Has anyone tried, or do you think it is possible to make surfboard fins with this? I’m hoping the material would be strong enough and not brake/bend, as they need to be quite stiff and take some energy…
I think they should work, it all depends on the type of plastic – i want to make skateboard wheels, however I researched it and they are mostly made from PU which is thermoset so that may be a problem but obviously if you find a plastic that works then go with it. I think the compression oven machine makes the most durable products.
This crossed my mind too, BUT, in my opinion, plastic-only surfboard fins should be banned. Maybe for beginner soft boards or kids boards – okay. I don’t understand exactly how it works, but they just don’t perform like glass fins do. Their flex is different so you loose drive coming out of your turns.
HDPE Wax comb -yes!
All plastic surf fins – please NO! 🙂
PS. This has been a serious beer-&-BBQ debate topic, and the general consensus was the same. So, end of discussion! 🙂
Just before compression, you could try to add carbon or glass fiber stringers (in the same time as the bolt insert (depend of you mold))
I think it’s a nice idea, and it needed to be tried to be sure it doesn’t work.
One hard part is the mold, i would be interrested to help you as i work already with molds for others products and i like your concept.
Some sensible remarks so far, here’s my two cents:
I agree with @paulfreed that they’re only going to make sense for beginner/ kids boards. The material is not likely to be stiff enough for your fins to hold very well in hard turns but when you’re not performing a whole lot of turns this could work. Bic, fcs etc. do make plastic fins so the general concept is plausible.
In terms of manufacturing, molding is going to be tricky with the PP machines, the people from the example of @katharinaelleke have travelled this path and chose to CNC mill the fin from a solid block. Their blog gives some helpful insights into their process. They are going for a longboard fin but the product so far colours me somewhat sceptical, but I’ll gladly be proven otherwise.
You could also try crafting a hand-plane if you’re not fixed on fins alone but enjoy making something that works in the ocean. They require far less precision in manufacturing than fins do, so it could also be a step-up project for experience.
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