Surf Glossary - P: From peak to pin tail


Pad/Tail Pad/Grip Deck

The pad is located on the back of the surfboard and glued to the deck. It looks like a little rubberized mat and that's exactly what it is.
You use a pad as an alternative to wax. Its rough surface provides more grip. Because of the good hold you need on radical turns, most shortboards have pads.
Of course, there are also pads in many different colors and designs.


The peak has already been mentioned several times. A peak is the highest breaking point of a wave and the point where the wave begins to break. From here, experienced surfers start in a wave, because that guarantees the longest ride on the wave.
Many waves and particularly hollow breaking waves are often only to get at the peak, because this is the only point of the wave breaks a bit slower than the rest of the wave. That's why you can see reefs with particularly steep waves, the surfers in the line up close together in the same spot waiting for the rolling waves.

Pin Tail (see also Tail)

A pin tail is the tapered end of a surfboard. A pin tail ensures directional stability and smoothness on a surfboard. Features needed when surfing at high speed, that's why you'll find pin tails almost exclusively on guns.


The plugs can be found at the very back of your surfboard. With them you fix the Finns and the leash of the surfboard. The plugs for the Finns usually have small recessed screws. When attaching your fins, be careful not to over tighten the screws, they might spin, and in the worst case damage the plugs.
Sometimes sand or salt settles in the fine grooves of the screws or their threads and makes it almost impossible to turn the fins out or in.
Never use violence.
Simply rinse the sand or salt with some water.

There are different fin systems. The best known is the FCS system.

Point break

At a point break, the wave breaks around a point. This works if the swell does not hit the land directly but comes from the side. The special thing about such point breaks is that the wave can run very long, which means you can surf much longer on the same wave, as for example on a beach break.

Pointbreaks can break on sand or stone. The important thing is the swell hits from the side of a promontory - the point.
Well-known point breaks are for example: Los Lobos on Fuerteventura (breaks on a reef), Jandia / Cruz Roja on Fuerteventura (breaks on sand), Jeffreys Bay in South Africa (the wave breaks partly on sand, partly on rocks), Snapper Rocks in Australia (the wave breaks on sand), anchor point in Morocco (the wave breaks on stone) and much more.


You need paddling surfing to get to the point in the water where the wave breaks and to get a wave, because paddling makes you adjust your speed to the speed of the wave.
One can say that when walking is the normal mode of transport on land, paddling is the normal mode of transport in the water. You will be just as experienced in paddling the longer you surf.

It's no exaggeration to say that surfing spends more than 90 percent paddling.
To make as much as possible out of the remaining 10 percent, you should always keep in mind the following golden rule:
If you paddle a wave and you think you have enough speed, paddle at least twice more, only then will you have enough speed to successfully start the wave ride!


If you notice that your board is losing speed, you can usually gain more speed by shifting your weight by putting more pressure on your front foot. Thus, the board is loaded further forward and slides down a little further down the wave slope. Pushing is then a kind of rhythmic pounding with the front foot.

If you want to look a bit more stylish pushing, then just try to take a small step forward on the surfboard and angle your back knee.
Less hectic movements are more confident and your surfing will look much more harmonious.
If you drive a lot of skateboard, then you'll surely know how to accelerate a saxboard by tossing the nose out of its stance. It works with a small surfboard too. Well done - you can accelerate your shortboard most effectively.