Mccoy boards

Hi to all Mccoy devotees, I'm new to the site and have read previous Mccoy posts with interest. Geoff's boards seem to galvanise opinions. I am an absolute fan, having started on a Surftech 8'2" a couple of years ago. I now have an Astron Zot (7'1") and a more refined 8'2" poly, my favourite board. I am 50 years old, been surfing since 16, and kneeboarded exclusively from late 90s until getting back on my feet 2 years ago (fins are killers on feet..) I didn't want to go back to longboards, as they were unappealing after the drive and turning ability of the kneeboards, so gave the Nugget a go. I was amazed at how well it turned (from the tail) and became hooked even though they are not the ideal board for our fat, slopy waves (Goolwa- Middleton South Australia). Hence purchase of two more (genuine) Mccoys. As an aging and larger (6'1" 85kg) surfer with shoulders that don't work as well as they used to (surgeries to both late last year) I find Geoff's boards to be just what I need. They paddle/catch waves incredibly well- even the 7'1"- the big wide tail means you paddle horizontally like a longboard, the tail also lifts as the swell picks you up and makes early drop ins easy. They are stable on pop up, and surf easily- rolling from rail to rail on the loaded dome. It is possible to build amazing speed by pumping the thrusters, but the single zot needs a gentler, more flowing approach. It is a bar of soap when the wave power increases. Mccoy boards let you surf at a higher level if you are an older, larger, less supple surfer. Having said that I have seen younger, smaller surfers cover amazing ground on tiny Nuggets (5-6" boards). The (genuine poly) boards are beautifully made, durable and quite heavy, but I find the weight translates to momentum once on the wave. Geoof has always answered my emails. I am in no way financially connected with him, just a super stoked enthusiast for his boards and philosophies. Hoping to reignite the Mccoy threads without politics/sledging/insults. Particularly like to hear about others' experiences with the longer Nuggets, as I believe they offer a genuine alternative to longboards in smaller waves.

yes dave i admire mccoy for his designs and spent a fair bit time on a 6’6 nugget surfing decent point waves & it didn’t work for me, but on returning home i sought out a mate and gave it too him as i thought it suited him down the ground - he loved it and a decade on is still riding mccoys…thanks me to this day for opening his eyes too the design.  

They are not for everyone…but for some…they will surf no better, and its great see a design made that suits a niche rather than the one board suits all design approach

Hiya Davo,

Always glad to see a McCoy thread start up. I agree with all that you say about nuggets.

However, I think the design may cause some problems in more critical waves.

In more critical waves I have a feeling that the wide buoyant tail is not penetrating the wave lip just as you are catching the wave. What happens then is the tail of the board is suddenly flipped forward just as I am about to get to my feet, this sudden flipping motion combined with a now more vertical orientation screws up my balance and I end up blowing takeoffs.

In contrast to the above a narrow, thinner tail penetrates into the wave face and acts like a shock absorber as opposed to the McCoy tail which does the opposite.

There are two other factors as well. The narrow tail penetrates the wave to harness the waves power, whereas the McCoy does not allowing the wave to pass you by. Also, as the narrow tail is deeper in the wave you are partially supported by the water so its easier to get to your feet, on the McCoy you have to clamber up onto the board.

Also, perhaps I’m just a crap paddler, a bit more strength would see an earlier and easier take-off.

Does this make sense to anyone? I know I have not been completely accurate in my description, but I think something like I describe is happening.

I’ve bought a couple of more conventional boards to try out my theory, as I’ve surfed nothing but McCoys for the last 7 or 8 years.


Good to hear you got stoked on the McCoy nugget, used to ride alot of them and love the curvey loopy riding they did. I am currently using Lazor Zaps and have a little Astron Zot as well, for small waves, I am not far off your age but I decided I wanted to go as small as I could and try to hotdog as long as I could before age got the better of me. Geoff is a blessing for middle aged surfers, I have been using his boards for 13yrs now and have made a good friendship, and have had many great boards. I went to dinner with him and his wife last week, always has some good stories after being in the game very actively for 50yrs. This is a pic of a semi gun he made for me last year, it loves the juice.

