Table of Contents
New fin design: it’s time to change something!
At rare moments of rest, sitting on the beach, restoring your strength for the next fights with the waves, you are sure to have seen sailing boats cutting waves at a great speed even though the wind is the backside.
Have you ever desired such a speed for your surfboard at minimal efforts?
Well, let’s investigate the process of surfing (or sailing boats because it doesn’t matter in this case) not only from the point of mechanical work but also from the aspect of a surfboard/boat design.
It’s a well-known fact that surfboard speed is produced by the energy the surfboard gets at sharp turns and maneuvers.
But have you ever thought or even noticed that surfboards of various designs spend this energy in a different way?
And such surfboards also have different speeds, respectively to their design. Of course, all these surfboards meet an obstacle in the face of the water, as water creates reactance due to its ability to stream everything it meets on its way.
But still, why do sailing boats fight with this reactance more easily than surfboards? The key point is their design!
What does a boat have in its design that a surfboard doesn’t have? Let’s think about this together.
Sailing boats have a keel in their design that acts as a water breaker. You’ll say that surfboards have a fin in their design to cut waves but it’s too small by its dimensions to prevent reactance.
And you know perfectly well that we can’t increase the weight of the surfboard introducing a more massive fin or, moreover, a quad of fins. So, we need to change the surfboard fin design to solve the problem.
This idea appeared long ago and lots of times it has come to the minds of surfers and shapers since then. But it was Doug Simpson who first introduced a new design of surfboard fins on the base of the laws of hydrodynamics.
Wavegrinder Surfboard Fins
Let’s get acquainted closer with such surfboards.
Doug Simpson is the founder of Wavegrinder company. After graduating from college, he got a qualification as a Physics teacher but he hasn’t devoted even a day to his profession.
He decided to realize his knowledge of physics in his favorite occupation – extreme water sports.
Having also been a fan of yachting sport, he got his first work experience at yachting races trying to minimize the reactance and increase the speed of yachts. Even there, he got his own approach to the design.
Lots of his ideas were adopted from the general knowledge of the principles of aerodynamics. And today, you can see their introduction in Wavegrinder surfboard fin design on longboards.
According to Doug Simpson, it doesn’t matter whether it concerns air or water, they perform in a similar way. When meeting an obstacle, they stream it and that decreases the speed of an object moving, for example, of the surfboard.
If we are speaking about surfing only, there is only one problem: all surfers and surf shapers too have adopted everything natural or naturally made design solutions.
In other words, they oppose everything that is manufactured, especially, with the use of high-tech solutions. And, on the contrary, they like everything that is hand-made and doesn’t conflict with natural laws.
That’s why most surfers still adopted the smoothly curved design of details (fins too). But that’s the real problem!
If we are speaking about the surfboard itself, it should correspond to its purpose of floating but as for fins, they have been created to cut water for defining a certain route with no decay of the surfboard speed.
That’s the point where new comes across habitual. According to Doug, it’s the only disadvantage of his design of fins.
But let’s return to aerodynamics. In airplanes, we find winglets to cut the air.
And let’s pay attention to their design. They have a rather abrupt shape.
For what purpose, you may ask. The answer can be easily explained from the point of the same aerodynamics.
Angles of a detail accept the most air reactance allowing the wings to cut the air with minimal loss of speed.
The same refers to water. And fins of a similar design have been adopted to surfboard fins by Doug Simpson.
So these fins have an additional angled design to cheat the water. While it streams, these smaller in size abrupt parts of the fin manage perfectly the problem of reactance.
The introduction of a more complex design of a fin allows it to correspond to the required weight parameters of a surfboard.
The Fin Placement
Those surfers who are ready to adopt this idea to their surfboards are anxious about the placement of new structures.
According to Doug Simpson, it depends on your manner of surfing but still, there is a common rule for the surfboard fin design.
There should be observed the maximum angle between the point of a surfer’s position on the deck and the center of the lateral distance.
You can vary the angle of your turns according to your desires and experience, of course.
New Fin and Your Style of Surfing
The next often-asked question: does this fin design match different styles of riding?
The answer lies in the design of the fin. Its symmetrical design makes surfing comfortable for riders trying different styles of surfing.
It doesn’t matter what rail you stand on with your working foot or you may even shift from one rail to another.
So, this fin design suits any style of surfing, whether it’s frontside or backside.
What about Shortboards and Other Design Surfboards?
And the last question the surfers ask is if there will be such fins produced for shortboards and surfboards of other shapes.
It’s a reality today! So, now you can find on the surfboard market a large shortboards fin, a small semi-flex fin, large and small fins in a quad design setup, two smaller and one center large fin in a thruster setup offered by Wavegrinder company.
And that isn’t the end… It’s only you who makes the future of surfboard design!