After many years of blissful existence surfing changed quite dramatically with the introduction of professional surfing bringing with it all the necessary ingredients, commercialism, money, power and most of all EGO and GREED, perfect for the capitalistic environment to survive in and even thrive in, so let the corruption begin, the stage is set for the manipulation of all that is necessary for these new breed of parasites to wallow in take control of the media and spread their brain washing propaganda.
The sad thing about this situation is the detrimental effect, it has had on surfing in general, the spreading of untruths certainly has not helped surfboard design at any level.
Once upon a time there were two pro surfers, one rode a futuristic single fin design and the other a twin fin design, both these designs were inspired by me whom at that time was the design leader of world surfing, so powerful was the McCoy name, the power brokers of the day decided to eliminate me and my powerful empire of the world’s best surfing. The excuse used was the single fin Lazor Zap to oppose the twin fin design, even though McCoy had moved on from the twin fin design believing the design to be limited in its performance capabilities as history has gone on to prove. In actual fact the situation had nothing to do with surfboard design and performance, it was the controlers of surfing’s way of discrediting, the Lazor Zaps futuristic surfing capabilities and eliminating the single fin design from the arena for all but those that understand true design and function. The desired out come for the greedy few has destroyed pure design through their complete ignorance. …….30+ years later……
I never stoped researching all facets of design and function accumulating volumes of practical knowledge and understanding, the wave, the technique for surfing, the function of an object to ride on!
My latest design is a single fin and its capabilities are almost beyond belief, I claim it will out perform any other fin combination in all conditions at any size, wow that is a huge statement for anyone to make. I also claim these ASTRON ZOT single fin designs to be my most complete work of all, so far and by far the best I also believe I have discovered the missing link in true surfboard design. These designs are vastly different from all other surfboards, they are the first of a whole new awareness of what this new age single fin can do.
These boards simply have to be ridden to be believed. May I also add that I believe these designs will bring the single fin designs back into very valid prominence, ending the DESIGN MYTH about multi fined designs being superior.
Many Surfers have already very happily found out what great all round performers the Geoff McCoy designed single fins are
The teacher without hesitation replies, ”Life is a never ending chain of experiences”.
Satisfied with the answer the pupil turns to leave.
“Wait”, says the teacher. “Don’t you want to know what the purpose of life is”?
“Yes master”, says the pupil.
The teacher looks him in the eye and says, “The purpose of life is to profit one’s self from those experiences”!
The year was 1971 and Geoff McCoy made a Chisel Tail Twin Fin in an inspiration filled night after seeing a picture of one in an American surf mag.
Within weeks they were on the cover of Surfing world and hailed as the best thing since sliced bread..
A whole lot of shaping dust has been washed under the bridge since that inspired night and ideas of what worked re Surfboards and what didn’t had to stand the test of fashion and to that mark the Chisel Tail Twin Fin didn’t cut the mustard and fell away like yesterday’s headlines.
There were many reasons, valid and not so valid, as to why that happened, but back then the days were moving fast and changes were a plenty as ideas were thrown wildly at a slab of foam and we were all looking ahead for the next new thing.... the question is why? Why throw something away rather than develop it?
So let’s go back to our teacher and his pupil and that brilliant last line, “The purpose of life is to profit one’s self from those experience”....
Since 1971 Geoff McCoy has had a lot of shaping experience and my surfing life is currently profiting from that experience on a design which was discarded 40 years ago, the Chisel Tail Twin Fin; which has now been redesigned and rejuvenated.
Last Xmas I was struggling to enjoy my Surfing. After near 50 years of doing next to nothing else but going Surfing the routine of what I was doing on a wave was becoming at best boring, at worst fuckin’ boring till I went to visit the one and only Tim Martin at Lennox Head.... Tim had a Geoff McCoy latest redesigned Chisel Tail Twin Fin ... one of only two that Geoff had made for Tim to ride as he missed out on the design all those years ago. The important thing for me and my Surfing was, Tim had them and that means I had access to one of them, a 6’4” 21 ¼ 3”...
My Surfing life changed from that moment on.
After surfing Tim’s Twinny for a couple of days I rocked up on Geoff’s door step charged like a grommet and saying to him that he had to make me two, a 6’4 and a gun chisel tail Twinny... the gun being a feat I’m not sure was even tried back in the day... and that brings me to the story of my two Chisel Tail’s.
I’ve just got back from a trip to Cactus and had the best time, the best Surfing I’ve had for many a year and the reason was my Twinnies.
Experience is everything in life. It adds tone. It adds reason. It adds appreciation. It becomes knowledge.
My new Twinnies, though owing their inspiration to the year 1971 have the benefit of Geoff McCoy’s forty plus years of Surfboard Designing and Shaping in them, and that offers a new dimension to their performance and more importantly to the way these two Boards react to water, to the wave and the energy that it is the wave.
Gone is the uncontrollable Twinny slide off a steep bottom turn. Gone is the inability to ride in a barrel. Gone is the pearling on take off. Gone is the drifting of the tail when the last thing you want the Board to do is drift. And gone are most any other bugs you think the Chisel Tail Twinny had or might have had . And why?
Because profiting from experience Geoff was able to introduce many of the Design Features that he has learned over his many years of Dedicated Research and Development in his ongoing quest of Design Knowledge. I now have a Board that is not built on flats, down rails, hard edges, and V’s; but is soft, round, curved, domed, subtle and therefore offering a New Dimension in Performance.
