Difference Between Bat Tail and Crescent Tail Bodyboards
To an untrained eye, a crescent tail bodyboard and bat tail bodyboard may look identical. However, these boards have a crucial difference: their tail shape. The type of tail in a bodyboard has a massive effect when it comes to ride style, maneuverability and performing tricks.
Invented by Morey in the early 1980s, the Crescent Tail is the most popular tail variant in bodyboarding.
This design offers less contact with the wave than a bat tail, leading to more board stability and a smoother ride.
Additionally, the crescent tail is favored by drop knee bodyboarders, as it allows for a solid hold onto the wave, but it's still maneuverable enough to perform spins and tricks.
This hold characteristic, along with its looser overall response, makes the crescent tail the more popular variant among barrel riders.
Newer riders are most likely to start using this tail design, as it's the most common design on new bodyboards.
CLIPPED CRESCENT TAIL
The clipped crescent tail is a variant of the crescent tail with square pegs on the ends, rather than defined edges.
This modification is the most popular board setup, but offers slightly less hold than a full crescent tail.
It still offers some good maneuverability, particularly for riders that prefer not having channels.
Designed by pro bodyboarder Mike Stewart in the mid 1990s, the Bat Tail was named due to its close resemblance with Batman's cowl.
This tail type offers more looseness and speed than its crescent tail cousin, but that also brings less overall stability.
This is because there's more surface area due to the area between the pegs. With a bat tail, the rider's legs are elevated, thus giving less overall drag on the wave.
Bat tails remain a favorite for prone riders, along with those that ride in small reef breaks.
If you're looking for a tail that performs well in smaller, more unpredictable waves, a bat tail is your best bet.
FLAT BAT TAIL
A slight variant of the bat tail, this tail variant combines the popular features of a bat tail with a bit of the crescent tail design as well.
This variant is also popular for drop knee riders.
WHICH BODYBOARD TAIL TYPE IS BEST FOR ME?
When choosing a board, there is no right or wrong tail type - it all depends on the rider's personal preference.
Whenever possible, try out riding on each tail type - you might just be surprised at your preference.
If you're a newer rider, or you prefer barrel riding, we recommend going with a crescent tail to start out.
If you're an experienced rider, you ride in small or unpredictable surf, or you prefer drop knee riding or prone riding, pick out a bat tail.
Once you begin learning some tricks, or start bodyboarding in varying conditions, try out a few different tail types! It's amazing to see how such a small variation in your bodyboard's design impacts your ride.