tail flip

Going to shape 10ft nr with flat rocker for waist high and under slow waves what are thepros and cons of tail flip, how much and how far up should it start,dont mean tail rocker,will it affect paddling and wave catching,any help would be great Thanks.

Good question! But it’s a question I couldn’t truelly answer myself - so I just built it in how I thought it should go on number one… on my short board I put a bend, up - or added xtra kick in tail(more rocker) mainly cuz the guy who asked me to try shaping was wining about want n a thin nose and tail… lol. Keep in mind he only knew I sat in on a custom build a Awsum Shaper named - Chuck Vinson out in Santa Cruz yrs back. Being I was fifeteen at the time, and curious as all hell about ANYTHING related to surfing I asked questions only when I was confused. He was a Magician whilst shaping! He even let me visit every step of the way… Gosh, I still remember him shaping the entire board!:open_mouth: I’ve owned two boards he shaped-my first was
Bought at west cliff surf shop- now long gone in the files of history…I was bummed it closed as it was my “go to” shop to get what I needed; wax, stoke, talk surf whatever! I envied these Surfers! Anyhow, one day aft a friend boasted he gets only customs now… so I had to get one! Now getting back to shape n a beater mini long board we stripped- I shaped a aesthetically near perfect outline as I remember what shaper did - he sawed off the excess foam an eighth or so outside the pencil line w template…so I don’t have proper tools, and my friends saying thinner tail, thinner nose -while im scrubbing down the tail block I figured well I will just remove foam at the tail - being around a foot up tip o tail…ofcourse, you end up with
We call a good old camel hump…so I blend that down -so go figure… I dont know exact numbers? That said, some shapers ive read say they put a bend in front of fins on longboards and even shorter boards…it’s up to you, I think, how and where ya want to put your bend… I’d say start at twelve inches and you’ll be ok…remember, you’ll be scrubbing or feather n it off w planner… you might even cross cut it in? While I haven’t tried that yet-im sure I will. Youtubes got sum excellent vids on it…good times.

Well, I’m a little bit thrown by your “don’t mean tail rocker”  unless you mean tail flip is only at the last bit of the tail…which in that case you pretty much answered your own question.

Start with deciding if you are going to put hard edged down rails in the tail section or soft round tail rails, which the latter will suck water like crazy while the hard version releases water quicker regardless of the flip.

For my two cents… the classic type noserider rocker I’ve prescribed to has been a straighter aka flatter forward rocker that would have maximum trim speed at about two feet back from the nose. The accelerated curve in the aft section would be under the rider’s stance aka between your front and back foot so as to act like a lever allowing you to wheel the board around easily.

Maybe the flip part of what you are asking is behind the apex (accelerated curve between stance) part. 

If that’s the case, then the more curve you put in that section, the more you will slow down the water’s exit that planes across it before releasing off the tail. This creates lift in the nose… esp. with a flatter noserocker.  

And if you look at that particular section of rocker for what you want to call “flip” as merely a ‘line in space’ you can make that curve continous to the end of the board, or flatten/straighten the curve out as it nears the end, or even make it the most curved in the last several inches.  As far as numbers for specificity… 3-3/4" to 4-1/4" would be pretty mainstream if you stick a rocker stick at center of the board and measure your nose and tail. 

The more tail flip you have in the very last part of the tail,the freer the board will wheel around in slow turns. In some situations depending on what fin you are using the board may just sideslip around. Extreme flip will make for a slower board and coupled with a concave nose will allow you to clock more time on the nose. Quite a few specialized "closed tear drop cncaved noseriders back in the 60’s were notoriously slow.

Depending upon where you surf and what you want to surf you could go more or less. For a ten foot noserider for myself I’d go 3-1/4" to 3-3/4" flat nose no kick with 4-1/4"tail.

Aft reading that- Deadshaper I want a Longboard!!! What size would you think would a guy who’s a good six footer or so want for all-around longboard? I was geussing nine foot?

I longboard story for you all! One weekend I was surfing at the Hook n santa cruz I a shortboarder only used short boards… my sister’s bf knew that, but ask n me if I wanted to try his Monster big nine foot something long board…aft three weeks at same spot, he goes “Jim you should just try it!” He’s point n on top of his old vw van…so I tossed my board in van, and high tailed it to"O’Neill’s house" a break I named bcuz I didn’t know what the spots called… To my surprise Jack was just sittin there on a clear longboard…I’m pretty sure it was him as he had a eye patch on…in a nushell - myself, Jack and maybe three other guys where in longboarding heaven! Many sets if clean slo mo long rides…one thing is for sure the long board was funner then I expected! I even hit the lip one time! Bottom turns and are more heavy footed…you have to employ body weight a good deal more than on short boarding…but more tail rocker, kick etc., should definitely be a idea worth doin on build. Man, I had no clue how much
Tail rocker those things have!good read.

