Stab Magazine | Is The FCS H4 The Future of Surf Rudders?

Is The FCS H4 The Future of Surf Rudders?

Swiss made perfection.

Words by Stab

Seen Formula 1: Drive to Survive?

Now normally I couldn’t give a monkey’s about cars unless I get stuck behind a slow one or mine breaks down, but jeez F1’s a mad, intriguing world. One of the most pertinent take aways from the show is how crucial design is. The teams with the most money invest the most in R&D, build the best car, and generally win. And it got me thinking about how awesome it’d be in surf if the tour was split into board manufacturer teams, where surfers competed for team places, and then went to work on whatever space age designs the best craft designers could come up with. But then I realised that already happens, with fins. And, FCS is basically Mercedes. 

stab mag fcs 2

The ethos behind the fresh FCS H4 is balancing the enduring surf wager of how to achieve maximum speed whilst also providing apt control. The H4 set, in extreme layman’s terms, lets the centre skeg take handle the control element, whilst the side fins handle the speed; the hatchet job tips adding a little extra control to deal with the drive. And, as the cherry on top of the pie for those of us concerned with aesthetics is they look deadly as sin, and come with the much appreciated, Victorinox-conjuring “Swiss Made” stamp.

stab mag fcs 3

When it comes to investing in design, FCS have clearly ticked all the boxes. Switzerland seems like a good place to revolutionise rudder design—logic would suggest that if you can make a good watch, you can make a good fin. Using software to measure water displacement (rather than relying solely on the “Yeah, nah, nah, nah, goes pretty good ayy” from team riders) also seems sensible. And, filling your crack innovation team with handsome surf nerds also gets the royal seal of approval. Seems reasonable to assume that guys with hi-tech degrees would push fin design furthest. 

stab mag fcs

As a vague F1 parallel, it’s logical that the biggest fin company invests the most into research and development, and in turn makes the best, most innovative fins. And FCS’s latest spawn, the H4, is testament to that. They look out there to the conservative surf mind, but that’s because we’ve been brainwashed into thinking what we know a fin should look like. It’s 2020, tradition’s gone out the window, and, we’ve got nothing but time to experiment. We’d advise investing in something that makes you go fast ‘n smile. 

stab mag fcs 4

Tap the plastic on something “Swiss Made” that’ll make you go fast and feel great. 


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Joyride Board Test: The Haydenshapes Hypto Krypto Twin

Critically examining one of the hottest new boards on the market.

Oct 20, 2021

How An American’s Entrepreneurial Spirit Built One The Greatest Surf Accessory Labels Out Of A Workshop In Yallingup, Western Australia

Mick, Steph, & Jake Paterson tell the story of Creatures founder, John Malloy.

Oct 20, 2021

Why We’ll Always Catch One Down The Beach

The Misc: To the left of the stand.

Oct 20, 2021

The Highest & Flyest Performance-Based Challenges From Stab Highway Presented By Monster Energy

Rinse off the hangover and shoot for the sky.

Oct 19, 2021


Lower Trestles From Unusual Angles Ft. Kolohe, Griffin, And Co.

So much for Stagnant Ambition.

Oct 19, 2021

Are Surfboards Made To Fail?

Industry insiders open up about whether or not boards are intentionally fragile, thus driving repeat…

Oct 18, 2021


A 14-Year-Old Ladybird Takes On Solid Nias & Desert Point

Bela Nalu will go.

Oct 18, 2021

Premium Peek: Torrey Meister Tempts Fate In ‘Grit n Water’

What's scarier — bull riding or big wave surfing?

Oct 17, 2021


Someone Sponsor This Kid

Eimeo Czermak is an animal who consistently delivers jaw-dropping clips.

Oct 17, 2021


Palatable Portuguese Wedges With Mason Ho

Washed down with a pink cosmo and Franchesinha.

Oct 16, 2021

Did You Know The WSL Has A Pension Fund?

CT surfers post-2014 have a nice chunk of cash waiting for them after they retire.

Oct 16, 2021

Stab Podcast: Is Huntington Beach A More Exciting Contest Venue Than Ericeira?

Surf sins, a rundown of this week’s surf cinema, and an unpopular opinion from the…

Oct 15, 2021

The WSL’s 2022 Season Wildcards Revealed

Pray for Matthew McGillivray.

Oct 15, 2021


Dylan Graves Explores The Topics Of Race And Inclusivity In Surfing

“If you know it’s wrong, say something.”

Oct 15, 2021

Watch: Episode 2 of Stab Highway Presented By Monster Energy

Broken bones, KFC/meat pie collabs, 'feary' river mouth swims, and incredible kneelo tubes.

Oct 15, 2021


Kolohe Andino Is Doubling Down On Surf Films

"I want to give the world my view of how surfing should be perceived."

Oct 14, 2021


Jordy Smith Was Stuck In Hawaii For The Best Late-Season Run In Memory

"It was 6-8 foot for weeks straight. I surfed Pipe with one other guy out."

Oct 14, 2021

What Happened To All The Surf Gangs?

Times have changed, for good or ill.

Oct 14, 2021