How To Make (Futures) Fins
“If you talk to a shaper about what fins you should ride, they will have a perfect answer for you.”
Keels, quads, thrusters, trailers, twins, singles, fives and 2+1s. Combine all of these fin setups with various rake and foil designs, and it’s enough to make your head (and board) spin.
Fins will make or break a surfboard. You’ve heard this slogan before, and though it may sound cliché, it stands the test of time for a reason. The unfortunate reality is that we probably don’t understand fins as much as we should. While most can speculate how a board will go with an eye test, the details that make those little suckers under your back foot tick are much smaller and require a bit more nuance to interpret. But with so many on the market today, how are we supposed to find the most bang for our bottom turn?
A simple solution: Go surfing. A lot. Enter Luke Worsham, a 19-year-old enthused test pilot for Futures who does just that and more. The Long Beach native is responsible for building custom fins placed under the boards of many of the world’s elite. It’s all explained in a new video series from Futures, “Cutting Through” which shows us how the sausage is made in the company’s Huntington Beach headquarters.
In addition to building for Jack Robinson and Ethan Ewing, Luke is also the man who did the dirty work for John Florence’s Tokyo Olympic run. In the bowels of the Huntington Beach factory, Luke can be found sanding and fine-tuning a myriad of fins, clouded in fiberglass and grinning ear to ear.
It’s clear that at age 19, Luke has gained a vast amount of knowledge and appreciation for the craft. In this first episode, Luke drops nuggets of wisdom beyond his years and speaks on the nuances of designing for the world’s best. Billy Kemper’s Jaws arsenal, for example, has to be razor-sharp because, “He’s feeling everything going so fast. His life is depending on them to work perfectly.”
“The best surfers in the world are going the gnarliest things and know exactly what they want to feel,” Luke says. “And you have to deliver it.”
Click here to attend Fin Science 101.
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