I designed the Wavegrinder longboard fin with with performance longboards in mind. My idea was to create a fin that has high lift and low drag–a fin that behaves like a larger fin in terms of producing adequate side force, but without the large size and excess drag of a larger fin.
When I first tested prototypes of what morphed into this surfboard fin, I tried some designs with winglets and others without. I was amazed at the difference the winglets made–especially because they’re so small. I know this in part because while surfing some of my prototype designs the winglets broke off (Dang! There goes another $250!) Also, I tried larger winglets and smaller. On some prototype designs the winglets were too big, and the board rotated right out from under me. So I ended up with this design, and loved it. I had lots of surfers try it. And thy told me the same things I had thought about the fin, so I felt like I was really onto something. So I out it into production.
Some of the feedback I got from surfers I’ve posted on the testimonials page. Surfers have bought it for lots of different boards, and have reported excellent results. Surfers use the Wavegrinder fin on performance longboards, classic longboards, guns, single-fin shortboards, and standup-paddleboards. I’ve also had folks buy them for kiteboards, windsurfers, singler-person submarines, and for unmaned drones. Pretty cool.
I wanted to make a fast and maneuverable surfboard fin. A sports car of fins. I started with a blank slate, not thinking that he fin should look like all other fins. In fact, I wondered whether other fins were wrong because they had failed to evolve over the past several decades, whereas other things like airplane wings, boat keels, spaceships and car spoilers all had sprouted wings or winglets. Existent fins, I figured, looked pretty much like the fin I had had on my board in 1984. I had one focus in mind–to create a fin with high lift and low drag for better rides. Hopefully this will push the sport, and lead to other out-of-the-box thinking.
The chief features of the Wavegrinder surfboard fin with winglets that distinguish it from other surfboard fins:
- Hydrodynamically engineered, and CAD designed from lessons learned from NACA, NASA, Boeing, America’s Cup and NASCAR
- NACA double-zero foil shape (to prevent stalling during turns)
- High aspect ratio planform (upright and narrow to maximize lift per square inch of surface area)
- Low sweepback angle (rake)
- Short fin base (to decrease interference drag while maximizing fore-and-aft adjustability in the fin box)
- Bulbous forward fin projection at the fin base (to minimize interference drag like ships’ bows)
- Cutaway at the fin base (to decrease interference drag)
- Lexan polycarbonate (the same material used in bulletproof glass and fighter-jet canopies)
- And, of course, winglets (to inhibit stalling during turns, and to make the immersed surface area more efficient)
- Surface area: 30.54 square inches
- Height: 9.25 inches
- Color: cobalt blue only, as shown, at present
- Price: $65 US