Bill, about that new fin design of yours...

was that the fin(s) mounted on that sweet gun you just finished?

either way, would love to see some pics if doable…sweet looking set-up!

… do you mean** 'wildy’s inline fin **design , that Greg Wild  has been riding ,  since 1980,  lcc ??

Aloha Icc,

The fin setup that is on the Gun, is not the ‘‘Secret Fin.’’    Neither is it Wildy’s in line design.      Wildy’s setup uses two fins of almost the same size, with the larger of the two in front, and the smaller behind it.    The fins on the Gun, are clearly NOT the same as Wildy was doing.    The small, slender pre-fin, performs much like a Canard, or like a leading edge flap/slot in a wing.     The whole purpose is to prevent the main fin from stalling during a high AoA maneuver.   The ‘‘Secret Fin’’ has a unique shape to the actual foil of the fin, which enables the fin to tap into more of the energy of the wave, allowing greater speed and maneuverability.    The main fin on the Gun is a redesign of a 1963 gun fin by decreasing the base length by one inch, elevating the leading edge angle, and the fin depth by 3/4ths of an inch to 7 3/4ths inch deep.     ‘‘Fins’’ likes to snipe at me, but in doing so in this instance, displays his profound lack of understanding of surfboard fin functionality.     One day I’ll go public with the ‘‘Secret Fin’’ but not quite yet.    Thank you for asking about it.



Bill, thanks for the feedback. Those tweaks certainly worked, the shape of those fin(s) just really caught my eye, a rare example of a fin set looking like a natural extension of the surfboard.  

With the push into extremely large paddle in waves these days, such set-ups could very well provide a viable option to the quad mania currently dominating.

Back in the early days when Mavericks was first being explored by big wave chargers, a standout was Paul Moreno, who came over from HI each winter for a handful of years, and rode just about deeper then anyone on Doug Schrodel shaped  single fins.  HIs deep peak entry and through the bowl lines were superb.


Lance Conragan

If you look at midget farrelly’s website, he’s got a couple really cool looking big wave guns “for the thick water”, both single fins.

Hey Bill, Bens definitely not a hater, but very much a questioner. I very much doubt he’s sniping at anyone. And he, like I, like you, are just plain interested.

As for the fins I played with, large front, small back, nothing like yours Bill. Actually years later I was shown an old surf mag photo by the guys at Multifins, taken in the early seventies maybe, of guys on the beach in Hawaii with what looked like about 7’-8’ guns with the same in-line type setup I ended up using. Have you seen them before, Bill?


I too am interested in Bill’s fin, both the prefin and the Secret fin. Wish I went to the Del mar show to have a peek and fondle.


I’ve been riding my more traditionally railed LB’s with a smaller trailer fin, about 2 5/8" behind the main fin and find  that in certain parts of the wave, to get an almost undeserved burst of speed.  Also powering through whitewater to reach open face again is much enhanced and probably where the trailer fin enhancement is most noticeable.

Also it keeps my round pins tails from lifting out of the water during the  second half of hard turns.

It does seem to slow down the initiation of a turn, but my Boards are heavier anyway and only rarely do I feel this is a hinderance.

I just put some FCS plugs into my smaller gunnier LB behind the FU  fin box, and notice many of the same characteristics I am used to with this inline set up, but some tweaks are needed to the distance and size of the trailer. I am just using a plastic smaller fcs made trailer, and I think it is too big and not flexible enough.  I’ve got a bunch of cardboard cut outs of various shapes and sizes to see what just ‘looks right’, and will make a fin or 3 from hardwood when I find something that clicks in my mind.

But the more I ride it with the plastic FCS fin and get used to it, the more I am digging the extra thrust, Albeit stiffer, without those pesky tried and true Side bites requiring me to turn only from the tail.  If I want to tail surf, I ride my shortboard


I feel single fins paddle faster and catch waves better than multifins.

I have not been able to get my Shortboard to benefit from the inline single strategy and always go back to the thruster with smaller center fin moved a bit further up than what looks right.

   No.    The first time I saw anything like your setup was on Swaylock’s.   In fact it WAS your setup.  I did my first pre-fin setup in 1997/98 on a 9’7’’ longboard, using a much smaller pre-fin than I currently recommend.


  Peeking and fondling can still be done at Bird’s Surf Shed.     He has three big wave Guns, that I’ve made, on display together.      One of the boards is a solid balsa 9’ 7’’ squaretail Gun, that is a copy of a 9’ 10’’ pintail Gun that I made and rode in 1959.    


i need to visit bird’s shed.


    When you do, get in touch, and we can get some lunch @  L&L bbq, or something similar.    You game?


PS:   I have a variation of the secret fin, that will be easier to manufacture, as well as easier to modify an existing fin.    I’d like to run it past you, and see if you want to modify any of your existing fins, for testing.


you got it bill !

i’ll give you a call.

til then my best to you !!!


Like Monte Hall says,   ‘‘Come on down!’’