McCoy's wide tail

Just checked out Mc coy’s website + was quite surprised as at the tail widths 15"+. Now, standard theory dictates that a tail that wide would be fine in mushy surf but absolutely useless in hollow stuff - spinning out.

The info on the website suggests that this problem has been overcome with a special “domed” bottom. A couple of questions for those woth experience in this matter:

1- Are the claims true about hollow surf?

2 - What does a Mc Coy bottom actually look like?

3- I remember seeing Cheyne H riding one of these in the Q masters and getting tubed nicely - how wide was the tail on this board?

When you isolate one aspect of a board (the tail) you can make broad statements about the extremes of that aspect.

However surfboards are made up of many parts (or no parts really) and work as a whole.

McCoys work and work well in tubes.

nice pic, enigmatic answer - how is it that these boards seem to buck the trend?

The trend was something simply accepted as true because some magazine or pro surfer somewhere decided that wide tails did not work in hollow or powerful waves. Wide tails were used all through the eighties in pretty powerful stuff. Simon rode a 16’’ tail on a 6’6’’ thruster in 12 -15 foot bells in 1981. Looked pretty solid to me.

My 7’2’’ nugget has a 19’’ tail and I have ridden it in double over head hollow waves without the hint of sliding. It is also a single with less fin in the water.

I don’t know why but Mccoys seem to be naturally drawn to the hollow section of a wave. This is not only my opinion, but one common to most surfers I have spoken to who own or ride Mccoys.

You can barely see the dome on the bottom. It runs the entire length and width of the board. Also my rails are more soft without edges.

My guess is the dome and soft rails work together to promote laminar flow which helps the tail hold in better.

With the hard rails on most shorties the tail is likely to drop out of hollow sections if the fins are too far apart.

yea pinhead pretty much covered it…

a rolled bottom makes your board pull down into the water ,the trade off there is ,its harder to get on the rail…

a soft rail doesnt have as much release as a hard edge ,a soft rail will pull water around the rail ,thus helping it to hug the face and hold a high line,the down side to that is, it can hang up when you dont want and doesnt have the squirt when you need it …

what Mc coy has done is one way off adding control to a very wide tail,which would otherwise feel out of control…

i rode a 7’ Mc coy not long ago ,now it wasnt really for me ,as i felt i had to put alot of effort for not much return,

the funny thing is when i just stood on it and didnt try and just cruised and went with the flow of the wave, it actually felt better …

its not one of those boards that wanna skiddle out on ya ,they do feel fairly solid under your feet ,but at the same time its not the kinda board youd expect anything magic to happen ,except maybe making a sick late drop and still controling it into some cover action…anyone else who has ridden them might have a different assessment depending on there needs but this is how i would rate them in different areas …scores out of 10

paddle power 9.0 …

sensitivity 5.0 …

speed 6.0 …

hold 8.5 …

overall impression is a board that goes ok in most condititions ,but doesnt go off in any conditions…

if your a 1 or 2 board surfer ,yea it would have a place …

but if your a full quiver kinda guy and have a board built for every specific type of conditions,then it would probably just become a loaner for your mates…

note : these are just my personal views based on my own surfing likes and dislikes it would be interesting to see what rating others would give in the same areas…



Bert,Solo, How big of a part does the winged keel play into the soft rail/wide tail equation?I notice the newer

boards have a different fin.I had a lazor zap copy by Pat Rawson as a kid that acted much like Bert said,let the board cruise and don’t overwork it.The star fin boards worked well here in south Florida,but quickly disappeared

under the thruster onslaught of the mid-eighties.


jawl na ton mawr

so when were you last in Wales?

today - although on child detail and unable to get in.

