The average surfboard

I went for a surf today and I took a twin and a quad with me. On that basis I have decided that the average surfboard has three fins.

Ha Ha, there’s thirty seconds of your life you’ll never get back!

i read that as that the average (boring) board has three fins…

Six fins divided by two boards is an average of three fins per board???

The ‘‘modern’’ three fin (2+1) configuration, has been around since 1964.     That’s 52 years.      The removable capability of the side fins, has been around since 1970.       That’s 46 years.       For the record, I’m the guy that developed both, back in the day.

Things get complicated when you have a single and a twin. The average board in that case has 1.5 fins. These are the sorts of super important issues I have been thinking about recently. The rest of you can sleep easy; ol’ Spuddups has the issue under control.

On a related note: Nice work on the removable side fins Bill. It must have been a great time to be involved in making boards. It’s kinda cool to think that a lot of people who were involved in the birth of modern surfing are still making boards to this day. Is Ben Aipa still making boards? That guy is a legend.

Further musings: I wonder how people would have reacted if you were somehow able to take a modern surboard back in time and surf it like John John. Actually the “being able to surf like John John” bit would be pretty frickin’ amazing even without the timetravel dimension!

As far as I know, Ben still spends some time in the shaping bay.       In the mid sixties, the average board was close to 10 feet long.     In Santa Cruz, a fellow named Jim Foley, was riding boards seven feet long.      He was all over the face of the wave, going vertical, snappy turns, the whole enchilada!      It was ugly surfing, by the then standards, but he was quantum leaps ahead of the curve.     His performance level then, would appear quite normal today.     Interesting times, to say the least.

Yes, Ben is still doing some shaping. A friend of mine grew up with Ben and is still close friends with him, and Ben is going to be shaping a board for his son.

Ben is still very active shaping boards. His shop is about a block from Ala Moana Park on Pensacola St. He shares the space with Rich King who has been importing Aipa boards from China for a while. King surf was one of the first companies to make blanks in China, but that didn’t do well against the competition. They stopped doing the blanks, but they still have a lot of SUPs and longboards made overseas. Ben and Akila do the custom work. Ben’s a really cool guy, very approachable and will share his knowledge freely. I always talk about designs with him any time I get the chance to see him. He’s seen it all and has mentored a lot of the best here. In his day he was the most powerful surfer I’ve seen. Dane Kealoha and Johnny Boy Gomes followed in his style.