Should maximum thickness be at maximum width?

While playing with the APS3000 program, I was experimenting with some outlines in which the widest part was forward of center by 3-4 inches, but then I noticed that the thickest part was set back near center. Would it be better to move the thickness forward with the width or would that cause you to push too much water when paddling for waves? I imagine it all depends on personal preference, but is there a general rule or norm?

I’m not sure there is a norm on that. Foils are somewhat individual from shaper to shaper and not necessarily consistent even by the same guy.

FWIW I’ve checked out a couple of boards (by Velzy and Parmenter) with calipers and at least the ones I checked both had thick point behind wide point with a wide point either at center or ahead of center. Other boards by the same guys may very well have thickness farther forward or even farther back.

Lots of old school longboards have wide point and thick point behind center.

For maximum paddling ability, the thick point should be under your chest. You can move it up and back, but for ease of paddling, under the chest is the magic spot.

Wide point changes with what kind of performance you want out of your board.

Wide point behind the front foot (behind center) allows you to put weight forward and backward around a pivot point. This effect is magnified when it matches up with the thick point and rocker apex. Lots of modern shortboards are designed this way as they usually require lots of pumping and turning (which is why most of them have concaves, too) and give the rider the ability to dial into the wave and make quick, responsive shifts in pressure as the wave changes.

Generally, wide point under or ahead of the front foot allows you to use the front foot as the gas pedal, as more planing area lets you go faster, but requires you move weight back to the back foot for smaller radius turns. A lot of old school fish, for example, have the wide point forward, but have wide tails, so turns are more drawn out. Longboards, as an exaggerated example, with their wide points forward, like you to walk up there for a speedy trim, but like you to walk back to do more of a pivot turn. Most guns have the wide point forward, too, for projection out of long, hard turns, but have more narrow tails (and are narrower all around) to control speed.

But you might not paddle longboards or guns with your chest ahead of center, so you move the thick point back for paddling.

Does that make sense?

Aloha Jonay,

I agree with the previous two posts in that it varies. But very generally speaking, the thickest point is usually in the center area while wide point can go either north or south. I had the great fortune this morning to inspect an early to mid 60s Duke Kahanamoku board. A local Hawaiian friend just acquired the board and brought it by our shop to take a look. It was purchased around 1963 - 1965 and was in new polished showroom condition, supposedly garaged in Lahaina all these years and never been in the water. I took all the measurements: 9’8", N16",T15 1/2", TB6", W22" @ 6" BOC (back of center), 4 1/4" thick AC(at center). Nearly all the older early to mid 60s vintage boards had wide point back of center as most all shapes were a modification of Velzy’s pig (hippy, wide point back of center, and narrow nose (by todays standards). When Webber introduced the “Performer”, wide point began to creep forward on boards as the concaves became popular. Rounded “hull” bottoms began to give way to flat bottoms, and 50/50 rails went more downrail and sharper. Interesting to note that nearly all boards were noseriders (everyone rode the nose on all boards) before the “noseriders” were introduced and made popular by Bing and others. Sooo, so much for wide point and thickness. Design is fun.

Enjoy the ride!


the board is a balance…where are you going to stand on it front or back?..where ever you stand make thick and wide so it floats when you stand on it…if its narrow and thin…it will sink

Thickest point under your chest makes sense. The majority of a person’s body mass would be centered in that area, and as Cheyne said, if it’s narrow and thin it will sink. In my mind it seemed that the two should go together, but it makes more sense to think of them independently. Thanks for the feedback.