Wednesday November 27, 2013
A spontaneous excursion is always a great way to refresh the mind and explore. In this case I decided to head north to Big Sur. The swell forecast looked minimal but it doesn't take much to have fun at some of the spots along this pristine yet fickle stretch of coast. A good 4/3 with a hood and booties is the call most of the time, especially this time of year as California ocean temperatures begin to drop. So I packed up the camping gear, 2 boards, 3 sets of True Ames FCS fins and began the mini-journey. After hours of driving from Santa Barbara it begins to look and feel like a foreign land. The air was crisp and has a mixture of evergreens and salty ocean.
The waves in this area can range from sloping beach breaks to barreling rocky reefs, and many of the best waves are hidden from sight. It takes patience and a little bit of luck to have all of elements align for a good surf. This particular time the winds were light and swell was manageable, A bit of a numbing paddle out first blended into a fun session of head high beachbreak...I used a set of Timmy Patterson FCS fins for this session, The waves had plenty of open face and I've found that the TP fins can draw out your turns slightly, especially on cutbacks, giving you a wider range of movement on open faced waves.
The sun sets pretty early in the Fall on this magical span of coastline and after few hours at the beach it was time to keep on heading north to set up camp. There are plenty of camp grounds along the main road but finding one with open sites is a challenge sometimes especially when the weather is good. It' s also common for the campgrounds to not allow camp fires during certain times of year. I was planning on staying warm so I drove up even further to find a great campsite on the river that had plenty of space and allowed fires. time to defrost and setup before dark.
Day 2 led me on a long hike in search of waves. The winds had come up overnight and the surf was on the decline, but I was ready to either surf or just enjoy the hike outside and in nature. As I suspected, when I finally arrived at the beach, it was pretty much flat, and the lineup was dotted with thousands of seagulls basking in the sun. This was their spot, so I explored the beach and cliffside with my camera and sketch book. The sun was beginning to descend as the moon began to rise, it was time to head back to camp and settle in for an early night.
The next morning I woke pre-dawn to pack up and head back home. I wanted to catch the sunrise driving home, something that I haven't seen in Big Sur before. Cool offshore winds blowing down out of the valleys were keeping the surf clean along the way. I knew that there could still be some swell and possibly some good surf. As I headed out of the highlands and down the coast I spotted a peaky beach break with some really nice barrels. The winds were light and the sun was up enough for a paddle out. These waves looked pretty heavy so I switched out fins to a set of Eric Arakwa FCS fins. I knew these fins were going to hold in on the steep faces and have solid bottom turns. This spot was bigger than it looked and really shallow, Perfect for getting shacked. As the deep water canyon just off the coast magnified wave energy creating super powerful surf. A great match for the EA fins on my board. An hour into the session, the winds began to come up and extremely large seals started to swim out for their session. I was out of there and just in time for breakfast.
Just 3 days of adventure along the Big Sur coast was packed full of good times and interesting scenic sights. Until the next trip, I'll let this one marinate in my mind for a while.
We now offer our Hexcore system fins in a new color..."Orange Glow" These orange fins are super bright and when the sun hits them you get the orange glow. Available in FCS fins compatible and Futures fins compatible. These are the highest quality fins using the resin transfer method, which produces maximum drive and tuned flex.
Thursday November 21, 2013
In this short form profile, VitaBrevisFilms interviews Eric Arakawa for the third exploration of our PROFESSIONal series. Shot on location on the North Shore of Oahu, Eric gives a candid account of the people who both inspired and guided him. From the novice fabrication of his first board, to shaping the late Andy Irons last custom job, Eric shares his hope to pass his knowledge on to his young employees and those around him.
Thursday September 12, 2013
Twin Fin + Mini Trailer ~photo by: Lucas Thornton @ Wood Foot Surf Craft~
Originally used as a 5th center fin for quad setups, this mini trailer fin works surprisingly well with a twin fin setup also. My twin fin was riding just as it should, loose, fast and fun… However, I felt that a trailer fin would help the board out in bigger surf, So I just went for a test ride. I tried a normal sized 3.5" center fin at first but the board just rode like a regular thruster. So I tried the mini-trailer in the center FCS tab.
