Is The FCS H4 The Future of Surf Rudders?
Swiss made perfection.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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