New pool-core hardgoods go soft on the outside

3DFins released their new high-performance “Go Hard/Soft” fin series aimed at the entry-level and wave pool surfboard markets. The hard-in-the-center but soft-on-the-outside fin received an Australian Good Design award this week. As far as we know, it’s the first product in the hardgoods accessory category designed specifically with wave pools in mind.

3DFins would be the stand-alone victors in this micro-niche except that board builders Cush Surfboards use a similar technique. That company adds a 1/8” foam outer layer to an epoxy constructed surfboard. The construction for the “Go Hard/Soft” fins is similar with a thin 2mm soft skin on the leading edge of the fin and a 5mm bumper on the trailing edge.

“I saw a definite need to bridge the gap between current safe-but-rubbery beginner fins and the high-performance but sometimes dangerous top-end fibreglass fins,” said company founder Courtney Potter. “I set out to create a fin that could perform at an advanced level while at the same time be safe and reduce the chance of injury.”

Cush Surfboards also use a thin outer soft shell on their designs

3DFins uses a dimpled outer layer on all their designs, the same design theory used on golf balls to reduce drag and create lift. The company says that adding dimples to the outer surface of fins reduces drag and creates more speed.

The fins are designed for ocean or wave pool surfing, but it’s their soft outer coating that makes them unique. Potter says the fin feels soft but isn’t floppy.

“If you get hit by it, it won’t cut or hurt you, but it (the soft outer layer) doesn’t affect performance.”

The fins are compatible with FCS, Futures and FCS2/CatchSurf and will be available at surf shops and online starting October 1, 2020.