TinklerTail: A Revolution In Surfboard Technology?

posted by / News / October 5, 2005

Cool concept, funny name. That’s the initial impression one gets when first seeing the Tinkler Tail. Bob Tinkler first started working on perfecting flex in stand up shortboards after living with George Greenough and Bob McTavish in 1967. Since then, he has taken it a step further and this summer, re-introduced the world to the concept of {{{Flex}}}-tail surfing. SurfingTheMag.com sat down with Bob in order to see exactly what he was raving about.


A rear view of the Tinkler Tail design

SURFING: What is the basic concept of this double tailed board?

Bob Tinkler: Well the double tail is basically a false bottom. The deck is part of the board and when you apply pressure during your turn, the tail will move from a straight rocker into various curves. It actually makes turning easier, and with the springs in there you can actually change them out to ‘load up’ the tail in order to get more thrust out of your turn.

Does it work specifically with any type of board? For instance; a shortboard or a longboard?

Anybody can use it. It’s very user-friendly. You can use it on nose-riding longboards and high-performance shortboards.

So what is the basic premise of this tail?

With it, the surfer can fine-tune his board in the water for that particular session. Depending on many different factors such as body weight and wave conditions, the surfer can swap out the springs for higher or lower tension springs that can alter the performance of the board.

Basically this sounds like a potential innovation to the surf industry not unlike the fin systems that have become an industry standard over the past 10 years or so.

Exactly. And the boards are not exclusive to one kind of fin system either – we work with almost all of them.

The sample board that you have here is a Surftech molded board. Is that the only way they are available or are they possible to do with your standard foam and fiberglass boards as well?

The original design was always centered on mass production and it continues to be that way. With the flexible tail, you can now make those stiff epoxy boards flexible and easier to use. It improves what a molded board was lacking.


A side view of the springs within the tail

Is the board re-enforced in order to make that split tail section stronger?

Yes. There is carbon fiber in there and there is also a tether in the design to prevent the tail from moving back into the wrong direction.

Is it easy to adjust in the water?

Yes, it’s designed so that you can adjust all three springs to suit the current conditions. If you are doing a lot of turns, it can be dialed up for more resistance. And if you are just speeding down the line, it can be loosened in order to give more spring.

When will boards with this design be available to the general public?

We are working very hard to get this into production for next summer. So by next year, you should be able to get one. It’s the first molded, off-the-rack, custom surfboard.

Does the split tail in the back cause a little water drag?

No. The split tail has no negligible effect on water-flow whatsoever. There is no increased drag at all. And when you go into a turn with this design, the two decks become one and compress together. Therefore causing no drag there either.

If our viewers want to learn more about the product, where can they get more info?

They can soon go to our website at: www.SurfSyndicate.com

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