Dissecting the curvy, experimental design of AU Fins
For the past two decades, the shape and contour of thruster fins haven't changed much. Sure, there's been advancements in materials and flex and foil, but the overall silhouette of tri-fins has remained fairly constant. But as of December 2016, there's a new fin on the market-one that looks alien at first glance, but their surprising functionality proves the old adage about books and covers.
In 2005, Devon Howard opined that “Nearly every quantum leap in board design has revolved around the fin and its various configurations.” Changes to rake, foil, cant, and surface area notwithstanding, pivotal moments in surfboard fin history are centered around the number of fins on the bottom of a board. Names like Mark Richards and Simon Anderson are synonymous with the number of fins they preferred. And now, it isn’t uncommon to see a board with anywhere from one to five fins in the lineup.