It's about life - not "lifestyle"
|"I started putting fins on the handboards as a way to improve tracking in the wave. I found that with the fins I can really ride high on the wave face and then drop down at will. I make both single fins and twins. The singles are usually around 4 inches high. The side fins are around 3 inches high for the handboards. Overall I probably like the twin fin setup better than the single; it seems the twins are a little more forgiving. The single can be a little touchy and will let you know who is boss sometimes.
To be honest I also really enjoy making the fins, so it is just an added bonus for me to use them. I like to design various fins and then cut them out of either 1/4 or 3/8 inch marine plywood. I use a belt sander to grind them down to symmetrical or asymmetrical dimensions per if the fin is a center or a side fin. I generally cut slots in the handboard a little larger than the fin. I tape the top deck off with masking tape. I fill the slot with a product called Evercoat Formula 27 All Purpose Filler (I love this stuff, easy to work with, drys very fast, sandable, and holds like a rock. I get it at Home Depot for around $10.00 a quart). I then put the fin in the slot and use a small plastic scraper to fill in smooth around the fin (base). After about 5 minutes you can either grind or sand down any excess. I will then usually finish the fin with either a clear resin coat or several coats of clear polyurethane paint. So far I have never broken a fin off. The Evercoat holds great.
Try putting a fin on one of your boards. I think you will really like the ride. Almost like power steering."
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Words and photo Copyright (C) Roger Wayland.
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