In December 2014, I watched Gabriel Medina usher in a new era for Brazilian surfing. Watching Gabriel win the world title was one of the proudest moments of my life - not only was he changing the game, he’d done it surfing my boards. It was also a turning point in my personal journey as a shaper.
The fins of your board are fundamental to how your board handles, and while Johnny is the expert on fin placement so you don’t have to be, it’s good to understand the fundamentals, starting with the fin itself.
Squash? Rounded Pin? Swallow? Square? Diamond? Even good surfers with a solid grasp of shaping theory can find themselves feeling baffled by the range of tail shapes on offer today. Others might have a preference for a particular shape, but have no real idea why. So, we asked Johnny (a walking encyclopaedia of hydrodynamics) to explain the fundamentals of tail shape – arguably the most critical aspect of how a board performs on a wave.
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