I think you guys are missing something…

You seem to be wanting to create a board that has enough drag in the tail to still effect some control. Well for cryin out effing loud, why not use a FIN or FINS which allow control with minimal drag?

That said, my grandfather, born in Waikiki on the grounds of the present Halekulani Hotel, made me my first board “just like we used to ride”. About 7 feet long, kiln dried redwood, rockerless, solid, finless. My brother and I got identical boards. We had been bodysurfing and paipo boarding until then. Needless to say they were heavy and didn’t float much. On any wave, those boards would, in the olden days terminology, “slide ass” at the slightest provocation. This always and inevitably ended up in a wipeout of one sort or another. They were essentially unrideable, except prone, and even then wanted to slide ass. Until we carved mahogany fins and screwed them on through the deck, I have no idea how one could make them successful.

Now I’ve seen gifted paipo riders rip on finless 3/8" mahogany ply. And I’ve seen standup boogie board rides that looked okay to pretty good, but most of them went mostly straight.

FINS RULE. That’s why surfboards have them. But go right ahead, hack up some foam, waste some resin and glass, come one out and surf with me. Leashless. Hahahahahahaha

this is what is so great about going finless, in that it shows you how narrow minded we as surfers can be.

if the goal is to have fun, you would try anything, and possibly find fun in anything. sliding sideways out of control can be fun (except if there is a rock in the way!).

its like waking people up, pulling them away from the hype, pulling someone out of the matrix (poor movie ref).

people are waking up to the fact that the over commercialized image and peer pressure of surfing (competition based surfing, white boards that fall apart and MUST be 3 fins) is the most narrow minded approach.

as Martin Worthington once said “i dont think you can sit on top of surfers for too long” in reference to the over commercialization.

beware of any statement of absolutes.

everything is open.

its not ‘performance surfing’,… thank heavens for that. but to carve a fully functional cutback standing on a 3/4" piece of wood or foam or anything other material and experience effortless acceleration, is going to open you mind.


In no way am I attempting to say that a finless board is better than one with fins. IMHO no surfboard is really better than another; from boards like your grandfather made for you to modern equipment made by machines and everything in between. A time and place for them all.

The question I am asking myself is why use a fin? What other ways is there to ride a wave without one?

Where is that place, with drag, that some control is established without the full drag of a fin?

Yes on some level I did “hack up some foam, waste some resin and glass” but on that same level all boards made are wasting those things.

To me it was not a waste, I was moving forward in the direction I wanted to go. Experimentation.

Most of all it was done for fun…


I have a 6’6 Alaia that trims, turns and cuts back as well as any finned board I’ve ever owned. But I kind of agree that making foam boards without fins seems like riding a bike with the front wheel removed just because you’re good at doing wheelie!

Have you tried a combination of roll and concave ? On the Alaia this seems to hold into the face really well. Combined with a hard edge, this allows me to ride deep in the pocket. It would seem to me that channels are used normally to allow water to travel a straighter line through the belly of the board, sort of bypassing the rocker. They help to generate speed, but not to hold into the face. Anything with an edge releases. A single concave in a rolled bottom effectively creates two smaller rolls running down the rails. These actually suck in and hold really well. The hard rail lets you break it free for controlled side-slip, but the roll sucks back in as soon as you weight the inside edge again. I’ve been building and riding finless boards for nearly 3 years now, and this design seems to work better than most. I haven’t tried it in a foam board yet though. Keep up the experimentation, this is how we expand and enrich the surfing experience !

finless fun,


thank you for your knowledge.

thinking of my liddle hull into deep concave tail…

Wow ! Awesome quiver !!!

Whatever dude.

“It’s well over two years since I had a fin- it’s such a trip to fly free.”

“A lot of waves are blown - but it’s so much fun. 95% without leash, too”

Derek Hynd, September 2008

Derek Hynd on King Island - Photo by Sean Davey

that photo is nuts! mr hynd is the man. pure, pure beautiful surfing.

Having a few good days on both boards has led to some discovery.

6’4’’ flat rocker works really well in both small and bigger waves but likes when the wave has more curve and is moving faster.

7’2’’ epoxy harder to surf in the small stuff and really likes a bigger slope style wave. Has more slip, less grip…

But have had some issues “hanging up”. Bottom turning and coming up to the high line and drifting out the back.

Learning how to correct it with either dragging a hand off the heel side rail to bring the tail back around

or simply not driving so hard off the bottom; letting the board find its own line.

Still, I want to be able to come back down the face without those methods and carve back with more control. again happens to have this picture up on friday. (note the “scallops?” on the rail)

Saturday project: some bondo and some sanding,

Small surf in this morning and it seems to work!

Was able to bring the tail around when it was asked to…

Waiting now for some more size to give it a real test drive…

nice creative work motif. i’m liking this thread’s open mind.



B.Miller tripped out with me on this one.

Shaped in two days.

My first epoxy glassing…

Wow, hats off to serious board builders.

Lots of work.

5’ 10’’ 4" thick 24’’ wide, one pound eps. 24oz. deck. 10oz. bottom. Stringerless…

Heat, pinholes, sanding, filling, sanding and sanding.

Channels are fun to sand by hand!


That thing is nutzo!

mind boggling!

Wow,I really like this thread,the pic of the guy surfing finless and leashless on a bigger wave than I’ve ever seen is just amazing.

Trying HARD now not to be making Fun of this, but…

Has anyone wondered what the booger community thinks of all this finless palaver?

Like they’ve been doing it for 25 years.

and ,

WHERE is greg webber ?

i recall him doing some interesting finless ‘U.S.O.’- type stuff …a few years back now !!

great thread , for sure …

i can’t wait to see the FOOTAGE [hint hint]

i was watching the “freakshow” dvd the other day [jamie o’brien, finless in hawaii]

i like the experimentation on swaylocks *,

THAT’S what keeps me coming back here !!



  • just be sure to ignore the negative people [ eventually they might get the message they are a waste of internet space ]

Dale Solomonson, Oregon, original design circa early 1980’s I think…he’s following all the current finless activity with great interest…

Grate background…is that where all his designs went???

Maybe Mr Hynd was with ol’ Jeckle down one of those drains when he saw them float past, covered in rats gettin sideways and lovin it!!


regards, the Rock

Not in this case Rocky.

Hynd began surfing without fins one absolutely miserable little day at our local spot about three years ago, when he was bored s**tless and decided to take the fins out of his normal board just to enliven the session.

He was always a sucker for slide 360s, even as a teenager, so all of a sudden there he was doing endless semi out of control 360s to the beach on two foot closeouts. It clearly appealed to his twisted sense of humor – it being the TOTAL AND COMPLETE opposite to the other weird craze beginning to raise its head around the place at the time (yes I’m talking about the SUP…arrrggghhhhh!).

It took him about a year to begin to make it all work. He used to ride these little rip bowls and sort of slide sideways in the bowl until he could get a rail to catch and stick, then he’d lean forward or back to try to get the rail to stay stuck.

He often grew frustrated and would occasionally go back to his other craft of choice, an immense 11’-plus round nose swallowtail, with which he’d catch waves about 100 yards outside everyone else at this fat right at the south end of the beach, and spend that 100yds setting up the first turn.

But he would always end up on the finless again…it was like a hopeless romance and I among others feared it’d break his heart (joke).

However the romance has blossomed and he and Finless now appear to be happily married. Of course it’s only a matter of time before he gets bored again, the sex dries up, and the inevitable divorce.