Fin cuts are nasty and painful. Depending on the severity, they can take up to several months to completely heal. Those little knives on the bottom of your surfboard have the potential to completely end your surf career. Two words: femoral artery.
Dr. Clayton Everline is a sports physician based on the North Shore of Oahu who has served as the Contest Doctor at numerous World Tour events. During his lecture Surfing Injuries, Everline said, “For those of you worried about marine animal bites, the biggest teeth in the ocean are the fins on your board.” He estimated that 67% of all surfing injuries are inflicted by surfboards; 60% of those injuries are from fins.
I must admit, when I first learned of a rubber-edged fin that increases performance I was skeptical. In fact, I thought they would hinder performance, if anything. But the more I asked around the more I realized people’s opinions on them were solely based off hearsay. Thus, I was determined to test them out.
Fins can be your worst nightmare.
I tested the fins on an average day down at Upper Trestles. I rode the same 5’6” Hayden Shapes Hypto Krypto and frequently went back to standard fiberglass AM1s in order to adequately assess the subtle changes in performance. I found there were no noticeable differences in the Carbon X fin in terms of speed and maneuverability. ThePerformance fin, however, seemed a tad bit slower coming off the bottom than the other two fins I rode that day. I must say, though, there was a huge sense of confidence gained knowing that I was safe from any serious fin injury, which, in turn, enabled me to try airs on sections I would normally avoid.
In the end, Pro Teck Performance fins gave me a comparable speed, drive, and maneuverability when put side by side with my standard fiberglass fins. In the same way a helmet and pads would ease the nerves of someone dropping in on a halfpipe, the rubber edges gave me an extra boost of confidence in committing to critical maneuvers. So if you’re not willing to make any huge sacrifices to your equipment and seeking to dramatically reduce the chances of fin injuries, Pro Teck fins are definitely worth a try.
Check out SurfCoHawaii or visit your local surf shop to get your very own pair of Pro Teck Fins.