Good feedback all, it still surprises me how one design polarises opinion, but you are right Fonggs, they are a niche board. Great photo Tombstone, Nth NSW or Qld? How long is that board? Still looks quite short! You obviously still surf to an incredible standard.

Surfaddict, your comments resonate, especially about the tail not penetrating the wave on takeoff. I took the Surftech 8'2" out in a small storm wave yesterday (mainly for ease of paddling as am only 6 weeks post shoulder surgery). Found it hard to catch small wind driven waves as corkiness of board actually let the wave pass under the board when paddling in. Should have taken the poly board out (8'2"), as is 1 inch narrower at widepoint and tail, and 1/4 inch thinner (plus not epoxy). The momentum of the genuine board due to weight also would have helped. I find the long nuggets need to be paddled hard prior to the wave arriving (like a longboard) so that speed built up enables easy catching. (Even the Astron Zot which is 7'1"). The surftech Nuggs just don't have the moentum to do this. Also, both my poly Nugget and Zot have tails that are not as rounded as the Surftech tail, which looks like the front of a longboard. Maybe this allows a little more 'sink'? when catching waves? You are right when you sat the tail doesn't harness the wave's power, but I don't think it is meant to- they are designed to sit on top of the water- the skimming stone analogy- hence I believe the importance of a lot of fin (the thruster fins are huge, as is the Gullwing single) and the absolute necessity of planting that rear foot right up the back of the board. Placement of the Gullwing fin I have found is perhaps more critical in Geoff's boards that other singles, I believe (and I stand corrected if wrong) because the boards are so rear foot orriented. Moving the fins up and down the box in my longboards loosens/tightens the turning circle, but longboards can be turned from the tail or further up the board. Geoff's boards turn from the tail, so having the fin further towards the nose forces a more front footed stance, which slows the board down. Move the fin rearward, combined with strong pressure on rear foot, and all of a sudden, the board gels and becomes a lot more controllable. This works for me- interesting to hear others' experiences of the singles- I know Geoff is passionate about them.

Hi Davo

That shot was taken at Uluwatu last year to board is 6’9"x19 1/2"x2 7/8", I am 6’ 2" and could have probably rode a little longer that day, but that is what I had with me and it is a luxurious ride very fast and smooth as silk and hugs the wave giving you plenty of confidence to do your thing.

Even though McCoy is most well known for his nugget design, which is a great all round performer, but not everyones cup of tea as witnessed through numerous posts here. Geoff also shapes many different styles of boards and some of the longer big wave boards I have of his I have owned for over 10yrs and I still enjoy riding them. Nice thickness, foil and rails and are very dependable in strong surf.

The Astron Zot is the only single fin I currently ride of Geoffs and it was a bit of a handful to get use to for me, i went very small at 5’ 10" and the board was way loose to ride, but the dimentions of the board allowed me to ride this size and and pick up waves relatively easily. My problem was the fin the board was already so loose with the shape and the size I needed something with more base to give me more projection, and I found what I was looking for by using the star fin. It helps stabilize the board and calms down the reaction time which is so quick, and allowed me to drive the board down the line. It is still only used in small and weak waves but it seems to throw so much theory on its head that a small round soft looking single fin is the board of choice in 1 to 2 ft beach breaks. You can turn that board anywhere even if your hardly even moving the wave may be so useless but it will support you until the wave offers a little more, funniest thing.

Reading your last entry Davo it sounds like for the little sloppy waves you are riding you may be able to get more out of a shorter nugget than you are currently riding just as it may fit into those small broken up swells a little better, just a thought.

Thanks Toomstone, your advice is appreciated. I was actually considering a potbelly a couple of years ago, but Geoff put me on to the Zot, which I don't regret, but in hindsight the broader nose and flatter rocker of the potbelly may suit our regular full/fat waves better. Any thoughts? I know Gerry Wedd, who surfs the same stretch of coast that I do had a thruster set up added to his Zot......

In your experience do do thrusters handle weaker surf better? I suspect they do (more drive) I have only had my poly 8'2" out a couple of times in small stuff, certainly went well, but I found it shone when I bought it last June at 3' Burleigh and 2' the Pass- just wound down the line gaing speed with each pump/'ve got me wondering how something around 7' would go.......