Sorry - I don’t have any specific numbers on this one but the photo is of a Jim Phillips longboard.  I always like the look of this one… not too flipped, not too flat… just right.  The stringers are very nice too.


Nice looking stick.

Beautiful lumber.

Note the softer more classic tail rails.

John’s right, the rocker looks more continuous throughout versus a flat front end with aft rocker apex for 180 whip turns then up to the nose.

This one would be ideal for the rider that loves a SMOOTH board.


The long board I tried was prob early 60’s bcuz it had a giant glass on keel look n thing right square flush @ tails edge… I was think n when I gave her a test drive it’s not going to turn. WRONG! This board turned well nuff to do every manuever I tried! I just had to step and lean heavy on turns… the bottom turn combo made me almost go back in time… boards nose looked more like a wide whale head - w/pulled in kinda square tail… it looked like it had the wide point kinda near the back I think? It had a long lower rocker at front…I do know I did have to walk back n forth to trim and turn…lol.but man, seeing all that two thirds of board swing n on turns was a oh soo fun! I’m going to see about build n one ltr with more roundie nose…the wide rounded nose n square tail is sooo k.

To poster: if you take a blank “as is” it usually has a built in rocker… So in theory you shouldn’t have to worry about altering your general rockers… but you can change a few things like wide point, and how thick or thin you want your tail… I would just start planing blank to thickness first on bottom. Then, in your case- you can start scrubbin your tail kick to foot up tail from tip end of course! After all, that’s going to be your basic point for tail float.I went around a inch and half thick on a board-it varies. You might want it a bit thicker or thinner? So scrubber in!:smiley:

many thanks guys  for your replies,sorry if i didnt make myself totally clear,i call the overall curve of the bottom whether it is over the whole length or just either side of the apex, the rocker,Tail  flip is in the last 12-18 ins.i always measure my rockers using  a rocker stick,being an engineer i am trying to work out  the ideal rocker for early planing,i know it needs to be flat but trying to work out the amount of tail lift that will keep it lose but not slow it down too much when paddling.i actually currently ride a jim phillips  with rails and rocker like the one jon mellor posted.

See if this works

**Public Rocker catalog** - **US Blanks**

11'3"D with 10'10"T **Rocker** Bottom Centered. 11'3"D 10'6" Deck **rocker**. 12:34 PM. **US Blanks**, LLC. 07/30/13. **Public Rocker catalog**. July 30, 2013. Page 1 **...**




What do you guys think I should do about this on a 6’9"?


Hi AviG - 

In the pics, it doesn’t look too bad.  The raw numbers don’t mean too much to me either as the measurements are taken with a different reference point than I’m used to.  I have in the past just placed a board on something that I know is straight (like a stairway railing) and measured up from there but my friend Lee Vanderhurst (and others) convinced me to use the straight edge with the zero reference point at center.  

I see your dilemma with the concave and how it’s screwing with your rocker dimensions but not sure if I would sweat it too much.  Some of the McTavish longboards I 've seen had extreme tail rocker and they seem to go OK… arguably better than some.   Also, just glassing the bottom often pulls a bit of the rocker out as the resin cures… the glass seems to become tighter.  

The other option (mentioned in PM) is to spread the glassing racks farther apart than usual, insert a little eye screw in the center of the stringer and hang a weight from it while glassing.  With a thin blank, it doesn’t take a lot of weight to begin tweaking rocker.  Just make sure the resin has fully cured after laminating before releasing the weight.

Thanks John.

Cheers. I will weight the blank during glassing just for fun. 


Nice stuff John.

Got a tiny start on the next…   Life goes on, as does the surf, but my boards just seem to sit there unless I do something…   Ha!

How’s winter been down that-a-way?


Just glass it and try it! It looks purdy kicked up, but it might feel nice n pivotie on a turn! The xtra kick seem to make turns a little less work… might slow ya down on a weak r wave…but w juicy wave you’ll have ample power to propel it forward I would think…it is much worse put n xcess nose flip then tail I’d say. If your nose rocker is not too steep, I dought the kick is going to slow ya down on any wave with a bit of energy Involved…

Not that using weights to straighten out the tail won’t work. I’d leave it alone bcuz you might make a slight prob worse.

I’m looking at it again, that tail, it almost looks like the blank is warped a good deal? Maybe using weight is an idea… unless you think the glass will contract and stuff… hard call.

**That board just screams SKILL!**

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