Your fins, your shape!
Every surfer knows how important it is to use the proper board and fin set up for different waves and conditions. Bodysurfers and bodyboarders have never fully had this option. Watermen from all around the world simply had to rely on the same fins for any situation.
Until now, with LeblonFins, the waterman’s dream comes true. For the first time ever, the world has access to a customizable fins. But besides there's nothing like surfing with your own creation, you must ask your self why you want to modify the original design.
Unlike shaping a surfboard, there is no need for a shaping room and the purchase of expensive tools. A simple utility knife is enough, but we recommend using a protective glove as well, just to be safe. Additionally, a hot air gun helps to achieve a clean cut, and eliminates the chance of gaps or crooked edges on your new fins.
The first step is to decide on the new shape! Take a look at our basic designs for some inspiration:
When getting ready to customize your fin,our advice is to always cut less first; you can always cut more later. Just remember that, once the rubber is cut, there is no way to get it back.
If you are uncertain of the specific design you are looking for, you can make a smaller reduction to start with, then initially planned, then try your new shape in the waves. Based on the result, make any additional changes!
Another tip is that once you have a desired shape in mind, make yourself a simple template to ensure an accurate cut.
We recommend making your template using a plastic, cardboard, or even wooden sheet.
Even if you are not a professional shaper or craftsman, take it easy and enjoy this task! Consider that you may have to make some drawings on paper before you achieve your final template design.
Note that the propelling blade and the rails are in different planes. Keep the propelling blade parallel to the surface where you will make the cut, and keep the lateral fins perpendicular to the same surface. Also, take into account the central rib.
It maybe convenient to support your flipper on two separate wooden boards in order to hold the flipper in place as you modify it.
It is important that you do not allow your flippers to move as you cut, in order to follow your template cleanly. You may prefer to use clamps fix the them on the wooden boards, as well as to fix the boards to the table/cutting surface.
Once your flipper is fixed you can draw your cutting line. In the image below, we made a simple, straight cut line.
Also note that the propelling blade is thinner than the the lateral fins, and that they also have different shapes. Hence, it is wise to not cut the fins and the blades as if they were the same thing. Be patient and go easy.
There are endless ways to modify your flippers. It is up to you to choose what works best for you!
The modifications in the pictures above were made using just a utility knife, and without the use of a template. But as in any craft work, the result depends on the skill of the craftsman.
A simple way to cut the rubber is by using a hot air gun and a utility knife. You can also add the help of a grinder with a sanding disc that allows for a cleaner finish or any other power tool you may prefer. However, whatever the selected tool, you must have the knowledge and skill required to work with it. We strongly recommend you read all safety advice of the manufacturer before you start using it.
Remember: any changes you make to the original shape of your flipper, you do so at your own risk. We assume no responsibility for any outcome. The same applies to your safety. You are doing these modifications at your own risk. We assume no responsibility for any accident you may suffer while shaping your flipper.
Here is a basic list of materials we recommend:
- Protection gloves: Having a pair of protective gloves is imperative; do not forget the sharp utility knife being used.
- Protection glass (safety goggles).
- Solvent / chemical respirator.
- 1 plastic or cardboard sheet.
- 2 clamps
- Sharp utility knife: A fixed blade works best over a retractable utility knife. Be sure the blades are sharp not dull, it will make this a much easier and safer task.
- Permanent ink pen for plastic: if you do not want to keep the mark you made on your fin, make sure you have it in the part to be cut out.
- Two wooden boards.
- Work table, or even a wooden board to cut the rubber. Avoid doing it on surfaces like metal or stone.
- Hot air gun