These new 2015 Chisel Tail Twin Fin’s don’t reject the water by pushing at it as governed by the physics of the hard and flat design theories of 1971... they accept the water because their physics are soft and subtle and the result I found is Pure Fun, Great Surfing and a new way to draw lines on the wave face
The explanation as to why is simple really... experience.
Design Through Development.
The original template which was mutilated into the “modern short board”, designed by ignorance at the highest level, manipulated into existence by B grade surf journalists and clothing company executives promoting self interest just for the sake of making money.
No knowledge, no skill, no soul, just selfish greed and ego.
It is for these reasons surfboard design in a practical sense has been held back for the past 30 plus years, these low grade self serving flea bags have controlled it all.
With the weakening of the world economy, these controllers of surfing are loosing their hold as they become more affected by the financial situation that will inevitably take them out of the market and with them their non productive power.
This is already paving the way for a much broader thinking in recreational surfing.
Although most retro designs are not great performers, they brought back volume and area which is a great advantage to the less skilful surfers as it now allows them to paddle and catch waves and go left or right, which they could not do on their previous equipment, the modern short board with its slender low volume hard to surf approach.
It is with these awareness’s that surfers on all levels are seeing and understanding the true value of the well designed high volume surfboards that I have been designing and shaping for many years. Now with the internet they are once again enjoying unpolluted exposure which allows people to at least look and ask and realise that it is all only common sense.
There is no holding them back, it is extremely important with the single fin design especially to get the right concepts and contours flowing together to obtain maximum control and performance.
To reach the point where I am now at I have worked my way through a diverse range of contours before realising that the simpler and smoother, I blended the features the higher the performance and control levels were obtained from the object.
I have proven the less reaction from the object the smoother the ride and control for the single fin design.
Once you put reaction into the design, it then has to be controlled as well as being utilised, this makes it harder to surf overall.
It is quite simple, the more features you add the more reaction you introduce until there is a need to add more fins to counteract the reactions which you have introduced.
Another important aspect is that there is a cut off point in terms of tail width as the fins become further apart they start to work independently to each other causing delayed response to the surfer’s commands.
The single fin design improves its all round performance by widening and thickening the tail area as it gives the object resistance as it provides more buoyancy and support and a whole range of advantages such as instant acceleration , quick easy turning, more stability and easy wave catching and much faster overall, in fact the single fins wide thick tail will out perform all other fin configurations and designs in an extremely wide range of wave sizes and conditions with the correct contours and balance.
I can confidently say it is absolutely critical that the right amount of each design feature be right for its purpose as the slightest changes can have a major effect on performance.
Single fin design is more pure with only one stabiliser (fin) it allows the natural flow of water to have less interference on the bottom contours giving a smoother cleaner more flowing performance that multi fin designs cannot achieve because of the design features used.
What shapers at large have to realise is my designs have been extremely refined over years of understanding the thick wide tail designs performance; that is why they are so subtle to look at. The performance, consistent with the design which is soft and absorbing to the energy, it receives through the design, it is not a hard opposing energy design that repels water that other shaper’s persist in using regardless of how hard they are to surf properly.
I have to laugh to myself when I read how someone is using one of my design concepts and how in complete ignorance to true performance they state how they have added their completely foreign design qualities and improved on something they do not even understand and how by adding these features, they improve its performance without ever riding a real one, the poor deluded fools!
I say just because you can see it, does not mean you know what you are looking at and this certainly applies to my designs which are simple to look at, but in reality extremely complex.
Once you understand how energy operates and how pure it is, unaffected by man, then designing the object to ride on it becomes clearer and how best to make them function passively and easier to control without compromising, actually adding over all performance has to be a great advantage to the surfer.
Yes it defiantly brings a smile to my dial knowing, I alone now have some answers, the way I see it the people that disagree with my practical common sense functional approach to design simply expose their true ignorance, it is true the louder the voice the greater the ignorance !!
Shapers have to realise that you cannot just copy the plan shape and “rip off” my model names such as Lazor Zap, Nugget, Astron Zot and think they know all about what my designs are all about; when the realty is they have no clue that is why they take a design concept and destroy the purity of the design that makes it function, so well this leaves me to say if you want the real deal, then get a REAL MCCOY as I can guarantee they will always out perform an imitation.
How is this achieved by the board?
It is simply by designing a surfboard that can carry the surfer’s weight better and actually has a planing area combined with softer rails where the surfer stands, this allows the board to run higher in the water and stay on the planing surface, hence more flow through out the wave range.
The Nugget Design has most of the boards volume in the back half both in plan shape and thickness. In plan shape the board is widest in the middle then holding the width, only tapering slightly going into the tail area which has a full round curve for ease of turning giving the board the ability to hold the energy of the wave, allowing for continual flow.
The thickest point of the board is also the middle area which holds the thickness as it runs forward into the nose rocker, and through to the tail area.
This even distribution of thickness through the length of the board is one of the contributing features that allows the Nugget Design to be the free running, flowing, easy to control surfboard that it is.
The Nugget Design is at its best when the waves are powerful and hollow; with a wide spread reputation for ease of tube riding. This is because the softer blend of rail and bottom curves combined with the wider tail area allow the board to stay high on the wall where maximum speed is obtained from the wave, therefore giving the surfer every chance to ride deep and make the waves.
Surfboard design determines its performance capabilities.
Remember if the board cannot carry you comfortably, and has prominent design features in plan shape rail shape or bottom shape, it will react to those prominent features and will struggle to surf with continual flow. The features of design that provide the board with the ability to flow smoothly are a subtle blending of soft flowing curves as in the Nugget designs. Design through development.
