When I started surfing in 1956, the nearest thing to a fin on those old wooden 16 footers was a small keel about 3 inches deep. Pretty minimal. Than the "Malibu" arrived and wooden fins came too, followed by glass ones. I've had a fascination for fins ever since, and LOVE working with them. My latest success with fins has been on our BOBSLED quad, making High-Performance speed-surfing available to a much wider range of surfers.
But in 1968 I stayed with Mr Bob Cooper in California. Amongst his personal collection of prime surfcraft was one sleek old Velzy hotcurl, a totally finless balsa board. I was intrigued by the concept, which utilizes waterflow around a very deep vee tail to suck the tail of the board into the wave to act as a fin. Tom Morey utlized the same principle when developing his incredible invention, the body board. Induced waterflow to create "hold" in the tail instead of using a fin.
So when the Alaia craze swamped the planet two years ago, I was intrigued by the boards speed possibilities, due to no induced drag from having fins strapped beneath. I naturally turned to the Hotcurl principle to solve the major problem of "slide-ass", as the old Hawaiian's did back in the thirties. But I wasn't going to sacrifice modern wider tails and their wonderful early-planing characteristic, the get-up-and-go that has made small wave surfing so much fun the past thirty years.
How to add a Hotcurl tail to a small wide-tailed board?? Simple. Make it a TWIN Hotcurl! That way you get all that planning area between the "fins", or hotcurls.
I made the first one, a six-footer, and gave it to plenty of guys to ride, including Johnny Abegg, some great yanks at the Noosa Festival, and many local rippers. We all scored some great rides on it, and were surprised at it's great holding-power, resisting tail-slide, and supplying nice control. Plus it paddled great. We had solved many of the Alaia's problems.
But I felt the six-footer was a little soggy, and also a little long for many rippers. So I carved out a 5'8, and hardened up the edges, running a full body-board rail full length, warping into TWIN HOTCURLS in the tail! Hmmm. It goes even better, with blitzing speed and lots of control.
We continue to develop!!