Know Your Nose

patsurfrider
 
Let’s face it, the nose is the neglected part of a surfboard. It’s hard to break down this one part of a surfboard and discuss it separately from the others, but start with the basics. How thick is the board a foot back from the tip? How much rocker is there at that point? How wide is the template? All these factors will add up and affect the feel and paddle of the front end of your board.
The nose will assist in the most important part of surfing -- catching a wave. The thicker and wider the nose, the easier you will be able to paddle into the wave; however, the type of wave you will be riding will determine if this is a good or bad thing.
Generally speaking, bigger waves or very hollow waves require thinner noses with more rocker so you don’t “catch” the edge of the nose on the face of the wave as you get up. Less volume in the nose will allow you to more easily turn the board in a critical section as well as recover during a turn, because the nose won’t get in the way.
Smaller and softer waves allow a fatter and thicker nose to be effective in catching the wave because the take off is not so critical. That is why fish boards can be a better option for summer waves. Additionally, the larger surface area of a wider nose allows for more slide on waves that might not have the power to push you along.

Shane Stoneman from Stoneman Surfboards
Paddling and volume go hand in hand, so it’s important to figure out where that happy medium is between a girthy dog that paddles great and a potato chip that feels smaller and turns really sensitively. 
JP Holeman from Holeman Surf Designs
The nose’s primary function is for paddling. It is a trade off between_lower-rockered, wide nose boards for paddling and more extreme-rockered,_narrow noses for not pearling, so depending on that, its form should_follow its function.
Marcio Zouvi from Sharp Eye Surfboards
Depending on the design's main target -- small waves, hollow waves, etc. -- and the surfer's ability, the nose of the board will vary from narrow to wide and its thickness also will change. There is no pre-set formula that dictates nose width or thickness, but the surfer should observe as he rides the waves if the width of the nose is catching, touching the water when it’s not supposed to, or is making the board feel slow. Consideration of the waves you will be riding with your board should be the best indicator of the type of nose you should have. The important fundamentals of the nose of your board should not be overlooked when getting your next board.

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