Alisdair McDiarmid doing sweeping turns
Modern designs are created by Jnr. Journalists and over enthusiastic clothing executives with no knowledge of Surfboard design and function. It has been done through the media with promotion of products and ignorant designers of Surfboards just following the rubbish written by some poor ignorant journalist who is almost in puberty, with absolutely no knowledge of Surfboard design and function at any level.
Modern Short Board Example Media Hoax - thin, dysfunctional
The McCoy Nugget design has proven to be a very practical way to go surfing if you want to have “FUN” in a wide range of surfing conditions. The Nugget design is being created by evolution as this is where I am at now after almost 40 years of continuous design, research and development.
The Nugget design is by far the most advanced all round functional Surfboard on the market today, no other design can offer such a wide range of wave size and conditions. The Nugget design incorporates the best features of all its predecessors, the Double Ender, the Twin Fin and the Lazor Zap, this is why I am confident about the Nugget as an all round performer in such a wide range of wave conditions.
It is earlier designs that make the Nugget design so practical and functional. The Nugget design has been tested in wave’s size from 1’ ~ 80’.
It has ridden conditions from glassy to extreme chop; proving its function in all conditions to be far superior.
Pic: A.R.N. 6'4" x 22" x 3" Functional Futuristic S/B for the Majority
This in turn causes the fins to plough through the water creating more drag than the single fin set up. This can only be relived when the board is turned constantly. Example of a hull shape (surfboard bottom) repeated five times exactly the same, leave one with no fin and then a single, a twin, tri fin and four fins put them in flat water and line them up then give them all the same thrust from behind.
The board with no fin will run the furthest followed by 1 then 2 fin then the 3 and finally the 4 fin set up. Why ? Simple, drag added to the hull, no fin no drag, as each fin is added to the hull so does the drag factor increase. It really is simple logic when thought about. How does this effect performance? Quite dramatically in terms of performance, regardless of hull shape the fin set up determines the style of performance obtainable and there is a correct way to surf the various set ups as each one needs to be surfed differently to obtain maximum performance.
In terms of performance keeping it simple.
1. Hulls with side fins will rotate from rail to rail and with side and centre fins a quick short burst of speed is the effect, more a stop start performance.
2. The single fin gives smooth longer arcs with more overall flow and if the rails are designed correctly through the tail area much greater control in the hollow parts of the wave, tubes and steep walls.
When contemplating a surfboard design keep in mind that each fin combination will surf differently from the other and each combination requires an individual approach to how best to surf the board. It is not a matter of which design is best, it is a matter of how you wish to surf.
1. A.R.N. 2. Single Fin Astron Zot
Geoff McCoy moved to Byron Bay in the mid 1980’s after his total disillusionment with Business and the Competitive Surfing World. In the intervening years he has continue to Design and Build Surfboards which many say are the most practical and fun boards which they have ridden, and this after quite a few were considering giving up Surfing completely. I’ve also heard that when Geoff talks to people about ordering a Board they are totally blown away by the depth of knowledge that this man has on his chosen field. He never rushes the order goes into the smallest details about the Surfer, his ability and what he is looking to achieve. He also asks them quite a lot of questions about what they have been riding and why they are looking to change direction. For most, this is the first time that they have not been steam rolled into buying a Board which actually had very little to do with them and everything about the shop person who was trying to push their Product.
Greenough: Geoff why do you often refuse to give interviews? McCoy: I do give interviews George but in the past they have not always written what I have spoken so I am a little wary.
Greenough: Why have you decided to do the interview with me.
McCoy: We are on the same page; coming from the same awareness, you get where I am coming from and what I am saying. I have decided to do this interview to point out my perspective on the massive changes that have taken place during my involvement in surfing, as my experiential field and to the World in general, which I personally find disappointing. I’ll start in the beginning. Surfing was not always considered favorably, it was in fact frowned upon by most mainstream folk. In the mid to late 50’s ~ 60’s, you were considered to be irresponsible and a drop out for being a surfer, an outcast in society, very few people understood the attraction, the power and freedom of Surfing and with it the addiction to the ocean, the waves it produced and the endless quest to ride them.
Once you experienced and related to these over powering natural forces, you were hooked regardless of all the good advice you were given; surfing became a passion and then a life style!
Greenough: If that was the case were there many people in the water Surfing in those days?
McCoy: No, there were not a lot of surfers in those early years and more often than not you surfed by yourself, with a mate or only a handful of other surfers. In hindsight this was the “Golden Era” the burgeoning of the amazing life style, which Surfing provided. Since those early years, there has been a consistent increase in the number of people that go surfing, as you know particularly where we live, it is difficult to even have a Surf due to the numbers of people in the water, all contending for the waves. Surfing has risen to become a major Sport all over the world and has now been accepted by those that in the early days frowned on us.
Greenough: What do you see was the cause of the change in Attitude?
McCoy: In one word “Money”! Along the way ‘Entrepreneurs’ the greedy selfish few, the new breed of ‘Businessman or woman’ realized they could make and sell products to sell to these people called Surfers and even to people who did not Surf but wanted to be seen as ‘cool’. They have Surf shops in places in Australia that are hundreds of kilometers from the Surf. These business people observed an opportunity and went in hard, much the same as in all other areas of business.
This was the new way to make money, it has permeated all sports and recreations, in fact all areas of our lives, from housing through food and clothing. If we want to be really intense about this, it, this insatiable greed and desire for more and more is what is directly responsible for the Climatic and Socio Economic situations, which we are now facing today. However right here we will stick to Surfing and the changes, which we have observed.
