Vector fins foil old or new design?

Were any of you guys foiling your fins like the vector fins prior to this design being popularized in the last few months? Is this a new idea or, like almost everything else, has it been done before?

Someone told me that alot of new fin design is unpatentable because its basically spin offs of 30’s 40’s boat propeller designs. Dont know how true it is. Dont know anything about speedfins also, supposedly that has Greenough input, but I would tend to invalidate anything that doesnt go through rigorous R&D with flow tanks and computing everything. I dont think there is really anything new, just old ideas needing to be incorporated into surfboard fins. Then you have the advanced propeller design the Navy was doing with its submarines through the 80’s 90’s trying to make the propellers and their emission signature undetectable. Its all been done! Assymetrical foils for surfboards have been done before early 80’s if not before.

It has been said before, that it is the person that best copies the invention that succeeds, not usually the inventor. It is possible to use an existing invention in a new application (say for surfboards) if the new application is novel and non-obvious to those practised in the art (of either surfing or surfboard making). If a propellor technology is patented then it may be possible to adapt the propellor technology to surfboard fins, provided the adaptation is novel and non-obvious. Propellor manufacturers like Mercury Marine have some interesting hydrodynamics information, unlike the the surf fin manufacturers. The claims in a patent determine the scope of the claimed invention. I have seen examples where the first claim of the invention is something like “What is claimed is: 1. A fin for a windsurf board”. This a classic mistake. The claim needs to be more general. It should say “What is claimed is: 1. A fin for a watercraft”. Someone could use that original patent and change the claim to “A fin for a surfboard”. Try suing for patent infringement. Patent law is complicated and I am no patent attourney. Get professional advice is the general rule. One more thing, don’t believe everything has been thought of. Smarter people have made that mistake before.

Hal Sose: “I dont think there is really anything new, just old ideas needing to be incorporated…” “Bulls Head” by Pablo Picasso, 1943. A bicycle seat and handlebars. Maybe theres nothing "new", but Im sure there are many surprises yet to come in functional, good feeling surfcraft…

Theres alot of bull there :wink:

The vector foil is far from a new design. It’s on the underside of virtually every airplane wing and/or bird wing in some form or another. It’s application to aircraft creats a smooth ride through turbulent air by eliminating the corner at the foils leading edge. This allows the air to follow the surface of the wing and stay attached while going into the concave and off the rear edge of the wing smoothly. This may or may not be the best thing for a surfboard fin, which is expected to turn on a dime and be constantly enduring radical direction changes.Most commercial aircraft fly mostly in straight lines with few quick direction changes. Arguable how much aviation technology is actually applicable to surfboards. They do very different things. The vector foil application to surfboards is also not really new unless you get into exact specifics of foil characteristics, and we’re talking EXACT. Guys were doing all different kinds of foils to both sides of surfboard fins on many continents for many years. What is new, is the name,and the claimed benefits over traditional flat sided fins. Wasn’t long ago when all fins had double foils. I say double foiled because anything other than a fin with a flat side on one side is technically a “double foil”.You get into percentages of foil at that point. As many as 10 years ago, FCS fins were coming out with “sink” or “concave” on the inside or flat side of the front fins. The bottom line is everthing will work for some people, and some things will work for most people. Proofs in the pudding or so they say, so until I see about 80 percent of the top 44 surfers not only using and swearing by them, but continuing to use and swear by them…it’s just another idea. I’ve heard feedback that’s all over the place, from “they added 60% more performance to my board”, to “I hated them”, and EVERTHING in between. My experience with them was that they worked well in big clean surf, but not that well in smaller mushy stuff. They are marketed at small to medium surf, and come with claims of better water attachment then flat sided fins. I don’t see it. I still see the best surfers in the world using flat sided fins.

mike your gonna hate me for this one …the maths arent right, i did a simple vector calculation on one of the 3-2 s ,the vectors are actually working against each other on the same fin .it worked out about 1/12th or 8.3% less lift over the same area as a flat sided fin which basically means in small surf your board is going to feel less responsive have less bite and not be able to tolerate as higher angle of attack as a flat sided fin, on the other hand less lift is not a bad thing in bigger waves .also scooping out the inside of the foil makes the fins less efficient coz theres not as much pressure difference between the high and low pressure sides because your making the water travel further on the high pressure side (the high pressure side is the flat side)the fin needs a way higher angle of attack before it kicks in and turns your board ,the camber is set to far back for small waves and radical changes in angle of attack ,another reason why they drift a little earlier, having the camber set further back is another factor pointing to being better suited for bigger waves and higher speeds …if were talking aircraft design check the difference between a stunt plane and a plane built for speed …the stunt plane can tolerate massive variations in angle of attack at a greater variety of speeds before stalling occurs then when they do stall and fall out of the sky they can regain control with ease .once again its simple principles of physics and the laws of nature were dealing with, any good design needs to be backed by these laws .the laws of nature are timeless ,hype and marketing time will tell all .when was last time someone tried to market a thruster …proven by time ,unfortunatly the lack of general knowledge on this subject means people can easily be fed crap.