Living The Single Life
Long before the thruster and twin fin, the single fin surfboard soul surfed its way across the world.
In the mid 1930’s, surfing pioneer Tom Blake engineered the first surfboard fin, a 30cm long and 10cm deep metal keel from an abandoned speedboat that he attached to the bottom of his surfboard. Since this primitive creation fins have been modified and re-invented until they look like the fins available today.
Saying this, the single fin surfboard is still a popular board to have in your quiver. Ask someone who owns a vintage single fin and they will say it holds a kind of mysterious prestige; one of their most treasured possessions and it’s a favourite to ride in picture perfect surf.
If you want to go back to surfing’s roots and draw on the nostalgia of single fin surfing you’ll find there’s a big difference between surfing a single fin and surfing a thruster.
Single fin’s allow you to draw long lines across the face of the wave and will help you perfect your rail-to-rail surfing. Unlike the strength and aggression associated with thruster surfing, single fin surfing relies on your trimming skills and rail control so you can carve out powerful turns off the bottom.
To celebrate the grace and style of the single fin, this weekend just past, Billabong presented the annual Burleigh Boardriders Single Fin Festival, held at Burleigh Point. It’s a unique event that attracts plenty of big name surfers as well as the local rippers who soul arch their way down the point on their vintage single fins. All boards ridden have to be made pre-1985. Some of the better-known surfers competing this year include soul surfer Dave Rastovich, Mark Occhilupo, Creed McTaggert and Jack Freestone.
The celebrations were even bigger this year, it was also the Burleigh Boardriders 50th year as a boardriders club, their first event was held way back in 1965. Burleigh Point turned into a surfing museum and it was great to check out some of the cool antique boards. The Burleigh Boardriders Single Fin Festival will run again next year so why not check it out for yourself.
If can’t get you hands on an old relic, don’t fret, you can easily get your hands on a modern day single fin.
The Surfboard Warehouse has just released The Single Life, it’s our take on the classic single fin surfboard, but with all the bells and whistles of a modern day speed machine. With full rails to allow for fast down the line surfing it’s perfect in 2 – 3 foot peelers to overhead conditions. Get historical and take a look at The Single Life here.