Bert - thanks for your insights - nice to hear from someone who’s tried and understands what he feels. - The “dome” is just a convex bottom right? - presumably a way of getting better rail to rail transitions on such a wide tail and slowing the whole thing down?

wide tails …the wide tail gives the board extra float under your feet ,making it faster on top of the water…the easiest way to surf them is light footed…

the wide tail is only a part of the board…I ride them in thick barrells and soft mush…nice pic thanks…that was my favourite board…awesome board 1 ft mush to 10ft caverock same stick…thanx

3 years ago.Family from up in Conwy originally.On my way to Dublin via Anglsea ferry.Wanted to stop in the Doctor

Who museum!Cool seeing all the Darlecks on the road signs.Like to head back to Snowdon.Beautifull place.

I’ve ridden my S-tech Nugget 7-11 (14 1/2 x21 3/4 x 17 x 3 7/16, 8-9 lbs w fin) twice, in 2-3+ slop chop and 4-5 fair, using the supplied standard gullwing fin. Bert’s description generally mirrors my impressions. Re “sensitivity”, which I’ll call responsiveness, I’m thinking the large-area 9 1/2 gullwing makes the board feel tracky, esp. at speed, even in the full forward box setting. I’ve picked up a True Ames 9" L-flex to remedy and need only a break in the Fl summer doldrums to confirm.

Re line speed, I was surprised to find that a shuffle forward to a straddling of the mid point of this south-end-heavy outline produced another gear and a rating of 8.

I’m a custom epoxy fan and have immediately not cared for the ride characteristics of either of 2 comparable S-techs (7-7, 8-0) I’ve been on. This model is an exception.

Heh, you were about 20 miles from me, as you crossed over to Anglesey. Next time,don’t cross over but keep going down the peninsula. Good waves, if a little gentle and inconsistent.



wide tails …the wide tail gives the board extra float under your feet ,making it faster on top of the water…the easiest way to surf them is light footed…

the wide tail is only a part of the board…I ride them in thick barrells and soft mush…nice pic thanks…that was my favourite board…awesome board 1 ft mush to 10ft caverock same stick…thanx

Looks like our “cheyne” troll has changed his style to be less wordy. Tell me “cheyne,” what type of rails do YOU prefer in the tail area?

swordie - If you’re interested in paddleboards - check out pete jones next time you’re on Gower - he’s got a few to get some ideas from.

I live opposite end of Cymru - never surfed N wales but hear it can get good in Winter. Just visited y gog recently tho and was truly spun out by the way you lot speak welsh - soooo different to our version!


This is cheyne. I spoke with him the other night on the phone and cofirmed it.

On Rawson shaping a lazor zap. He could not shape on if he wanted to and make it the same as a Mccoy. Not cutting down Rawson who is a good shaper, but that is why many of the people who tried Zaps back in the eighties did not like them, because they were not shaped by Mccoy. His boards blend all of his years of experience and design experimentation. Another shaper is not simply going to copy something that took years to get right and get it correct.

I think the Mccoys work better if you go as short as possible, but still having a board that floats you properly. I am a big guy around 235 and can ride from 6’8’’ to 7’2’’ and my Mccoys are very lively in the pocket. They are fast and they paddle great. Your style of surfing could have much to do with how your board feels. I would not say the nugget or zaps would be for surfers who surf off their front foot more. It seems to be mostly a rear foot design. Even though mine noserides in the pocket really good. As Laconic said. it seems to generate speed there as well.

tail rail depends on the conditions…much rounder rail for rounder waves, barrells and soft edge…for slow waves I use more edge, square thicker rail…

All apologies and a hearty welcome aboard Cheyne.

[eggs all over my face]

Welcome to the best place on the internet period (and for surfboard discussion).

Since you liked the board so much:



Hi Bert,

I’m curious about in what way the nugget was unresponsive/lacked sensitivity. Was it slow rail to rail or didn’t anything seem to happen when you got it on a rail?

I guess this was with a single fin nugget? Anyone ridden one as a thruster? All the ones I’ve seen(all two of them…) was thrusters. Why not set it up as a twin bdw?