A while back, the fine folks at Wavestorm sent over a few Taquitos for some experimentation (find your own here) (update: Wavestorm has also released an 8′ kids paddleboard, which should work just as well for modifications. Find it here). This is part one of my board shaping adventures.
I plan on making a few different shapes, but I wanted to start with something I could use nearly year-round. I generally like the float of the Taquito, and the rockered nose has done well for me. I wanted to keep most of the width in the back, while not going quite to a mini-simmons design. I also wanted to lose a little bit of the length without sacrificing too much volume. Finally, the single center fin wasn’t doing a lot for me; I liked the options and sprightliness of a thruster setup. So, I had a plan.
First order of business was to hack off the tail. I started with a point just in front of the finbox.
You’ll note that instead of hacking up one of the new boards, I opted to start in on the Taquito I’ve been putting some river miles on. Because I’m a wuss.
After lopping off the tail, I tapered my corners. I didn’t want a full mini-simmons tail, but I wanted to keep most of the width since my low-season waves tend to be driven by foam piles – anything too narrow would get driven further back into the pile than I want.
I did most of my cutting with a Sawzall, since I’m classy like that.
After a little shaping, it was time to button up the tail.
Sealing The Tail
I debated a bit about how I wanted to seal up the tail; I didn’t want the foam out there exposed to the world, but anything wrapping the “skin” of the soft top around the foam seemed tough to seal up. I eventually opted for some 3M Marine Sealant, since it ticked most of my boxes: wouldn’t eat the foam, waterproof; should stick to everything. I gooped it on liberally. Gooped is a technical term.
So it’s not the most beautiful thing in the world. Should work well though. I’ll report back.
Also, if I were to do it again, I may use the quick cure version. This took nearly a week to cure. But on the bright side, it’s winter and I’m spending my weekends surfing snow rather than water, so I didn’t miss any time on waves. Next, it was up for fins.
This part was pretty straightforward; I went with a standard thruster setup cribbed from another board in my quiver, something along these lines. I drilled in plugs and dropped them in.
They’re not quite as angled in as they appear in this photo, though they certainly have some rake to them.
So, there we have it. The Poquito Taquito. Hopefully it’ll do well on our smallish, low-tide waves we get around here like Dave’s Wave and the like, while still earning a place in the quiver for other waves. I’ll probably hold off on tweaking another Taquito until I see how this one does on the water, which will hopefully happen sooner rather than later. Fingers crossed!