Greenough: How did this come about?
McCoy: By promoting Surfing on an international level, by selecting who and what their Marketing Research targeted they, Big Business, could control the trends, decide who would win the contests, what equipment they would use and what they would wear. The irony is that a large percentage of these entrepreneurs were not even real Surfers, they were what we used to call “Fringe Dwellers” masquerading as Surfers and using the image of Surfing to cash in and make huge amounts of money with no real consideration for real Surfing on any level.
In the developing years, of my business I admit I was responsible for volunteering my image and position to these take over and control Surfing parasites, I ignorantly helped them establish an image that ultimately lead to their complete dominance over Pro Surfing; which they have until now used as a weapon for complete control. This is what we have seen right up until now; these days Pro Surfing has become little more than a promotional event with little care for the participating contestants who have become identities being used for the marketing of products at any cost with no thought for the health and well being of the contestants. We have seen many great Surfers rise, loose themselves in the hype and Drug, Alcohol and Party lifestyle which has gone along with this, only to be discarded and thrown aside when their ‘image’ has been tarnished.
There have only been a few, in the very early days that were in any way helped by their friends, not the Big Companies. This is evident in hospitals and rehab clinics around the world. Once again this is not only in the domain of professional Surfers but is commonplace in all forms of sport. Yes, it is a long way from the humble beginnings of Surfing.
Greenough: So where are the real Surfers, the ones that just love to Surf like in the old days?
McCoy: Real Surfers still exist you are one of them George. Their numbers are few, living the humble self-indulgent surfing life style away from all the mainstream limelight, just doing their thing; totally embracing the surfing life style, living and loving the purity that real surfing is. It is of course now much harder than it was as now making money is the Number 1 priority for everyone, in times past, having a good life and happy family were the priorities, this picture has changed in only 1 lifetime. We now look at Gross National Profit, not Gross National Happiness. There has been a research book written about it, it’s called, The Happiness Manifesto, I think we all need to be reading this at school instead of how to get a job that pays us the most money we can acquire. We would then have time, once again for Surfing. LOL!
Greenough: What changed your attitude from big business to a lifestyle business?
McCoy: That’s a Big Question in a few words. Once I realized that the companies were standardizing the surfboard into a class with no room for creative and individual design I decided to pull away from the Pro image controlled Surfing / design format and put my energy and experience into shaping and designing boards for the masses, the recreational Surfers who had been completely over looked by the hysteria of Pro Surfing; who were ridiculously asking low to moderate ability Surfers to ride the same equipment as the Pro’s. When this influence of Pro Surfing was at its peak I was also trying to ride anorexic, dysfunctional boards with frustration being the only outcome. I was on the verge of quitting Surfing completely.
My experiences as an insider as to what was really happening and the motivation behind the Big Companies, the way they maneuvered and manipulated everyone for their own greed driven gains not to mention the fact that I had also been used by them had me totally disillusioned. I was talking to my sister Anne about how I felt and she suggested to me “Why don’t you make a board that you think would be more practical?” my response was “they will only laugh at me and write me off”, she said “ So what, build one for yourself anyway” So I did the first Nugget design in 1994. It was a 6’ 6” x 20 1/2” x 2 7/8” and I started riding it and people were saying that board goes really well for you, could you make one for me. This was beginning of a whole new experience for me. It was like starting all over again, it took me about 5 years of hard work to come up with the ability to adjust.
I realized it was necessary to develop new formulae and a practical working graph to be able to accommodate a complete range of Designs to suit a vast range of Lengths, Widths, Thicknesses, Rockers as well as Plan Shape Adjustments that would accommodate the varied weights, needs, abilities and performances of Surfers to provide a complete range of the Nugget Designs that would be suitable for all. It was during this period that after each phase of shaping I felt like I had just written another Symphony; it really was physically draining and very confronting, as it seemed to be endless. It was also during this period that my Designing Skills and overall Knowledge of an Object on a Wave had increased dramatically; it was a whole new World of Enlightenment for me, which made all the effort very worthwhile, it was a feeling of a greater understanding of my life’s work, I felt like I had fulfilled an ambition which gave me amazing satisfaction.
I now understand When, Where, Why and How it All Works. At the time that I did this the Big Companies were asking Surfers of 90 ~ 110kgs to ride boards that were totally wrong in every aspect. If you reflect back, in the early years, when equipment was more diversified and still carried volume, there was a greater percentage of bigger guys on the Pro Circuit, as the boards reduced in Volume, so did the size of the Pro Surfer. It made many long term surfers just quit and walk away believing they could no longer Surf. I saw how wrong it was and decided to shape and build boards that could accommodate heavier Surfers and put the “Fun” back into Surfing for these neglected Surfers. I cannot tell you how many phone calls, emails and letters I have received over the years telling me how stoked they were with the boards I had made for them and how it had given them the chance to enjoy and have “Fun” again in their Surfing.
Greenough: How was this received by the Industry?
McCoy: There have been many ignorant brain washed fools that have tried to howl me down over the years saying my designs were dysfunctional and too thick…but if these no knowledge fools could read the correspondence I have received over the years, they may never offer their ignorant opinions ever again.
