…excellent board for bigger dudes. Pay close attention to the template curve. The board has a very deep concave so the rocker you see online is rail rocker not stringer rocker. If you can look at one at a shop even better.