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Dec 20

Twisted!

You folks more than likely take excellent care of your equipment. We sometimes don’t! Not that we are awful, but we’ll sometimes leave a board resting on a fin when the weather turns crazy hot and we’ll wind up with a fin tip warping. Accidents happen.

But also, we LOVE to experiment. Have you ever wished that a fin had more toe-in, or maybe less? Or perhaps you wonder how an old fin with more cant would work? Then with that template there just isn’t anything that has the angles that you want? We LOVE messing with stuff like that. You have to understand that Futures and FCS make fins that are designed for ocean surfing. All of their R&D is in that realm. Bige and powerful waves, not our little liner like wakes. It would make sense that different fin templates would be better suited to our wakes.

We’ve found that more cant in a fin generates lots of drive right off the line. Thruster fin sets are designed for blasting down the line at probably twice the speed we travel. More cant can improve lift and also reduce drag’ish.

So what can be done?

photo 1

Boiled fins! Ok, no that isn’t the deal at all, we boil the fins simply to heat them up. Once they are heated, they can be bent or twisted. The plastic becomes maleable and you can reshape the fins to a new desired shape…within reason. You can’t twist them into a curly fry, but changing the angle of the cant or maybe twisting the fin toe-in a bit IS possible.

Now there are some websites that indicate you can fix a fin by heating it to 160 degrees for 30 seconds and that won’t do CRAP! Well, that’s not true, it’ll heat the fins to 160 degrees but you’ll never bend them! You’ll need to boil them for a few minutes before the plastic will get soft enough to allow bending.

We start at 2 minutes, after the water has boiled and test for being able to bend the fin template. Use Hot Pads or Gloves, because the plastic is HOT! If the fin won’t budge, plunge it back in the boiling water for another minute. Keep testing until you are able to bend the fin to the desired shape.

Here is an example, we increased the cant of this fin in the last 1 inch.

photo 2

Plan your work, have some way of measuring the change or the final shape that you want and work slowly and carefully.

The fin we used in this example is a “natural composite” from Futures, meaning it’s injection molded plastic. Epoxy and polyester are also just plastics, and fins made of those materials will also bend under heat. Hex core or foam based fins also are encapsulated in some form of plastic and will allow you to heat and bend.

That sure begs the question, doesn’t it? What effect would purposely twisting a wakesurf board have? We’ve documented all of the water flow up and against a wakesurf board, we wonder what it would be like if the inside rail were intentionally twisted up like 3/4 of an inch?

Thanks so much for following along, we really appreciate it!

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