Fins and Boards
Another observation, which I have made in recent times, is that due to the introduction of the Fin Systems, the Surfboard and Fin have become 2 separate identities. These days the Customer buys a Board and then selects a Fin or Fins to use in that Board even though they may have little or no knowledge as to what effect the Fins will actually have on that Boards performance. From my view the Fin or Fins are integral to the way that Board will perform. The Fin/s must be balanced to enhance the Board’s performance; this balance can only be achieved with knowledge, understanding and a practical assessment. If the Fin/s are not in harmony then the result is poor performance.
I believe that it is the duty of the Board Designer to nominate the Fin/s required to obtain maximum function and performance from their designs; it is for this reason that I prefer to glass all of my Multi Fins onto the Board which prevents people from guessing and imagining that they know where to place the Fin/s and inhibiting the Boards performance. My Single Fins come with a Fin Box, I have done this so that the Fin can be removed and repositioned to assist the Boards performance in a wider range of wave sizes and conditions.
I speak with the Customer and explain exactly why, when and how Fin movement is required. I believe that you George bought 2 major Design Aspects to Australia. The short Kneeboard and refined performance Fin Designs. The Kneeboard, which you were riding at the time, influenced all of us to reduce the size of the regular stand-up of that era. You have continued to pursue and refine your Fin designs over many years, experimenting and refining, gaining excellent practical knowledge along the way, which has influenced and benefited all of us. Unfortunately in recent years Commercialism has overrun Knowledge and many Designers are accepting anything which is new, without actually having the depth of understanding and insight to know if the Fin/s they are using are in harmony with their Boards. Could you please share your observations and insights and explain how important it is to have the correct balance between Surfboard and Fin/s.
Greenough: Well Geoff I have decided to ask you some questions on this and get your observations.
Greenough: You use a different Plan Fin on your Nugget Single Fin, Why is it different?
McCoy: After many years of researching and practical application and testing countless different shapes to use as Fins I now understand how different Shapes effect the performance of a Surfboard in terms of Drive, Hold, Stability and Maneuverability. I believe that it is necessary to have the Fin harmonizing with the Surfboard to obtain optimum performance. If the Fin is not adequate and in tune with the Board it will not allow optimum performance. The reason I have developed and use the Gull Wing Fin in my Wide Tail Designs is its Function. The Forward Knuckle and Raked Tip provide greater Hold and Drive.
The breaking wave has the function of drawing up and over, the water flow is around the Board moving from Rail to Rail; the knuckle of the Fin captures the motion and is constantly being pulled against the wall of the wave; this function assists the Wide Tail to hold stopping the Tail from slipping or drifting out, allowing the thicker wider tail to utilize its advantages of greater speed and maneuverability. The length of the Tip area and its Depth in the water is more effective as it provides more leverage. This allows the width of the fin’s Plan Shape to be reduced, which in turn makes turning the Board from rail to rail much easier as there is less resistance. In summary, this Fin Design improves Hold, Drive and maneuverability for my Wide Tail Designs, which makes the combination a complete package.
Greenough: What do you think the future of your Wide Tail designs is?
McCoy: I have been designing and shaping this style of Board since 1994 and during this time the concept has steadily increased in demand as people have become aware of their performance advantages. It has been a word of mouth situation where one person would get a Nugget and then one by one their friends and then people that saw them on the Boards would also order them. The result has been mind boggling and very satisfying for me. These Designs are based on practicality and common sense and are extremely functional.
They are easy to paddle, very stable, responsive and versatile in a wide range of wave conditions and sizes. I have no doubt that these designs will continue to grow in popularity for a long time into the future. Now that people are realizing that the Boards being promoted through the media for the Pro Circuit style of Surfing is not actually the style of Board that is best for the average Surfer. These Boards are far too reactive, difficult to paddle and also hard to catch waves on. In recent years there has been a resurgence of Retro Designed Boards. Why?
These Boards are wider, thicker easy to paddle, stable to ride and less reactive. It is for these reasons that they have become popular again and are ‘killing off’ the modern Surfboard designed for the Pros. These Boards are only for the elite Surfer; it is dysfunctional in its application for the average surfer. My Nugget Designs can be adapted to suit all abilities from the Beginner to the Elite performer. These Boards have now stood the test of time in waves from 1’-70’, in an extremely wide range of wave conditions. The Design is actually Futuristic, and Practical; just ask anyone that rides one.
Greenough: What about Big Guns in the 10’-12’ range for Paddle In Big Wave Riding and would the Design work for this field?
McCoy: I have adapted the Nugget Designs to suit Big Waves, which they do with amazing results. The Design Concept of my Nugget is to have more area in the back half of the Board; this changes depending on what size waves the Board will be used in. Obviously if you have a small wave Board at: 6’x21 1/2” x 17”t x 14”n x 2 7/8”, for waves up to solid 5’. To go for waves 5’-10’, you would need to adjust the dimensions, say 7’ x 19 ¾” x 15 ½”t x 12 ½” n x 2 7/8”. For waves 10’-12, 8’ x 19 ½” x 15”t x 12”n x 3”. For waves 12’-15’, 9’ x 20” x 14”tx 11”n x3 ¼”. For waves 15’-20’, 10’ x 20 ½” x 13”t x 10”n x 3 ¼”. As the Boards become longer the concept of more area in the back half of the Board remains even though the dimensions reduce to accommodate the increased speed and surface tension of the wave, which in turn allows the Surfer to retain control of the Board to be used in Paddle In Surfing; where the length and volume are essential ingredients. This formula does not apply to Tow in Surfing as there is no need for length and volume as there is no paddling required. However, the same Nugget Design Concept of more area in the back half of the Board has proven to be practical and functional in waves up to 70’ plus, in a wide range of conditions.
