The Tail Rocker Factor

Just thought I might pick up some pearls of wisdom from the experience present in this forum. Most shapers like to know a surfer’s ability and the waves he/she most often surf when shaping a board for that surfer. The point I’m most interested in is tail rocker. Assuming a constancy among other factors for the purpose of this question, what tail rocker would you consider in a shortboard (ie thruster) for small waves (up to 4-5 feet) in the following types of waves: the fun beachbreak where most surfing is done in the pocket but where it can be hollow one month and fat the next; the long point wave that has a lot of wall to work with; or the always hollow wave? I know it’s a broad question but, what do you reckon? What sparked my interest was looking at the vast range of blanks in the Surfblanks catalogue here in Oz and seeing all the rocker configurations.

Waassuupp Bish! The funny thing is that a few months ago I asked the same questions and no response. What I’ve learned is that you can’t ask for the rocker dimensions because of the fact that everyone surfs differently. This is a fact that was proven to me last month went a member of our local surf shop tried my board and said he couldn’t ride it because it had to much rocker. He had just got a new board and said it didn’t turn well. So I asked him to try it once. Well his board fuckin ripped. It worked better than my team board. The fact is that everyone surfs different and needs different rocker adjustments. So the best thing is to try different rockers and experiment. I know you don’t want to waste time and money but, it’s something that you have to experience and find for yourself. Good luck!

                            Da Cheetah

Hi Bish,

VERY generally speaking

flatter tail rockers plane better to facilitate speed…well suited for back foot surfers who generate speed from the back.

More tail rocker’d boards do not plane as good (more curve more pressure drag) from the back but rail turn/carve nicely.

A good compromise/combination is having a board that has a speed/planning area under the front foot and good curvature for turning under the back foot. When you want some trim speed add more weight to your front foot…and to turn shift to the back.

For shortBs, low tail rocker is around 2-2.25 inches, med/high tail rocker is about 2.5-2.75 inches.

The reality is that it really boils down to your ability/style and the types of waves youre riding.

then you throw in the combinations offered by adding concaves and vee to your bottom to gain what you have taken away etc…

and factor in template outline, width of tail, bottom shape, shape of tail, thickness of tail and thickness flow in general…

Thanks for the replies so far. I appreciate that what will suit me will not suit someone else. What I was trying to determine was the influence of different waves on tail rocker. For example, most beachbreaks around here are fairly punchy with not much wall and will have the odd section that will tube. I imagine that a board for conditions like this will have a reasonable amount of rocker with a reasonable amount of tail rocker. Another wave near where I live is (I believe) one of the longest in the world. It is a wave that walls up for ages in front of you. you can generate a lot of speed as you go through each section but it rarely throws out. I was thinking that a board specifically desigend for this wave would probably have sligthly less overall rocker (take offs a pretty easy) with less tail rocker. Is that correct?

The other factor, of course, is that most of us don’t have a board for each wave location we surf and come to a compromise that we are happy with or forced to live with

Hi Dave,

How do vees and concaves affect what you do with tail rocker? I’m interested to know. Would you do different things in boards for the points as opposed to a board for D-bah or the other beachies?

Bish, youre spot on. Its really not very complicated…flatter is faster…curvier rail turns better and fits into curved faces better.

Having only one board either makes your surfing life real simple or more complicated…depending on your ability.