McCoy style boards

Hi guys,

Long time follower now new member.

I’ve been riding Midlengths for over thirty years now, all different fin arrangements and I love them at 7’10”x15”x22”x15”. Was thinking about a McCoy style 7’6”x14”x22”x16”or17” tail. I feel it would be great to stand in one spot and not have to move around like you do on a normal midlength. The bottom would be flat to double concave bee in the tail. Thruster or single with side bites. What are your thoughts on this style board? I surf in North County CA.                                                   Thank you and I love this forum.


What is a “normal” mid length? 

What is a McCoy style mid length? 

Where is north county? I’m sure it’s slang for the norther part of the county you live in. 


If you intend to go with McCoy style planshape width (especially tail width) and thickness (especially tail thickness), but incorporate a flat to double concave vee bottom contour, you will get quite a different beast to what a McCoy would surf like. McCoys “loaded dome” (gently rolled) bottom helps to control all that width and thickness. Putting a “faster” bottom contour on it will certainly give it more “up & go”, but will make less “natural” in going from rail to rail, and limit it’s ability to handle larger, more powerful waves. The McCoy designs inherent tendency to “non reactive neutrality” (for want of a better term) will be be reduced (they tend to surf themselves, with very little input required).

That’s my 2 cents worth.

I’ve been surfing wide-point back boards for 10 years now and I like them.  And it’s true that when you put most of the volume and surface area under your feet you don’t have to move around much to go from turning to trim.  I’ve seen people put concaves in them but I still adhere to the maxim that concave is for increasing lift in narrow tails and convex is for adding control to wide tails.  I’ve done the rounded McCoy style tails with the domed bottom in the tail and they provide a really smooth and predictable turn.  McCoy likes them with singles and thrusters, but I like them better with a quad or a 2+1.  


I probably use a more eggy nose and tone down the tail width in the longer lengths because I like the curve better.  Here’s a 7-10 I did a while back except I used a little vee in the tail instead of the dome - but either will work.  The board with the hemp inlay on the deck is a 6-8 length that I did as a 2+1 and I did dome that bottom a little.  





What RDM said above. The key to McCoy’s boards is the “loaded dome”. I’ve never seen one in person but from descriptions online in text and vid, I’d say they are at least as difficult to shape properly (i.e. so it works) as a transitional displacement hull. If at all possible, see if you can find one to go look at and fondle in person, eyeball the bottom, lay a straight edge here and there, etc.

I reshaped an old 6-10 egg that I had worn out into this:   6-0 mashup design with a McCoy-style tail, flatter rocker and a mild hull-style nose.   I ran this for 6 months as a single, got bored with it and added side boxes.  I’ve run it as a 2+1 and as a quad with Takayama-style Reverse-D keels.   I even ran it with a winged Starfin that Iborrowed (didn’t like it much) for a bit.  The bottom and tail worked with all of them but I liked the Reverse-D quads the best in this length.   When I ran it as a single that worked best when there was a lot of energy, however the flat rocker imposed its own limitations.  In smaller.weaker conditions the board is too short and curvy to take advantage of the singlefin.  That’s where fin area out at the rails comes in.   

Then there was the 5-10 Bonzer that Spence did.   That board left a huge impression on me.  



Don’t get too caught up in the template. It does have important effects but the bottom shape is the real key to McCoy’s boards. You could put any type of tail on it and he has made them with widepoint at about 50/50. Look here on his site for some of the template variations he’s done with that same loaded dome bottom

He;s a controversial figure in some circles, but Ryan Lovelace has been doing the v.bowls design for years.  He’s done some as 2+1 and a few with the bonzer-style setups.

I’ve groped several of them and for sure he has some different things going on.  One is the rocker - pretty flat in the tail but lots of lift in the nose.  He runs a fat foil and heavy rails, and the examples I saw has a sharp edge in the tail with lots of roll in the dome.   They also tend to run real thick up the middle and particularly underfoot.  

I bought a board which is similar to the McCoy Nugget in the early 2000s. I really like the board but the way the bottom of the nose is designed doesn’t allow for riding it forward. I’m an old school surfer, so I’m used to stepping up front to get through the flatter spots. With the heavily rolled bottom in the nose and the rocker, the board will slow down if you step up too far. I think they work best as a small board where you just stay on the tail.