Greenough: It’s interesting that in the last 5-6 years the typical style of Contest Board that the Corporates ‘Love’ is not as popular as it used to be. People are opening their eyes and seeing that there are other shapes out there. Do you think this will be an ongoing trend?
McCoy: Since the introduction of Pro Surfing it has been controlled by what we will call the “Big Companies” ‘This has allowed them to dictate to Surfing, not just the Clothes that they will wear but also more detrimentally, the Design of the Boards that should be ridden by all Surfers, which has been disastrous for all of Surfing. What I am talking about here is the clever ploy of using the ability of the elite Pro Surfer to sell their products to the masses regardless of whether they have the ability to ride this type of equipment or not. Of course time has demonstrated this to us.
This has been an extremely expensive and frustrating exercise for many Surfers. The bigger and heavier Surfer and the less skilled in particular. The re emergence of Retro Designs has bought back Area and Volume to the masses which has finally allowed Surfers to have fun again due to the fact that these features provide paddle power and stability; the basic requirements for the Surfer who has less than Elite Surfer ability. These Retro Designs have taken the control of Surfing away from the Dictators; the Designs allow Surfers to experience suitable, practical equipment and to realize what had been happening; to see that they had been duped into buying equipment that would not serve them and to become angry that they had been manipulated, this in turn has resulted in the decline in power of the “Big Companies”. People are no longer listening to the relentless propaganda machines; they have broken the hold and now prefer to judge for themselves and chose what equipment best suits their personal needs. In my opinion this is a much healthier position for Surfing.
Finally after so many years of listening to advice on equipment, which did not serve them, Surfers have woken from the dream and are now able to see clearly that they need to be on equipment that suits them and their own needs. I trust that now that this realization has happened that we will not once again be duped into going back to the old ways and allowing Big Companies to manipulate us for their own financial gains; that Surfing and Surfers will once again have the freedom, which has always been the essence of the Surf Culture and why we all love and enjoy it so much. It is for these reasons that I have continued to Design and Shape practical equipment even though these Big Companies and also the Surfing Media have tried to suppress and deride me for years. I have to admit that I am feeling very satisfied by this change in Surfing which can only result in a better Surfing World for all to enjoy.
Greenough: I hear you are writing a book about your lifetime in Surfing.
McCoy: Yes, I have been asked so many times over the years why I haven’t written a book. Finally I have decided it is time. I have been working on it for the last 12 months and what my main motivation is, is to tell the History of Surfing from my inside knowledge. I have read so many things over the years that are not even close to the truth. While I have been doing the research for the book with my sister who is actually co-authoring it with me we have come up with so many blatant untruths that it has made me look at not only the History of Surfing in a new light but in fact the History of the World. I figure that if they have changed the History of Surfing to this degree the History of the World must also be way off line. In any case I will have a go at correcting and enlightening this one area which I do know about, the rest of the World, I will leave for the moment, LOL.
Greenough: When will the book be out?
McCoy: We are planning early 2015 for my Biography and then we will start on my Design Book. The Design Book will cover a vast array of Design Functions that will explain how water reacts on Design Features depending on the various Shapes of the Object that is in the water. I do have most of this documented already so I anticipate it coming out towards the end of 2015.
Supplying them with the same basic equipment was not an option, they needed specialised designs.
At this time I felt inadequate to do the job properly, I just did not have enough experience or knowledge, even though at this time I was considered the leader in surfboard design worldwide.
Within me there was a burning desire to know more and I was working on many aspects of design that obviously had never before been explored, such as the way each individual stands on an object, where his body is positioned for each manoeuvre and what he or she is trying to achieve.
I was thinking about the waves that we ride and what causes them to begin with and how they do have a mechanical action that is caused by natural energy and how that action reacts on an object in motion; where the energy points are on each individual wave.
I had all this random information on these various aspects and questions on what it was really all about it, I was getting to a point where it was becoming an obsession.
Then, one day I was driving by myself from Avoca Beach to my friend Thor’s house at Palm Beach in Sydney, for a team meeting of the “McCoy Boys”.
Various concepts and thoughts were flashing through my mind.
I remember the moment very clearly. I was driving on the old Pacific High Way, information started streaming into my head, things started to make sense to me.
So strong was this rush of knowledge that I had to pull my car over ( right beside the Kuringi Railway Station).
I got out of the car and sat on the front just being blown away by the flood of knowledge that was coming in, fitting everything into place perfectly, all my bits and pieces finally coming together.
Within 30 minutes, I had moved into a whole new awareness of how it all worked.
I was overwhelmed by it all, I took a bit of time to ponder and I then realised that I had discovered a new direction for the objects we called surfboards.
The designs would be vastly different to what was then considered normal; most everything I knew was wrong in terms of design; it was completely opposite to what I had previously believed.
I proceeded to the meeting enthused and excited by this new realisation.
Later, back at my Factory and Design workshop at Avoca Beach I shared my thoughts and concepts with my workers and team riders, there was much discussion.
Finally I decided that I needed to at least shape one of these revolutionary new designs to test it, even though I was barely brave enough to embark on this new concept.
I drew the plan shape on a blank and we all stood around going “its radical, it looks strange, but it’s worth doing,” (I was not even game to make one, all my old concepts were telling me it would not work even though I had received the information and I believed that it would).
These are the thoughts that were buzzing through my head when I was looking at the plan shape with its wide tail and a narrow nose. I thought “ I do not even know what to do with this”, my new message was all about curves, natural curves for rocker, plan shape, rails. My previous experiences and knowledge was all about straights and flats vee’s, bottoms and hard edges.