On my first wave I could immediately feel the difference. The board actually accelerated much more than usual and the bottom turn just felt so much more powerful. This added drive projected me to the lip and as I turned I could feel the fin holding in just enough to feel a nice controlled tail drift, similar to a power slide on a skateboard. The board rode out of the turn nicely and down the line with speed to the next section, another controlled slide into a stylish turn.
The mini trailer gave that twin fin just enough added stability and drive to convince me to use it all of the time. I'd probably recommend using it on a twin fin for waves that are in the chest high + range. If you're surfing smaller waves in the 1-2 foot range your' twin fin should work just fine. and If you have a quad setup- it will really stabilize the board in bigger powerful surf.
Thursday August 15, 2013
BONZER MECHANICS The primary purpose of the Bonzer system is to efficiently organize water flow. We have done this by designing fin and bottom systems that work in a synergetic fashion in order to maximize the use of the energy that is created by the water passing through the tail area of the board. When you’re doing a turn, the water travels diagonally across the bottom of your board. The Bonzer side fins have a base totaling 9-3/4” on each side, and a maximum depth of only 2-3/4”. The angle, combined with the shallow depth of the fins, allows the fins to come in and out of the water with little resistance. This makes rail-to-rail transition much easier, which in turn allows you to keep your board on the rail with much less effort.
While turning, the fins on the inside rail are fairly vertical in the water, providing very refined edge control. As the water races across the bottom, the outside fins deflect it down and back through the tail. We have always looked at the water that escapes off the outside rail as unused energy. The combination of the Bonzer concaves and the long base of the side fins redirect far more water through the tail area than other designs. This maximizes the use of the force that is created during turns. The fins are essentially an extension of the concaves and, since water adheres to curved surfaces, there is very little disturbance as the water passes through the fin area. This dramatically reduces drag. Basically, we have tried to create surfboards that you can get more out of with less effort and energy input. It’s all about reducing entropy.
3 fin vs 5 fin The Bonzer 3 and 5 fin systems have very similar performance characteristics. The main difference is that the 5 fin setup is a bit quicker off the top, and is more maneuverable in the hook. This makes it more conducive to a contemporary approach to wave riding. The 3 or 5 fin systems can be used on any model. This will produce a slightly different feel in each, but inevitably, the shape of the board will determine more the way the board rides than the fin set up. For instance; putting the 5 fin setup on a Russ Short Model is not going to turn it into a contemporary shortboard.
Center fin placement The position of the center fin can vary from surfer to surfer. We have included a basic guide within the description of each particular model. This is not etched in stone. Please feel free to experiment. A few general rules are:
1. If you are having trouble finishing out turns and cutbacks, or are not getting up and down the face quickly enough, you should move your fin up approximately 1/8” to 1/4”. 2. If you are digging rails, or catching rails in the front 18” to 24” during cutbacks, you should move your fin back approximately 1/8” to 1/4”. 3. The leading edge of the the center fin usually ends up about even with the trailing edge (at the base) of the of side fins, plus or minus 1/4”.
Please understand that these are basic guidelines, and are relative to where you stand on your board, and if you are standing in the right spot according to your style and the type of board you are riding.
This revolution, “The Bonzer Experience”, is about evolution: evolving ones thoughts, experiences and consciousness. It’s about dynamic changes that produce quantum shifts in understanding and performance. J.G. Bennett, describing Gurdjieff’s concept of evolution, states, “Evolution is the production of high level energy from a lower level source.This requires an apparatus of a different kind; for the “upgrading” of energy is improbable and cannot occur at all unless some high level energy is present. Life is an evolutionary process that goes against the direction of probability. The work by which Mankind is transformed is evolutionary.” This quote sums up in a nutshell, more than 30 years of some pretty intense work. In 1970 the 3 fin Bonzer represented a quantum leap in possibilities, and in late 1982 the 5 fin Bonzer presented another tremendous shift in design and performance potential. Maybe it was pure naiveté or a misguided sense of mission, but whatever it was, ever since the first wave we rode on a Bonzer we have felt an obligation to continue refining the design in order to keep possibilities open. We have wanted to give something back to surfing, which has so greatly enriched our lives. Against all probability the Bonzer stands here today as a symbol of the open-ended nature of evolutionary potential and performance capabilities.
