What is the theory behind side cut-outs? (i.e snowboard shaped boards, like meyerhoffers)

Hi everyone, been following swaylocks for a few years now but this is my first official post.

I have a question about side cut-outs, like on meyerhoffer boards that have the snowboard-type shape.  Many of the posts i’ve read about meyerhoffers focus a lot on the quality of the board (lots of complaints about them snapping, etc) or on how he doesn’t “really” surf or whatever.  Some of them talk about how the boards ride, and most people seem to dislike them or maybe be on the fence but some people seem to really like them.

But I can’t find any posts about the actual theory behind the snowboard shape.  Some of the old school shapers here have alluded to the fact that there IS some decent theory behind the cutouts (can’t find the original thread anymore, but maybe bill thrailkill or someone mentioned it a few times?) but didn’t really expand much because the general feeling is that, even though the theory may be sound, it doesn’t make that much of a difference or there are easier/cheaper ways of accomplishing the same thing.  But I’m a little curious about the theory.  Would anyone mind indulging my curiosity and elaborating on the theory behind these cutouts?  What effect do they have?  What are they intended to do?  Any info or theories would be awesome!  Thanks!


Look up ‘‘coke bottle shaped fuselage’’ that was how I was first introduced to it years ago. Made one late 80’s worked pretty good.  I posted this before with pics. somewhere here.

oh, cool, thanks!  yeah a big part of my issue was that I didn’t know what to really call it to search for it.  I was mostly searching for “meyerhoffer” and so, understandably, most of the threads were about meyerhoffer and his boards rather than the shape itself.

I’ll search for that, thanks again!

F-102 and F-106 ‘‘coke bottle’’ will bring up info on ‘‘area rule’’ and hypersonic transition.    Both of those aircraft, designed and built, in San Diego.


Firewire has some good hype on the side cut boards



And the most manly design!


I hope the cornice is a big hit with many following .

When the Snow board flexes on edge there  is no incut .

I just assumed these boards were using phallic marketing schemes for these boards.  Just say’n… Mike

Take an AX and side cut

both rails on opposing sides

of a given board…

and get two boards for the price of one!

I am making a hand board out of an

old apple Imac that meyerhoffer

got his design award for

before he became a surfboard designer,

wont he be suprised

he was designing surfing equiptment

before he started surfing.

Oh sweet irony , go figure…

195o’s fold down ironing boards preceeded

the alaia revolution …

wally frosieth and fran heath did the ax job

on the wood planks and birthed the hot curl ,

side cuts can be good 

but on foam that don’t flex enough

to straighten out the outline

like dr. thrillkill mentioned,just makes a weak spot.

the greatest effect in revolution is at the equator

study the classics

and be enlightened.

nothing like a clean outline…



What the heck does YOUR pecker look like?

The theory behind these boards, unless it is someone trying to be cool, emo, unique, peanut oriented, perverse, phalic, etc., is that when pressure is applied at the tip and tail equally, the object (ski, snowboard, etc) will create a rail arc of a determined distance.  Skis today are often represented by this arc so skiers (and boarders) can select a size ski/board for the type of turns they want to do.  (slalom, downhill, gs, etc.).  All of these sport specific tools are thin and to get this effect in surfboards, many of the proponents have made these boards very thin resulting in breaks, stress cracks, etc.  That’s my 2c in trying to interpret what these shapers are trying to do.  I would not make a board like that, ever, but I have 4 pair of skis that I use every season that are all parabolic!  Just my 2c…

hi testshaper !


  if you can get yourself a copy of andrew kidman’s third  movie , "into the ether " ,


  aussie shaper michael mackie [around the 25 / 26 minute mark , onwards ]  gives a detailed description of them , and the winterstick influence , and is show riding a flextail sidecut fish or two …


  WELL worth watching and listening to !


  in fact , the WHOLE movie is about shapers , surfboard design , history , and the future


  cheers !


  ben , australia

I remember chatting with Rob Lion (royal) in the water a few years ago about a twin fin fish he was riding with a side cut tail. He felt it went pretty well. Not so mainstream or hype.