It was at this point that I realised I was embarking on a whole new learning experience. I knew nothing of this new unexplored design world, it was a whole new adventure.
I built the first board, we all rode it and it blew us all away with how much better it worked than the conventional boards we had been riding. This boards was superior, more efficient in all aspects of wave riding. I called this new design the “LAZOR ZAP” It was completely different to all other designs, it was all curves and rounds, soft and fluid; it challenged the status quo at the time because it looked so different, but it worked so well. So functional was this design and so different in appearance to what people were accustomed to, that they banded together in their fear and ignorance and wrote the concept off saying at the time the design was dysfunctional.
They compared the new design to the twin fin design which I had pioneered in Australia, being labelled “THE TWIN FIN KING”.
I knew that the twin fin had design limitations that the single fin did not have. It is now a well documented fact that the twin fin design is to a very large extent limited to wave size under 6’, where the single fin has no limitations, which it has gone on to prove in waves up to 80’+, in extreme conditions.
So here we are some 30 plus years later and the so called design experts are now copying my wide tail designs, slowly starting to realise the amazing qualities of the wide tailed single fin and the benefits the wide tail design offers to any fin configuration. I have been designing, shaping, building and riding these designs since 1978 because I had the revelation that it was the future in surfboard design. Since those early days when my knowledge of this new design approach was limited I have been on an amazing learning and understanding journey which has led me to a situation where I now have a vast understanding of an object to surf on and how it will function when riding a wave. I have proven beyond question that the function of a wider tail is superior to all other designs.
Once you start to understand these design advantages you realise how superior they are and why they function so well in practical use. The wider tail allows the object to tap into the energy of the wave in a more practical way.
This in turn gives the surfer better control in critical situations allowing for a much more relaxed surfing experience that enhances the ride.
It has taken a very long time for surfboard designers in general to wake up to this obvious fact and they are now starting to look at the wide tail designs with a new enthusiasm, discovering finally, the great advantages which they offer.
From the early days of the unrefined LAZOR ZAP designs through 30 plus years of learning, understanding and refining the concept to this day, where I have a wide range of my wide tail Nugget designs which I continue to refine and improve the performance of with encouraging results across the whole range.
These designs are futuristic and very exciting to ride in a wide range of wave sizes and conditions, once you dial into one of my designs you will be so stoked that all other designs become uninteresting and tired by comparison. It is fair to say that these futuristic designs have to be ridden to be believed!
DESIGN THROUGH DEVELOPMENT
Below pics: 1. Flyers
2. Single Fin Early 70's 3. Chisel Tail Twin Fin 4. Flyer 5. Lazor Zap 6. Nugget.
McCoy Area Back Evolution.
These small exciting subtle changes are a continuing refinement of already proven designs making them even more user friendly and more predictable than ever before. The already proven Nugget design range 5’ 0”~ 8’ 2” has had an extra model added to the range. These latest design have had the tail shape changed slightly, it is now more elongated.
This subtle change will increase drive off the bottom, once again providing the surfer with more overall controlled performance through out a vast range of waves.
The nose area has been increased very slightly by using a fuller curve that blends the nose to tail balance more evenly throughout the range, they are now so sweet in outline you can almost taste it.
The thickness foil has been adjusted ever so slightly by adding a little more volume through the planing area, this is also the main support area of the board, by adding too and changing the balance it reduces the surfers need to change position while turning and trimming the board through out a extremely wide range of wave sizes and conditions.
These subtle but performance enhancing changes are part of our everyday ongoing research for the state of perfection in the McCoy designs.
This fin is very user friendly, good hold with smooth flowing arcs, good for more vertical surfing.
This fin gives amazing holding and driving capabilities; the forward knuckle at the front gives extra hold and drive.
The Extra Length in the Tip of the Fin Gives better Drive and Direction.Good for Long Flowing Turns
THESE RECOMMENDATIONS ONLY APPLY TO GEOFF McCOY DESIGNED AND SHAPED SURFBOARDS AND FIN DESIGNS
So what is meant by technique?
Technique is the way you stand on a board, paddle into a wave, set up your anticipated ride and the way you crouch into a bottom turn, open the body up on top turns and cut back etc, your actual body positioning throughout the ride to assist in the flow of the manoeuvres, feet, arms and head, technique is all of these things, it is the understanding of how to surf a range of waves competently.
How do you learn about technique and practice?
There are several ways to collect knowledge, you can select a surfer who you admire for their surfing, buy a video of the surfer and watch the surfing in slow motion and stop frames to study how the surfer is doing the manoeuvre frame by frame and practice what you see in front of a mirror in the lounge room or somewhere on land. This gives you the basic feel for the move and by practicing on land when you go surfing, you have the basics of the move in your mind and it becomes easier to reproduce technique on the wave.
Once you get the move into practice, it is a good idea to have someone video you and you watch the video very closely to see what you are doing right and wrong compared to your chosen surfer’s surfing, we suggest you select one move at a time and practice it until you feel comfortable doing it yourself then move on to the next move and develop it then link them all together, Another way is to select a reputable surf coach for individual tuition, if you use this method then only use a coach who has a proven back ground in coaching surfers as they will have a better understanding of your surfing and be able to help you improve your surfing skills.
No matter what method you use, for sure it will need to be practiced many times to become proficient at it. You must persevere to achieve the desired result, as it does not come easily.