Monday August 5, 2013
We now offer two more templates based on the our "Slick" fin
The Slick 9.6” Regulator This is a refined design based on his current series. The “Regulator” targets boards in the mid 9’ range. Slick has reduced the area and maintained a well-balanced profile. We consider this a higher performance long board fin. It will turn easily and have excellent hold. The “look and curves” are distinctly “Slick”!
The Slick 9.75” Noserider Not the extreme noseriding fin you may think of with a bunch of area and heavy. Try this design when you know your board and want to feel all aspects of the ride. Just enough area for secure toes at the tip but loose when it is time to break trim and pump around the next section. This is what we would call a “highly refined” noseriding fin attempting to bridge the gap between positive flowing turns and a solid feel on the nose.
Thursday July 25, 2013
Above: a photo of some of George Greenough’s original designs for the paddle fin, and a collection of some windsurf boards and molds. ( Spoon and Chopper ) He used to make almost all of his fins, boards and other equipment, and was an innovator who enjoyed creating and reinventing.
Late 60′s George makes the first paddle fins out of stainless steel. Sometimes these fins would take 2 or 3 days to grind and finish, but the end product was worth every second of labor for George. In fact, he was windsurfing one day and lost the fin on the rocky bottom. He came back at low tide for a few days of countless hours of searching and found the metal fin in tide pools.
1987 Greenough encourages Chuck Ames to use the paddle fin design on surfboards. The result: A thruster setup with 3 small paddle fins, unfortunately they would break off since they were glassed on with and had a very small base.
1990′s As system fin box designs developed became widely available these paddle fins were tested out again, the problem was the base of the fin was still too narrow, especially for smaller thruster setups.
Early 2000: The paddle fin design was now adapted to fit onto a longboard with a fin box and produced great results. True ames labeled the fin The “Stage 6″ the combination of a stiff leg and active paddle to generate powerful turns, the bigger sizes were powerful on the tip.
Today: The Greenough “Stage 6″ fin has come a long way and is a classic model that’s been refined and perfected. From the early days being crafted of metal, to now, where the fin is light and has the perfect flex and made of high quality fiberglass.
Above: a photo of some of George Greenough’s original designs for the paddle fin, small thruster setup.
Monday July 15, 2013
We have a new set of rear quad fins called The 6-4 Rear Quad This is a specialty set of 2 back fins that use a 60/40 foil. These are specifically designed to give you more power in bigger surf. The 6-4 has a more "straight up" design that give you the control you need when riding a quad setup in overhead plus waves. This keeps your board moving down the line and less relying on rail to rail surfing, giving you longer, more drawn out turns. The 60/40 foil is closer to a symmetrical foil than a flat foil or 80/29 which equals drawn out turns.
Thursday June 20, 2013
Today is the Summer Solstice, marking the longest day of the year and the start of summer! Now with the extra hours of sunshine and summertime swells there's plenty of time to surf. Whether you are surfing at home or taking a trip to find waves somewhere else, we have the best surfboard fins selected for summer. Here are a few of our favorites for Single fins, Twin Fins, Thrusters, and Quads.
George Greenough has certainly made his mark on all things surfing and here is the best of the best. The full base coupled with the tapering, moderately flexible tip creates a balance that transcends and complements so many aspects of surfing. Of course a unique understanding of his aquatic fish friends is the foundation here. Install the 4-A on any performance surf vehicle and you will find instant bliss. Currently available with matte finish. SMALLER SIZES ( 7” - 9” ) Use the smaller sizes for a single fin or 2+1.
