Surfboards without fins are essentially a compromise between function and fun. You lose the directional stability fins offer (function!), but gain glide in the form of reduced drag (fun!).
But, like, really?
Fins were put on surfboards by Tom Blake in 1935, apparently, one per board. That allowed for stuff like bottom turns, and later, top turns. Lately, it’s not just alaias that offer the open-minded surfer a fin free surfing experience, Derek Hynd has been gliding various points for several seasons now, while asymmetrical ‘Rabbit’s Foot’ type designs are also gaining (ahem) traction.
“I’ve been at war with a lot of people of late over the difference between finless and FFFF. (Far Field Free Friction). Finless is taking the fucking fins out of a board and spinning around aimlessly. What I’m doing is the product of 7 years of edge development. There’s a massive difference.” says Derek Hynd, surfing visionary/weirdo.
In terms of novelty, who are we to disagree? But in terms of making life hard on yourself, well, make your own mind up.
Since: Ancient Hawaiians
Who? Fins free surfing is probably for experienced surfers.
If your fave turn is the Tommy Carroll ‘92 Pipemasters snap, fins free probably ain’t for you Where? Better suited to points rather than sectiony beachies or death bombies.
Why? Bored of your own ungainly off the lips? Want more glide? Fins free could be the answer.