Who else makes these fins?

Who else besides Chuck Ames produces Bonzer and Greenough fins? I really love my Stage 6 fin and want to try a smaller one. But not any more. Ames lost a good customer. As Paul Gross says, “Another success story my ass!”

Very Dear Mr. Roger Rabbit, That’s a very good question indeed. But why cut my words from surfermag’s design forum and paste them here? Perhaps to get a response? Mr. Gross never said that, I did. Thanks again, Rob Olliges

Rob Olliges wrote: “Exactly, I love my new Stage 6 fin and want a smaller one for my shortboard. Not any more. Ames lost a good customer. Who else produces Bonzer and Greenough fins. Another success story my ass.” Read my words. There was no cut and paste. Everybody knows that good posts tend to re-invent themselves.

you guys are too much…grow up and make your own fins

All I asked was a sincere, honest question- “Who else besides Chuck Ames produces Bonzer and Greenough fins?” I have tried making my own version of the Stage 6, but they all break down near the base. Ames said they load some space age resin-fiber under heat and pressure or something inside their fins for that extra strength. They told me the taller Stage 6 as laminated by hand will not hold up. The Stage 6 fin design is too expensive for them to make here in the US. But I dont want to support China made American products any more than necessary. I didnt mean to denegrate Chuck Ames’ success as a businessman. May he continue to prosper. There was nothing inappropriate in quoting the demagogic Mr. Gross as a means of expressing my choice as an American consumer. My original query was not posted to inflame any abnormally distended egos. I will investigate my question elsewhere.

i guess were not around the last couple of days

I made one for Lee V. about a year of so ago. I don’t know if he put it in the water yet. I built it with epoxy/carbon fiber laminations in the spine and beefed up the base. It’s a rigid fin unlike the flexible things that everyone else is making. Maybe Lee will tell us how it works. If I do another one know that it’s quite a project and it won’t come cheap. One has to build a lot of structural intergrity into that very narrow fin base and then develope and symmetrical foil out of the rest of the template. It’s now small project of you want something that won’t explode when you need it most. Off to the fin shop, Rich

…so what is ‘space age resin-fiber’, better yet, what/when is 'space age? …would that be the quest for the moon in the 60’s? …how about the introduction of the space shuttle in the 80’s. Did it end with the Challenger? Or did it not begin until the first piece of an international space station orbited earth? I’m voting for the moon in the 60’s, but would that would make that resin-fiber old technology?

I have not put Rich’s fin in the water yet. Rich’s foil is much thicker than Ames and does not flex as easily. I have talked to several people who are using the Ames fin and they have had problems with fatigue at the base of the fin regardless of materials or fin depth. A possible solution is to reduce the area of the “paddle” to reduce stress on the base. However I am sure that this will effect the fin’s performance. Since it is apparent that you do not wish to talk with Ames, the obvious solution is to make your own with different base reinforcements or call George Greenough and ask him. His number has been posted here often (Dale Solomonson has it on speed-dial).

Some time back I helped a guy who faced the same Stage 6 fatigue problem. I had to think about it because he was on a budget. The solution was to show him how to lay up (6 oz. fiberglass cloth) his fin in a simple male/female plywood slab mold, including a tempered, tapered thin 2" wide chefs knife blade... it was purchased for next to nothing in a 2nd hand store. He rounded the blade a bit and 36 grit coarse-sanded surface prep with a few 1/4" holes for mechanical bond, and positioned in the middle of the laminations narrow base and into the upper body of his fin. The resin was a generic “4 to 1” epoxy, which cures quite hard and is heat resistant. By the time he was finished with extra laminating and final foiling, the upper wide “paddle” torqued more than bent side to side. No more visible point loading/fatigue in the narrow base area. A relatively cheap, (short-term?) solution that outlasted everything else he had tried. Build your own… it might work great, or not. But either way youll gain personal knowledge and experience that money cant buy.

Thanks Dale, building your own seems to be the way to go and it is, after all, the Swaylocks spirit. Now does anyone have any tips for building a fin that is not necessarily flat? Thanks, Rob Olliges

Rich- i saw that fin at the gathering in big sur-awesome job for doing it sight unseen!i know i’ve discussed the fracture thing on stage 6 before.i think if one wants to utilize that basic design it might be good to reduce paddle area and work that area into the base design…

Hey Matt, In all honesty, I’ll be interested to see what Lee has to say about the fin when he finally takes if for a dip, but I don’t have much interest in the development of the template. I can make it so it won’t brake. That’s what I think it did for Lee. His fin is of a composite construction with a carbon epoxy spine and foiled to give it some sensitivity and drive. Making it a flexible affair seems contrary to the structure the thing needs to hold together. Personally the template doesn’t appeal to me very much. I’ve said this before, and I may be way off base, but I think it looks like something off the stern of the Jolly Boat that Bligh made his small boat journey in after Christian set him adrift off the Bounty. Kind a clunky looking, But that’s just one man’s opinion. Cut away is a great idea, but the court is still out on this one, It’s expensive to build if you want it to hold up cause you have to use epoxy unless you mold it. Maybe fiberglass impregnated nylon is the ticket. Whatadayathink Tom? No Worries, Rich

based on the work I’ve seen of Halcyon,(Rich), I would recommend to all of you wanting a good custom fin, to send him a template with a brief explanation of what you want and I am sure he will nail it for you. Another source would be Paul Jensen.He had a bitchin’ wood stage 4 fin with perfect flex in it at the big sur event.

another source for flex fins is of course Greg Liddle.expect to pay $50.00 per fin and up.Liddlesurfboards.com.

Yeah, I second that emotion…Rich made mine based on two photographs and a brief e-mail discussion. I knew about the fatigue problem but had no clue as to how the thing was supposed to flex. So I gave Rich some faulty info on stiffening the thing…So if everyone wants some surf this weekend, I’ll screw it in the Edge and try it out. That’ll guarantee overhead surf 'cause I’ll have to spend the whole session moving the damn thing around to find the sweet spot instead of enjoying some well deserved juice…

Matt; Alex’s edge came out tres bien…we can try all kinds of fins in February, but will you pleeeeze buy a new bag to carry them in…

Hey Lee whos going to glass that baby.Did you get those pics?

Hey Lee, I’m sure you’ve already got this one figured out but just for the record I think it’s best to hang that thing well back in the fin box or it’s really gonna be a squirrellly thing to ride with that thick leading edge and narrow cutaway base. Oh, one more thing. Some of us sware by rigid fins you know. I’m pretty sure you’re in for a surprise. I don’t have a clue whether it’ll be good or bad, but a small board like the edge will really tell you what the fin is doing. My concern is that it won’t have enough drive. We’ll see – Good Surfin’, Rich

Kirk: Got the photos, check your e-mail. Mitzven is going to glass it as Bob has got the process down. Gotta wait for Alex’s art work and color scheme.