Please define speed shape

Could someone please define what exactly a speed shape is?  Is the Hobie Phil Edwards considered a speed shape for example?  I see various longboards boards online with the description but seemingly like the egg - the actual style and definition has been diluted over the years.  If theres already a thread point me to it and I’ll go there- 

And a Good Memorial Day and Memorial Day weekend to all-

I am afraid that surf terminology has become less and less clear as more and more knuckleheads have learned it all in a few minutes thanks to some resource on their phone. The other day some joker told me he just rode a fish so I asked “2 fins or 4?” to which he replied “3” - I think ‘fish’ means swallowtail now … I am sure there a several threads with very knowledgable people rapping their canes on the floor of the lanai in anger over this and other similar signs of ‘progress’. Consequently most terms are (if they had not already been) pretty ineaxact and are just getting worse with more and more partially developed brains throwing them about. What kind of rails are you talking about again? I am sure there are many threads here as well trying to sort out the difference between ‘boxy’ and ‘down’ and ‘egg’ and whatever. One might hope that the greats who have built our craft would be respected enough to create a standard nomenclature (like most everything has) so we could communicate on an apples-to-apples basis.

A ‘speed shape’ as far as I know is a board that is in most ways a ‘longboard’ except that it has a drawn in tail and a slightly pointier nose. Basically a longboard with a narrower template as needed for faster / hollower waves. Yater used to make one - maybe still on his site. BTW: Yater is DA MAN - no joke. Best big boards I’ve ever ridden.

I cannot agree more with you about the misuse of terms such as “fish”. Add to that the fact that many terms such as “speed shape” lack a lot of meaning by themselves: is a “speed shape” designed to create speed where there is none (small mushy waves) or to be able to control speed in a giant hollow wave? To me, a speed shape for small mushy waves would be short, wide and thick with a flat rocker and a flat or concave bottom; A speed shape for 20+ foot waves would be long, narrow and thick with tons of rocker and a soft belly/flat/V combo. And a speed shape for tow-in would be another entirely different board. So, a speed shape, yes, but what to do with?

wasn’t Becker’s “speed shape” just the model that took him the least time to shape?

speed, as in “fastest to finish”…?

The Tecate Kid and Old Proneman

In a traditional sense;  Yes, a “Speed Shape” was a longboard of the type mentioned above.  Pulled in tail, narrower over all and a pointier nose.  It had more to do with the bottom contours though than the outline.  Most at the time were bellied bottoms.  This was before V and flat bottoms.  Yes Phil’s model would be considered a speed shape as well as Hynson’s “Red Fin” and of course the Bing “Pipliner”.  Lowel

The “Kid” on the right!!


That line made me laugh. Conjured up a believable image.




Too true. When fish began to reappear, it seemed every damn board with a split tail was being called a fish. I walked into a local clothing store that also happens to sell surfboards (wouldn’t call it a surf shop, no way) and they’d just gotten a shipment of about 12 swallowtails. Each one was labelled “fish”. All were nothing more than thrusters with swallowtails. This was maybe ten or twelve years ago.

And, what about the surf shop employees who compare “epoxy vs. fiberglass” boards? Talk about the blind leading the blind…

FISH. Vertical tails misnomer from the get go.

dolphins and whales got the flukes…?

best fish … Perch. Standing on a perch good place

for parrots and canaries,also a swell place to 

rub your bill on a cuttle bone.

yes speed is relative,best speed shape definition is 

a board shaped fast by a talented craftsman.

the fastest boards are best used with an alternative

powersouerce other Than just a wwaves  kite board,tow like a ski.

speed is relative

,MY that board is fast,can it turn?

to generalize to turn a speed bboard you need a bigger wave

the more speedy they. Tend to go straight real ggood until you get 

a big outside set.


hap mem day


aaloha from waipouli…

Red boards are super speedy

This is why I love Swaylocks 

Thank you all!

…similar luck with the Fish is the single fin board…all think in a 70s shape and nothing more.

and Bonzers beware-

you could be next

good to see one of your riff’s again, Ambrose…

Yes Pure Funkadelia.  In a good sense of course.

mctavish speed shape

That is the first McTavish board I’ve seen that actually has an eye pleasing outline.    The more I look at it, the more I like it.

Bill - what type of wave / surfing would you say that shape is made for?


Interesting 3/4 deck patch. Any clue what the concept is, behind it?

Nice clean outline, too.