MR : twin fins, 1978
with the first appearance of the twin fin (Circa
As we all know, the early ones were very short, stubby and thick, especially in the tail, with fins foiled both sides. (See image and link, right).
I surfed them through the changes four to five years, my last one being a 6'8" swallow tail.
Somewhere around that time, the progression was lost.
They seemed to have reached a limit where no one was capable of taking it any further.
|Mark Richards' first Twin fin
based on Reno Abelira's Fish, Coke Contest 1976
Photograph: Andrew Canning
In August '77,
that if a 6'2 worked unreal in little waves, a 6'4, 6'6
with narrower dimensions
would be a waste.
I took the 6'4 to Hawaii. For the first two weeks of October in the Islands, I surfed nonstop at Chuns, and my first session at Sunset was on it.
It ended up as my Off The Wall board for the remainder of the winter.
That board created a lot of attention in the Islands.
By January, the Town arid Country guys were making it; Larry Bertleman started making them and landed in Australia with three.
They were totally different boards, but basically the concepts were the same.
|Mark Richards and 6ft 4'' Twin
Off The Wall, 1977.
Photograph : Lance Trout
Surfing Magazine February 1980.
Volume 16 Number 2, page 90.
5'5" through 6'6"; 5'5" for the small kids, 5'10 for the
average size person,
and 6'6" for the big-wave version.
I have five completely separate templates; I don't stretch or shorten one template.
heard from the Islands, the twin fin disease is in
In Australia, every man and his dog is making1hem.
Some really crude copies of mine are around, so if you buy one, make sure you get one shaped by Tony Gersf (sic, Cerff) from Byron Bay.
He's the best shaper in Australia at the moment, and does all of my boards.
If you are in South Africa, you can get one from Shaun Tomson Surfboards.
Shaun has all my templates, plus the knowledge and experience to do it properly.
Don't get a backyard job or a copy.
Get the real thing.
If you don't live in Australia or South Africa, buy one from a reputable manufacturer or shaper who first understands the concepts behind it.
It's not as simple as making the board wider and putting a fin on each corner.
amazing, but still they teach you to use your rails really
Just bottom turn and contact radically on your edges. ..you've got to lift that area, sink a rail.
You can't turn flat.
On a single fin, you can take it and turn flat without turning your edge at all.
It's going to be an interesting winter in the Islands to see just what size waves these boards are capable of handling.
I'm going to make mine for Sunset, and I know Bertleman is too, so we'll either be ripping it apart or getting eaten alive.
I hope it's not the latter!