Unless you live near a wave magnet like Indonesia or Hawaii, 75% of the time you will be be riding head-high or smaller waves. Shorter, wider, more parallel boards are ideal for surfing small waves because the increased surface area helps get the board up on a plane quickly and the parallel outline makes it easy to carve on a rail. Over the years our rounder, wider boards have evolved to incorporate short board tail rocker with modest nose rocker. The wide points are at center or behind to eliminate the ear in the template ahead of the wide point on a conventional egg that makes it difficult to go straight up the face to hit the lip. The rails are thin for feel and control, with a tucked under edge in the back one-third of the board to make it easy to roll into a banked turn. When viewed from the side, the boards appear to have a bit more rocker than a traditional board, but this is really due to the bottom contour along the rail. The rocker profiles along centerline are fairly conventional.
The widths have decreased because the rail contour helps to generate lift more efficiently than surface area. The noses and tails have become more elliptical because they make transitions from rail to rail better at the higher speeds made possible by the bottom and rail design. DV is six feet tall, weighs 170 pounds and his personal daily driver has evolved from 6-0 by 20.75 by 2.62 to 6-0 by 20 by 2.68 as a result of using a more efficient bottom.
Shapes 5-9 through 7-0 typically have equal nose and tail dimensions with the wide points at center or behind, and are intended to be daily drivers in ordinary California conditions.
The baseline 7-6's widest point is behind center and the nose is about a half-inch wider than the tail. It is intended to go vertical in small waves; think 1968 Puerto Rico World Contest with modern bottom and rocker. This general shape works best 7-0 to 8-0 depending on the rider’s weight and ability.
The baseline 8-0 widest point is behind center with a nose that is 1.75 inches wider than the tail, giving the maximum projected rail-line to connect sections on the smallest days. The concept behind this shape allows you to do a banked turn even in the smallest waves. This shape generally works best 7-6 to 8-6.