Bad Moon Rising: The Xanadu Half Moon

Xanadu has been pushing progressive surfboard creation for years and his latest tail, dubbed the Half Moon, is another example of how he’s not just a great shaper, but also a designer. With all the complex concaves and rockers being toyed with today, the Half Moon is a simple idea that’s essentially been overlooked for years.

The idea for the Half Moon began in the early 80s when Xanadu shaped a popular design called a Double Bat Wing tail, although he never stuck with it. He revived the Double Bat Wing last year, but still wasn’t happy with the results. The designs were similar to a swallowtail and just like it sounds — two crescents with three points on the tail. Looking for something different, he took out the middle point to create a full arc — basically a half-moon.

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The result was a board with better holding power and projection, similar to the effects of channels minus the stiffness. “I wanted something to hold a little more than a swallow, but something that would be easier for airs and turns,” he says.

Channels act like a propeller, but their additional speed and holding power compromise the ability to turn rail to rail or slide the tail out. The Half Moon is agile, but it eliminates the possibility of release: “It’s the best of both worlds,” he says.

Xanadu’s currently testing the design in a variety of sizes, and it’s working especially well on the current summer boards he’s been shaping. “Everybody’s really happy,” he says, adding that he’s also getting a ton of positive feedback from his team, which includes Mike Losness, Rodrigo Dornelles, and Matt Rockhold.