What does it mean when a surfboard tracks ?

Hello guys and ...guys!

what does it mean when a surfboard tracks?

what does that feel like?

Can all surfboards do that?

Why do they do it?

What are possible solutions to an existing board or rider style?

or possibly to a design?

I got a pm that said flat bottomed surfboards track, but actually dont understand it...

thanks a lot !!


ps, pictures of my not yet flat bottomed surfboard will follow... :(


ps, pictures of my flat bottomed surfboard will follow... :)


I would say that it describes when a board follows the same line without any input from the rider.  That to break its track requires more input than you would have with another board. 


say if you had a sea kayak and a white water kayak. if you gave them both a pushfrom the stern, the sea kayak is going to head off in the direction you pushed it in and stay on that path for longer. the white water kayak is probably just going to head straight into a spin.

My understanding is that a boards 'tracks' when theres an inconsistency in the flow of the design, either a flat spot or bump. That flat/bump creates a piont/area where the water flow is unable to release freely so the board momentarily 'tracks' a straighter line than directed.


follows one direction..............hard to re-direct.


like a train............on tracks........

................hence it's name.


‘‘I got a pm that said flat bottomed surfboards track, but actually dont understand it…’’

who pmed that . id be interested to hear more. re.concaves alowing the board to relaease in high speed turns

Id say it means you need to change the fins.  Size, placement, cant, toe, one or all of them.  Ive changed peoples fins out and then they dont by a board cause the old one now performs like they wanted.

during the late 70’s, early 80’s Kurt wilson was the most advanced thinking surfers on the east coast, it was the twin fin era and I had started giving him a modern rocker, his surfing was going through the roof. He was a contest surfer and as you know, almost all contests wind up with onshore crap for the finals, the other competitors were still riding flatter rocker, wide point ahead of center boards and beating him in the finals.

Kurt had me drop the tail rocker dramatically on a new board, every thing else stayed the same, the board was one of those unridable boards. As soon as you came to you feet and applied and pressure to the inside rail, it was like some one had grabbed you and then face planted you into the wave. If you kept the board flat, you could manage, I re-routed the fin boxes, adding more toe, it helped some, I routed again with even more toe, you could turn, but it still needed to be on a flatter version of what was good surfing. This boards rocker made it track , the tail was just too straight for the outline curve to match up and made them oppose each other. A surfboard can only turn as hard (short radius) as the tail bottom rocker, straight tail, straight lines = tracking

Jim, i had a fish that was flat bottomed, and had a pretty straightish planshape through the tail. THe rocker wasn't dead flat though, around 2" or a touch more. Fast as hell, and didn;t track one bit, loose as a goose. Interesting. Maybe it was the tail rocker that stopped it from tracking?. The keels were also canted and toed in. Im always thinking about that board and why it went so well. Its the one in my avatar

i dont notice tracking really unless im really flying in DOH surf. annd some board will go vert at high speed and other need to have more drawn out turns. not much difference really unless your moving. i find that a deep single concave will go vert at higher speed then flat bottom. however this is ancedotal experience. we are talking two boards with same tail rocker here.

but, you have a board with the traditional fish lines matched up to a straighter rocker, like Dick Catri and Freddy Grosskreutz said in one of Dick’s ads, " speed is the key to maneuverability, maneuverability is the key to speed"