In 2005, FCS released the most radically divergent set of thruster fins since Simon Anderson introduced the design in 1980: the H-2.
The H-2 comprised an aluminum and fiberglass composite, a thoroughly disruptive template, and radical cant.
The design earned them an Australian Design Award of the Year, and a set of H-2s now live proudly in the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences.
According to MAAS, “The product is a result of unique collaboration between hydrodynamic and materials experts, manufacturing consultants, world champion surfers and fin makers. The fin has a different geometry than previous fins and is made from a lightweight aluminium and fibreglass composite material. The design was developed using scientific tank flow testing and refined by use in the ocean.”
This month, FCS dropped their ambitious evolution of the H-Series fins, a precisely foiled thruster set made of mold-injected high density carbon fiber, with a center fin not dissimilar from the 2005’s (at first glance), and side fins featuring a curious tab-like little snubbed tip. Before their release, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth that they were going to be a “$400 set of fins,” but the H-4s come in at a cool-but-premium pricepoint of $150 bones.
Conceived by FCS’ impressive design team, along with Swiss engineers and Mick Fanning (before his injury), the fins are the most premium, hi-tech on the market, and have even been catching the attention of Kelly Slater, who was reportedly testing the H-4s at Haleiwa against his other preferred set-ups.
According to FCS, “The H4 looks and surfs different to any other fin. Precision Swiss engineering matched with a highly evolved template—efficient foils combined with two radically different centre and side fin templates—provides unprecedented levels of control and predictability at high speeds.
“Specialised Swiss construction using the latest in robotic automation ensures absolute accuracy, resulting in a fin so fine-tuned nothing is left to chance. [The fins are] light & super strong, with custom orientation to transfer more of your energy into speed than any other fin. Internal composite morphs under extreme load, enabling the fins to be pushed harder without sliding out.“
Here’s FCS’ explanation of the template:
The Stab office just got a set, hit Mick, as well as FCS’ engineers with some questions, and look forward to putting them through their paces and reporting back.
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