Have you ridden a potbelly? The dilemma I have is I'd also like to get a gunny McCoy for when the waves get bigger or I head to the Yorke Peninsula, where the waves can get good.

I would have to say the thruster is probably better, and I have seen a pot belly with similar dimentions as my zot and it looked so funky and it got me thinking that is as close as you would get a thruster zot from Geoff. It also comes down to how you want to surf a thruster wants you to surf strong and hard and it reponds to that well and the single likes a softer touch but it does a similar job without the muscle work. If you can surf the way you want without the hinderances of friends , locals ,peer presure then go with the feeling. The single fin way aint very popular but can feel good, internally as you probably wont impress people who generally like to see somethig more dramatic. The thruster is easier day in day out more for giving and is easier to generate speed the single you have to rely on the wave much more, and Middleton probably isnt the place for it.

Yeah I know the coast over at Yorkies and I love the Eyre Pennisula, best coast in the country in my opinion, if you surf over there some you would definitely benefit from a more pulled in tail model like the Dream time or the like.

Yeah I think the 8’ 2" at 2 ft Pass is a pretty perfect combination.


Good post.  


In contrast to the above a narrow, thinner tail penetrates into the wave face and acts like a shock absorber as opposed to the McCoy tail which does the opposite.

There are two other factors as well. The narrow tail penetrates the wave to harness the waves power, whereas the McCoy does not allowing the wave to pass you by. Also, as the narrow tail is deeper in the wave you are partially supported by the water so its easier to get to your feet, on the McCoy you have to clamber up onto the board.


I am curious about the narrow tail on wide boards such as the Astro Zot. It seems to me that a narrow tail on a wide thruster board would cause less fin contact on steeper waves, since the natural rail line is being altered (forcing the fin further away from the wave face). I altered a mini-gun like this (making the tail narrower) and it did not ride steep waves well at all. I'm wondering if this is part of the reason it is made as a single. I probably should have tried that instead of tossing it.

The Astron Zot has a wide tail, like the small wave Nuggets. The Lazor Zap has a wide 'hippy' tail pulled in in the last few inches. The three fin Nuggets have huge fins, the forward fins set close to the rail (I believe) as per regular non Mccoy shotboard thrusters. Without the roll (loaded dome) under the back foot, I suspect that it would be hard to go rail to rail with such a wide tail. With the loaded dome it is not.

The boards rails do most of the boards interaction when the wave is steep and will often help dictate the line you run along the face, the tail less so.Just thought I would add a photo of some narrower tailed boards that mcCoy does, they work well in reef waves. Took them to Cactus some years back and had a good time.

Great picture Toomstone; I'm guessing the blue one is the Zot, interesting to see you have the fin pretty close to the back of the box- mine would be about the same. Those narrow tails look like they would offer hold in bigger surf. I'm ashamed to say I haven't been to Cactus, but will get there one day. Don't know if you have seen it, but the book 'Cactus- surfing journals from solitude' by Christo Reid is a great book- got a copy for Xmas. I reckon you'd appreciate it as you know the area.  As much as I like coming to Byron/Sth Qld, I don't think I could live there- the crowds in the water! I love the wild solitude of SA/Vicco coastline, but am not too keen on 11 degree water temp mid winter, and big sharks. Fortunately where I usually surf the water is a bit murky, so you don't see them, but at Waitpinga and Parsons Head, where the Salmon run and the water is clear, they are regular visitors. I like your board art- have I seen a picture of you surfing the red/orange one on a website somewhere? How long is that yellow one?

Hey Davo, good to see someone else from the land of slop entering the Swaylock’s fray. I can’t really comment on McCoy’s boards. The only one I’ve ever ridden was a 5’10" thruster that my brother bought 2nd hand in the late 80s. It went really well, as far as I recall.

Hi dcasey,

My comments about the nuggets only related to the takeoff just before you get to your feet. Once I'm up and riding the nuggets love steep hollow waves.


Hey Davo the yellow one is 7’ 0" had it a long time, but have probably had the best waves of my life on it. I dont use that fin in the Zot any longer just the Star fin which I have more success with, the orange and red one is a slender nugget shape and is 6’7" as you mentioned have the back foot on top of the legrope plug and you can do anything.

