Surfers, for all their self-proclaimed open-mindedness, can be conservative so-and-so’s, often unwilling to deviate from convention. So when Guethary, France based design boffins S-Wings came out with distinctly different looking fins, they really needed to work to take off.
Great news: they do… and have.
Biomimetic, as the name suggests, involves mimicry of the natural world. Have a look at fins on fish and they don’t all look like surfboard fins.
They come in a variety of forms, like so much of Jah’s rich tapestry, but in general, one thing holds true: they’re bendier at the tips than at the base.
With a concept inspired by old footage of Cheyne Horan’s out there fin designs from the early 80’s (which critics say cost him world titles - he came second four times) the concept was to come up with a big wave fin that worked during air drops. As in, long enough to stay engaged in the big wave face, even when the board wasn’t.
“S-Wings converts have been multiplying like born again Christo’s on Death Row”
After continually refining and honing the design, S-Wings came up with fins systems for everyday shortboard conditions, which basically involves a smaller rear fin flanked by a pair of S-wings.
The resulting drive and speed generated from unique flex patterns suddenly had test pilots in raptures as to the new sensations on the wave, and ability to make previously unmakeable sections.
Now, we know what you’re thinking, Curren equipment endorsement can be a kind of kiss of death, a consignment to realms of the wacky.
But Mason Ho, who was with Tom popped em in his MR twin, and loved em, quickly putting out a gushing shout out on his Insty. Ever since, S-Wings converts have been multiplying like born again Christo’s on death row.
Colour coded with a traffic light system according to stiffness from green (very flex, for light surfers), orange (medium flex) , red (very stiff, carbon reinforced for big waves or for a quad drive feel on a thruster), we tested the orange in slightly overhead surf in Hossegor, and loved em. Bit more squirt out of your bottom turns, a livened up spring to your overall shred step.
S-Wings' credo invites you to ‘surf different’, which these fins will gladly facilitate. Then of course, when S-Wings take over the world and become the modal standard, you’ll need a radical re-think, and try something outrageously deviant like the FCSII Mick Fanning.
We reckon you’ll be alright for the time being, though.