It was my wide tailed Lazor Zap that Simon Anderson tested his first Thruster with and by his own admission the board was a cracker! As design has gone on there have been 4 and even 5 fin combinations all have a valid function and all the designs have wider more area tails, the common denominator right through. My wide single fin concept is the only design that gives a single fin the same and even more tail area than the multi fin designs for the first time since the Lazor Zap was cried down out of pure ignorance.
I have proven on all levels of design and performance, that the single fin with wide thick tail design is very valid throughout the whole range of wave conditions shapes and size. It is the wider tail area that has been the one constant throughout the multi fin eras success, it is the wider area in the back half of the object that has given the extra speed, looseness and control; it gets back to plain logic that making the single fin object wider would also work and I have proven this point beyond question. The wide tail narrow nose plan shape balance allows the board to trim tail high on the wave which puts the object in the main energy source consistently, naturally; this is because the widest point on the object will be elevated naturally by the waves energy no matter where it is located front, middle or tail, By using an object that harmonises with the energy it allows the object to harvest the rewards the energy offers.
The actual surfing becomes easier as you flow with the free running object which offers much more control to the surfer. These objects are designed to give constant speed and flow through the use of the wave’s energy, also the use of only one fin (stabilizer) it minimises drag and enhances the hulls ability to function uninhibited by side fins in the major performance area of the object.
By using tail area in the object and only one fin it allows the object to run freer with less effort required to manoeuvre and control, as there is much less reaction (drag) under the water with only one fin, it also offers a shorter less effort turning arc, more control on deep tubes because the fin has only one point of resistance against the natural drawing up and over motion of a tubing wave. These advantages become available by increasing the tail area of the Single Fin Design.
“THE MISSSING LINK” has given the object equal say with the multi fin design, the design change has not only given the single fin equal footing with multi fins. It is now a superior performing object to surf on. This design is capable of real carving surfing, on rails with power and drive, short or long arcs with constant flow and speed, the modern short board is basically not designed to turn and flow, because of its anorexic design, it is not capable of power carving surfing with constant flow; the lack of proper dynamics and lack of volume create the stop start repetitive surfing that the pro’s throw at us, you look at 1 guy for 5 minutes and the rest of the video is the same moves by different surfers, how boring !! Or should I say, how restricted in performance those “old fashioned” short boards are.
The fake moves just do not cut it, square corners, small fins, concaves sliding through turns with no power, loosing drive and flow, I agree it all looks quite spectacular, but that does not mean it is “real” surfing, it only means that is the best they can do on the restricted old fashioned equipment they ride.
The wave dictates good surfing the natural flow of the energy and harmonizing with it on the object determines the manoeuvre and timing required to harvest the best ride by each individual at various levels of surfing ability. It is critical the object is capable of carrying the surfer’s weight to obtain maximum performance at all times, regardless of the surfer’s ability.
By combining area back with thickness, the Board is able to provide more resistance which in turn gives quicker reaction, a superior positioning of the object on the wave, more overall speed, drive, flow and overall control. My designs are all about the object being able to build and sustain constant pressure through out the whole ride. As the pressure moves constantly I found it better to allow the transfer from bottom to rail be done as smoothly as possible.
This in turn allows the object to sustain the pressure more evenly, which allows the object to have more flow and drive instantly allowing for a smooth flowing style of surfing. The old fashioned anorexic designs do not have enough resistance to support the surfer resulting in a stop start low energy very physical approach to surfing, to compensate for the objects lack of design features.
These old fashioned maximum release and resistant designs cannot build or hold pressure as they constantly shed the waves natural energy this results in the bee bop ugly bouncing of the object by the surfer struggling to build and retain the necessary energy from the wave Why would you want to ride an object with all these design faults, when the Astron Zot design offers so much more to the surfer. Designs to free your mind.
1. Single Fin Early 70's 2.Chisel Tail Twin Fin 3. Lazor Zap
Get a piece of sponge foam rubber 1” thicker than the fins depth, cut it out slightly larger than the fin area and board. Hold it over the fins and mark these positions then dig out the holes for the fins to fit into. Push foam over fins, put board in travel bag and zip it up. By doing this, you will minimise breakage by rough luggage handlers.
A surfboard rail needs to be a combination of soft and hard to obtain balance and control through the range of manoeuvres and wave shapes and sizes. I have proven over the years that this formula is by far the best. There are many myths or lack of knowledge experts that will disagree with this, they are simply wrong and need to study function a while longer. The realty of function is that soft holds water and hard releases it. So how does it work in practice.
I found by softening the entry and planing area, it allowed the board to run high on the wall of the wave, it also reduces catch and bogging of the forward rail area, all this because the rail is more open on the bottom allowing it to have greater holding abilities on the more critical parts of the wave (steeper, hollower) giving easier control to the surfer. Where I do use a hard edge on my designs, which is around the fin areas, it is to release the water flow quickly in an area of the surfboard which requires the water flow to be released quickly. This “release” occurs quickly simply because hard edge cannot hold water as they have no area that will hold water flow. It’s a hard edge. On my designs I vary the positioning of the hard edge depending on how many fins the board has.
All my multi fin designs, the hard edge starts level with the front edge of the side fins, because multi fin boards have more hold, it is necessary to release the water flow as quickly and efficiently as possible. The single fin design has a much softer rail with a hard edge release starting at the back of the base of the fin. By keeping the bottom rail more open it assists the single fin hold the board in the most critical parts of the wave and that is what my design are about giving the surfer greater control of their surfboard. These are some of the reasons why my designs are the way they are and function so well in the water.
McCoy Rail Shapes