I started making boards again to make a version of the nugget that would let me step way up. I found that it works great with a flat bottom and a little less rocker in the nose. My brother liked the shape so much he bought the 7-11 Surftech nugget, and a couple from guys that were supposed to be taught by Geoff McCoy. I never liked any of them because of the nose design and my brother is a little bigger than me, and his boards are bigger.

This is an 8’ version I made for my brother around 2008 or 2009. I think it has a flat bottom throughout, maybe a slight concave under the nose and low rocker. It is a quad and it worked great, but I haven’t used it for years. All my other nugget shapes are between 6’ and 6’ 6". I also like them as quads, but I have 2 that are thrusters.

I’ll have to agree that the magic of a McCoy nugget is the bottom shape, but it has a lot of things going on and they all have to be right. I would never try to make a McCoy loaded dome, it so subtle that at first glance you may not notice how complex it is.

I’ve found that the outline is very good for short boards. Put modern bottoms and rails and you have a very good board.

The thing about the McCoys is that (it appears) he wasn’t aiming them at marginal conditions or more passively cruising along.   He was aiming them at performance surfing.  He wants them to float so you can paddle in, handle a fairly steep drop and for the rails to hold when there’s a lot of energy.  I’ve read comments from people saying they liked the board better when it has something to work with.  

I don’t have such conditions in my local (north county SD) - we have slower and softer waves.  That’s why I didn’t have any interest in actually trying to copy all or most of the design.  I just liked some of the elements.    I have been using maybe half the roll in the tail because I feel like that’s all I ever needed to control that much surface area in a round tail.   I used a flatter rocker because I like flatter rockers for the kind of conditions I was aiming those boards at.  I tried the single - including the starfin - but I felt like the 2+1 and quads have worked better for me.    


I would expect other people to make completely different choices based on what they’re trying to do and the conditions they’re aiming the board at.  Which, if I’m not mistaken, is the entire point of what we do here.   

Thanks for the replies. I was checking out Trigger Bros website and they have a board called the Stubby. They run a double concave thru the tail and a thruster setup. Looks a lot like a McCoy Nugget. I’ve had wide tail quads and the are very fast but they can be to fast and hard for me to slow down. That’s why I was thinking thruster or a single with side bites.   They are easier to bleed off speed.

This thread and another one about McCoy boards got me interested in making myself another Nugget shape to use a McCoy Gull Wing fin in. I also wanted something that could be made as a double ender, or a board with fin boxes on both ends. In the end I couldn’t quite commit to putting in boxes on both ends, but I left the nose thicker in case I change my mind. I have a slight roll on the outer edge of the bottom, but the middle is flat, not the true McCoy loaded dome contour. I tried the board with the Gull Wing fin, but I may have had it too far up because I didn’t like the way it felt. There was no drive or bite and it felt dead. One thing I was surprised with the board was that I can nose ride very well even though it is only 5’10". Funny because my original intention was a board I’d stay on the tail, but I used it twice now and I’ve had a lot of fun doing cheater fives and gliding across parts of the wave most boards this size would never make. I switched it to a quad for the second session and it turned out to be great, lots of drive, and fast. I’ll eventually switch back to the Gull Wing, but I don’t think it will be as good.

Dims are 5’10" x 20.5" x 2.8".

I’ve seen three different versions of the McCoy gull wing fin

The versions I have tried seemed to be most similar to the most extreme of the McCoy offerings , in terms of forward jutting, and rake after that.

They felt very responsive stable and predictable through turns on my longboard.just a little slow/ draggy  in comparison to fins I enjoy more. I’ll  assume they work better in juicier conditions.

I’ve never had a board which could be a single or a quad, but these.two setups  seem at opposite ends of the spectrum.  Flat sided rail fin squirt is addictive, until it is time to slow down.

 Nothing seems to stall as predictably  and smoothly as a singlefin when stomping on the tail to slow down.


My brother has 2 of the McCoy gull wing fins. I had both with me for a while, but I think I have the extended tip version with me now.

Are you selling the 7 6 i want to try one. Tha ks eric