Yeah I got that Cactus book its a beauty incedible amount of detail and work has gone into that one, they had the book launch at Deus motorbike shop in Sydney and I went along. Christo gave a talk about making the book which was interesting. The highlight was H.G. Nelson gave a talk about surfing in South Australia as he was originally from Adelaide and it was so funny, you would have related to it as you live in the area and know all the landmarks that he brought up it was classic.

A pic from up that way dont know who the lady is by she stood up at the wrong time, and a not so friendly welcome.

Wow tomby an original sandman. Stylin'

Smokin Castles.....brings back some memories that !.........yer score the left at Kuntz ?

Howdy all
Just an update on my McCoy progression… after about 10 boards over the last 3 years

I’ve sold both Lazor Zaps… they were just too specific for Sunny Coast waves, and the volume/width did my head in when it got bigger.

The 5’6 x 22 x 3 I haven’t really got along too well with. Again, it’s a really niche board. Too much rocker for a groveller and too much width in the tail when it gets steep without grunt in the swell. Mind you, I took it out in head and a half at Platforms/Pt Cartwright the other day and managed to catch some set waves… as long as the takeoff wasn’t already pitching the drops were smooth and wow does it come off the bottom nice, a 50m ride and three big driving bottom turns - it just felt so graceful… wasn’t pretty off the top though! Certainly performed better in big stuff than I ever expected it would.

The 6’6 x 19 3/4 x 2 3/4 pulled-in tail allrounder (14" tail) is really growing on me for point waves. In anything from 2’ to double overhead it’s been magnificent. I guess it’s a pretty niche board too in a lot of ways, but it gets down the face well and even with fat little waves it slides along nicely and still turns well if you walk the plank a bit. Comes off the top beautifully and super speedy.

So the 6’6 is staying. I’ll give the 5’6 a bit more time but think it will end up with a new owner some day. Would be perfect board for a 2’ point with heaps of grunt in the swell but crumbling tops, little skimmer zapping in and around… Had some moments of absolute brilliance on it. but we just don’t get that kind of thing up here.

My take on the Zap is it takes a bit of getting used to on larger waves - because the tail is so thick and the nose so narrow it tends to lift in the bum a lot, giving you a feeling of a pitching take-off. Has a lot to do with getting used to it and I did ride some pretty steep waves on them… and copped some over the falls stuff as well. It’s more that we rarely get the perfect surf for those boards - IMO slightly fatter waves but still with plenty of grunt in the swell - and I need broader applications than that here. I found the Zaps allowed me to do amazing turns that I’d never achieved before - but only about 5% of the time when the wave was just right. I also came to the conclusion that the combo of wide and thick belly and needle nose and tail made for unstable duckdiving, which again means solid beackbreaks (our mainstay here) were hard work. The 6’6 is actually a lot easier to duck dive than even my 6’0 Zap. Was a tough decision, I loved a lot of sessions on them.

As far as wide tails, I don’t think they “miss” the wave, but they sure are hard to get to slow down once standing on them on a grunty swell, and hard to turn because of the immense speed.
Tombstone has been riding them for as long as anyone I’ve seen, and the fact he has a lot of them with pulled in tails tells you something I reckon. It really does depend on the waves you surf.

One of the other big factors for me in bigger surf has been the size/weight of the McCoys. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that it does my head in to think about paddling those out though a heavy beachbreak. Even when it’s not so heavy it does fatigue you that much quicker trying to manhandle such big boards.

For the record I’m going to a 6’3 round-tailed quad that I’ve spent a lot of time with a local shaper here coming up with that will hopefully have a bit more range for shifting solid local beach breaks here. Will see where that journey takes me but I doubt there will ever be a time where there’s not a McCoy or two in the rack.

The McCoy double-ender has been re-issued ( not really re-issued...its been on Geoffs website forever), and I'm surprised not many people have jumped on these...low rocker, medium volume in all the right places and a balanced planshape with w/p @ centre. An extremely versatile hot dogger that was one of Geoffs standards long before the zaps were born ......good option for anyone into performance single fins