History of Marine Plywood Surf Fins


In 1934, Surf pioneer, waterman & innovator Tom Blake was inspired by a boat’s keel and proceded to put the first “fin” onto one of his surfboards in order to help control the board’s motion. From that day forward the evolution of the “surf fin” began.

The Wooden “Duel Fin”

Bob Simmons elevated the surfboard fin’s design, first working on single fins, and then experimenting with “duel fin” surfboards. These “Simmons” shapes had two fins made of wood which resembled “half moons.”

Early 1970’s
“Modern Keel Fins” Emerge

“Modern Keels” emerged as an result of Steve Lis’ experimentation. As an avid kneeboarder, Lis came up with his progressive “fish” templates and united his boards with twin keels resembling those of Simmons’ designs, but was more specifically influenced by Bear Mirandon. These new keels were outfitted with updated shapes and foils.

Late 1970’s
Speed and Fluidity

The new “keel” fins and fish shapes inspired an array of professional surfers such as Jeff Ching, David Nuuhiwa, and Reno Aberilla.This new trend also influenced renowned shapers such as Skip Frye and Terry Martin who advanced the movement and created boards known for their speed and fluidity.

Retro Resurgence

Retro shapes reinvigorate the surfing scene and guys such as Dave Rastovich, Tyler Warren, and Ryan Burch dislpay the ability of twin keel designs.

Marine Plywood Fins Now

True Ames is providing the surfing world and especially craftsmen with top notch –  perfectly foiled marine plywood fins which have proven to transcend time and provide surfers with that iconic and effortless feel. Our fins have positive buoyancy as well as that classic aesthetically pleasing look, which is sure to meet your standards.


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