Looking for advice on shaping a tandem board. I have a 12’8" blank with minus 2" of nose rocker, minus 1/2" of tail rocker. Looking to ride micro east coast waves and just have family fun. I was planning on basically maxxing the blank in terms of both outline and thickness and was wondering about rail shape and bottom contours. Should I incorporate a gentle bottom roll from rail to rail for the entire length to help it through the water ? Would 50/50 rails for the length of it lowering slightly through the last 24" or so do the job? Also I guess I need to take some of the volume out of the rails. Any advice? Thanks in advance, Paul Boardman.
Paul, I’m an advocate of flatter rocker and softer rails, and I’m not a tandem surfer, so this is both prejudiced and limited information. Having said that, this is my two cents on making a tandem board out of the 12’8" blank… The 8" or so of nose lift you have to work with is pretty comfortable, and you’ve got a full 5.5" of thickness to work with. So, I would take whatever thickness you want to remove (which might not me that much)out of the center of the bottom. Try to remove any crown in the rocker line that is in the center of the board. This will aid trimming in small waves immensely. Even if you remove a full 3/8" out of the center of the bottom, then skin the deck lightly, you still will have 5" of thickness. That seems like plenty. I would run at least 5/8" of roll across the bottom (I’m assuming you are going to be at 24" or wider in width), and maybe a 2" - 2.5" thick rail band. You can taper the deck down to the top of the rail band, leaving a nice size rail to turn any way you want. Your call of 50-50, then dropping down some in the back sounds really good.
Here’s my 2 cents worth. I have a tandem board posted here (look in the boards section under “monster” boards aka 11 foot plus). First, the foam distribution/foil needs to take into consideration a) your size/weight b) the size/weight of your tandem partner c) the ratio of the two. E.g., if your partner weighs the same as you or more, you’ll want more floatation further forward on the board than vice versa. Generally you want to leave as much foam in the board as possible since two adults (if that’s your plan) will really sink a board! Also, it is really UGLY to pearl while tandeming, so IMHO don’t be afraid of leaving in some nose rocker. The rails, I agree, don’t leave them so thick you can’t wrap your hands around to hold on, you can dome the deck to accomplish this and still leave plenty of volume in the board. Softer rails seem to be fine in general. You want the board to be pretty stable, these things don’t turn like normal boards due to their extreme length… have fun, it’s a blast riding w/ a partner!!