Saturday, 20 September 2014 - Posted by Roger at 6:29 am

A look at Single Fin Surfboards (Part II)

In the 1970s and early 1980s I had some very good Single Fins and I think boards, back then, were far less measured and far more sculptured in a free form way, so there truly were boards that stood out as being “magic”. By comparison these days, boards are designed using proven three dimensional models that are measured to the millimeter. You don’t tend to get the “magic” board that stands out so much because they are all pretty bloody good.

When I ride my Hot Curls, I experience certain “moments”, trim lines and sensations that have me kind of flashing back to riding those Single Fins 40 years ago. They made me think on how well these Single Fins went and the effect they had on my surfing progression.

I felt compelled to retrace those classic trim lines and connect with moving walls of water in the way we did back then. After all, it is not just about the evolution of surfboards, but also the evolution of surfing itself.

Those boards were never wrong and maybe we, as surfers, are now in a place where we can learn from them instead of discarding them as old hat.

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Trent riding a 6’10” Pin Tail Single Fin – pic by Mike Cunningham

My first port of call was a Round Tail I had which was actually the third surfboard I ever owned and I bought it off my old brother Richard: a 5’10” Bob Davies/Alan Byrne model. It was a beautiful little Round Tail and it had a translucent blue resin tint bottom and rails. The first time I rode it, it felt really fast, partly because of the surf but partly because it was longer and narrower than what I was used to riding – I had an early wide backed 5’2″ Mini Simmons(ish) Twin Fin that was also a Bob Davies.

Anyway, I got used to the 5’10” and my surfing really improved on it. I sold that board a few times and every time I got it back and rode it, it was obvious to me and anybody that was watching, that I surfed better on it! That was the first one. The Orange 5’11” is my best recollection of that “magic” blue Round Tail.

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I have done a few customs off this design and the feedback has been a happy mix of nostalgic discovery and sheer surprise at the performance feel, the current rack of Round Tails in the Candy Store at the moment are very much taken off that board.

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I both invite and encourage you to experience the “magic” of one of my Single Fin Round Tails currently available from the Candy Store or by Custom order.

Email, phone or drop by to chat with me about which Single Fin Round Tail will be best for you.

Cheers, Roger

4 thoughts on “A look at Single Fin Surfboards (Part II)

    Barclay says:

    Hi Roger, don’t know if your interested , but I have one of your very early “woodenships” surfboards, where the name woodenships looks like its been written with one of those old school stencils we used to use at school (which is probably what it was!) Its white with yellow edges, the yellow looks more like a smokers yellow now…lol
    Anyway, if you are interested or would like some pics, no problems.
    Cheers
    Barclay

    roger says:

    Hi Barclay, yes I am very interested! I would love to see some pics please. Email to info@surfline.co.nz

    Bernard says:

    I ve been surfing for maybe 4 or 5 years with small tri fins boards at the beach break in rio, so the waves here are pretty hollow. Im 5,7 ft tall with an intermediated level of surfing, but i’d like to know what would be the best single fin to buy? (Ive never ridden a single)

    roger says:

    Hi Bernard, can you let me know what size, i.e dimensions/volumes are the boards you are used to riding please.

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