New Fin Templates
Alternative Surfboard Fins
One of the things we realize at Surfscience is that each surfer has his own style and interpretation of what is possible on a wave. Some surfers desire to shred a wave and can do so every time out. Others should look at a wave with a more fluid and flowing style. In either case, it’s important to look at alternative equipment that you might never see at a surf contest. We at Surfscience encourage you to be your own individual and experiment with design until you find the perfect match. Continuing this theme, we list some alternative fin designs for you to consider.
Angular 757: According to George Orbelian’s Essential Surfing, straight edges and corners won’t hold onto water like curves. The water will break away cleanly. The straight edges on this fin will cause it to turn and pivot with less drag than a fin with curves. Just in case you’re doubting this theory, you should know that 9 time world champion Kelly Slater showed up to the most recent Trestles WCT event with 757s on his backup board.
Football/Omega/Boomerang: Orbelian claims this design originated with high performance windsurfers. The board will be easier to lean rail to rail due to the narrow base. The tip area is increased so it increases the amount of fin in the water when the board is leaned on its edge. This fin will resist sliding out in critical sections of the wave.
Star Fin: Cheyn Horan conceived the star fin and Ben Lexcen created the design. Orbelian states it has a pivotal turning characteristic that is quite snappy due to the vertical rake. The wings improve drive and projection but may cause the board to track.
Turbo Fin: The turbo fin is curved from the base all the way to the tip. It curves out toward the rail and then back toward the center of the board. Orbelian states this curve and the angled fin placement offer plenty of drive and projection out of turns. It is thought that this design will create a subtle venturi effect where the water passing through the fins is accelerated. It should be noted that the merits of the venturi effect on surfboard fins is subject to debate.
The easiest way to change a surfboard’s performance is to alter the fin set-up. Experiment! No one says you must conform to the norm. See what you like; you may surprise yourself.