Josh Farberow came to us with a request… Just make the California Classic as flexible as possible, the rest is history. One of our most popular all around flex fins! Give this fin a try in your favorite long board that seems to be stagnating in potential. The feeling of a turn with added power and the potential for subtle trim adjustments is what this fin is all about.
A full area design with more rake than our Heritage fin, giving you long, smooth, flowing arcs. Chris Slickenmeyer is currently living on the South Shore of Oahu and actively working on new fin concepts for a variety of boards. For now, go with the Slick for a full area template that will give you amazing carveablility.
Reeling from a burgeoning fish revival, Hobie surfboards has chosen this twin fin template to fervently guide its Circa ‘71 fish model. A classic design with flat inside foil. We offer this template in FCS Compatible, Futures Compatible, and Glass on. This fin comes in a variety of materials ranging from Solid glass for the system fins, and for glass ons we now have machine foiled solid bamboo and cedar.
This is the original template for the CI twin fin dating back to the early 1980’s. It is a looser twin when compared to the Mark Richards style twin. This design, when hooked up with a small trailing center fin, makes a great loose feeling thruster. You will feel the speed of a twin-fin along with positive drive of a tri-fin. The foil on these fins is a one side (flat) classic twin fin foil.
( 3 Fin Set ) A Hawaiian favorite designed by the master. A medium rake / area design with a solid tip. Try these fins out during the next big swell and you will feel the difference!
( 3 Fin Set ) The all-around powerhouse for the middle weights. Nice tip flex. Great for smooth and powerful turns. Get these fins on your favorite board and get some solid surf... you’ll flow with power and cutbacks will seem effortless.
( 3 fin set ) A tried and tested design that has high rake and slender tip for maximum projection. The classic Lost fin template is a full size design. Longer power turns are where this fin excels. Best in point or reef waves with some size.
( 4 Fin Set ) After experimenting with quads for 7 years this is what I found works best for me. These fins have a loose fluid drive that allows for effortless speed and drive. The front fins are single foil and back fins are 80 / 20 foil.
Monday June 3, 2013
Just arrived today! We have Bonzer runners ( set of 4) FCS compatible. Offered in colors: smoke or clear... a little history on Bonzer Fins:
Bonzer (bon-zer), adj. Australian (NZ) slang; extraordinary. unique. Archetype (ar’ki tip), n. The original pattern after which a thing is made; model or first form. The Bonzer is the archetype of the modern surfboard. It was the first tri-fin surfboard (Dec. 1970). Although unbeknownst to us, others were working on a three fin design of there own. There was a big difference between the two fin setups. They had half moon shaped side fins placed behind the center fin, and our keel shaped side fins were placed forward of the center fin. Almost four decades of success for the Bonzer, and almost three for the Thruster, we have demonstrated the archetypal nature of our original design concept.
There are two main characteristics that establish the Bonzer as an archetype.
Bonzer establishment of the triangular arrangement of the three fins, with side fins placed forward of the center fin. The side fins were placed 10 1/2” to 12” from the tail and 1 1/2” to 1 3/8” from the rail. They were also towed in toward the nose at what has become the standard angle The design and development of the single to double concave (double through the fin area) bottom. This bottom contour was designed to work in conjunction with the fins to organize the water flow through the tail area.
Wednesday April 24, 2013
The evolutionary curve continues at True Ames with the construction of Solid Core Bamboo and Cedar fins.
We are offering ultra light glass-on fins in a variety of templates that is rapidly growing. Fins are made in house using cad/cam for precision foils. We then apply a layer of glass and sand. The result is the highest quality wood fin ready for top-level board construction.
Available templates are : Tyler Warren Bar of Soap, Hobie Fish, Gephart, and the Tom Parrish Single Fin...
Check our website for further details, updated information regarding new templates, and a possible limited offering for fins that will fit in the standard long board fin box!
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