Classic G&S / Rainbow Fins Question

Hello! I was given this board recently and I’m fixing it up. Just wondering if anyone had any interesting info on this board.

6’8" Gordon And Smith, “Hoy” on the bottom I guess it was shaped by Hoy Runnels (from what I could glean from Google)

Now, it’s missing the center rainbow fin. They’re dual foil fins that are attached via fin box much like a longboard fin.

Does anyone know where I could find a replacement or even the matching fin? - they’re listed as ‘longboard fins’, but there’s sizes small enough to work as the center fin on this board. Likewise - and it wasn’t at all uncommon for the side fins and the center fin to be different shapes, even different manufacturers. is a shape very much like what was used as a center fin around then.

hope that’s of use


Thanks that helps a lot

Interesting what you’re saying about the center fin being different. I’m really curious what year this board was made

Also how do I measure the fins to know which size to get? I’m assuming the fin measurements are from the base to the tip, at a right angle to the base of the board?

Sorry for the newb questions!

de nada, always happy to offer what help I can -

Now, as to when it was made - the rails are kind of the key there. The way they are quite hard at the tail, pretty much down but rolled under forward of that - that’s what I’d think of as ‘thruster’ rails rather than ‘tri-fin’ rails, that is it’s not something of the twin-fin era ( ca. 1978-80 ) with a third fin thrown in for the hell of it, instead it’s later than that. Thing is, G&S is still in business in San Diego, given the serial number they can tell you all kinds of things about it and the date it was made, shipped, etc.

Okay, as to the fins… I notice that at least one of them has a good deal of rust along the base of at least one of them. I’m of the opinion that removing them, cleaning up or replacing the screws and quite probably the sliding plates or tabs in there and the roll-pins that the fins pivot on might be a good idea - they tend to rust sometimes and get stuck and that - it’s not real good in the long run. You can get the tabs from a surf shop, take out the old ones with needle-nose pliers or those surgical hemostats work real well, the screws are a standard thread and length so get those ( in stainless steel ) at a hardware store if they are overpriced at a surf shop.The roll pins are also a hardware store item.

Also, as you mentioned, the fins are symmetrical. This prolly makes it a bit older than newer - you could in fact replace the side fins with asymmetric fins and use one of the older ones as a center fin, pretty much a standard thruster setup. Again, fins like that are readily available, same sources.

What size to get? I’d go with pretty much the same size as is in there - measurement is indeed base to tip. The nice thing about the setup you have there is that the fins are removable, so you’re not nailed to any one choice, you can switch things around easily…

Hope that’s of use


Thanks so much I really appreciate it!

I will try to contact G & S. I already sent Rainbow an email with the picture to see if they had anything similar lying around. Not likely but they might.

Yeah definitely a lot of rust going on in there. I’ll see what I can do as far as cleaning em out. I did want to at least get the rust stains off if possible.

I just love how the board is rather thick in the middle…ton of foam in there which isn’t really evident in the picture. It’s going to be a lot of fun to ride I think.

Damn, I’m an idiot - meant to give you this link:

Rainbow might be your best bet for non-symmetrical side fins to fit a Fins Unlimited box, but I’d also ask at your friendly neighborhood surf shops - you never know what they have an an old cardboard box under the counter. The asymmetrical side fins for that type of fin box were not terribly common - I haven’t seen many in 35 years in the biz. The vast majority of side fins would be another fin system with the fins unlimited boxes like you have as the center fin only.

So, if you need to, just go with a small center fin and stick with what you have, I guess. The rainbows are not the cheapest fin on the market.

But for getting the rust off the fins, that’s relatively easy. Hit the hardware store, or the plumbing supply, for a product called Iron-Out. It does a pretty good job, was just using it the other day for getting some rust stains off a white deck on a fiberglass boat.

hope that helps


G&S has archived board info by number.

Find the number on the board, and contact G&S.

I can tell, just by the logo, that the board is probably from 1985 to 1988, give or take a bit.

In looking for fins, you should first check the width of the slots on the side boxes versus the center box.

It is quite possible that the sides are slightly narrower (1/16 +/-) than the center. I found the elusive “cardboard box” of old fins at a local shop with a bunch of small fins from that era and they were narrower than a standard FU box.

Not a big problem as you can wedge them in with newspaper folded over the tab or go all out and add glass and resin, if you find a thinner one…

Just something to watch for.

Hmm, interesting. I’ll check the measurement.

Wish I could find that elusive cardboard box too :wink: