Above: a photo of some of George Greenough’s original designs for the paddle fin, and a collection of some windsurf boards and molds. ( Spoon and Chopper ) He used to make almost all of his fins, boards and other equipment, and was an innovator who enjoyed creating and reinventing.
Here is a look at a timeline showing how a fin that was created for a windsurf board, adapted over time to a surfboard fin. Through trial and error, many hours in the shop and in the water, we now have the ” Stage 6.”
Late 60’s George makes the first paddle fins out of stainless steel. Sometimes these fins would take 2 or 3 days to grind and finish, but the end product was worth every second of labor for George. In fact, he was windsurfing one day and lost the fin on the rocky bottom. He came back at low tide for a few days of countless hours of searching and found the metal fin in tide pools.
1987 Greenough encourages Chuck Ames to use the paddle fin design on surfboards. The result: A thruster setup with 3 small paddle fins, unfortunately they would break off since they were glassed on with and had a very small base.
1990’s As system fin box designs developed became widely available these paddle fins were tested out again, the problem was the base of the fin was still too narrow, especially for smaller thruster setups
early 2000: The paddle fin design was now adapted to fit onto a longboard with a fin box and produced great results. True ames labeled the fin The “Stage 6” the combination of a stiff leg and active paddle to generate powerful turns, the bigger sizes were powerful on the tip.
Today: The greenough “Stage 6” fin has come a long way and is a classic model that’s been refined and perfected. From the early days being crafted of metal, to now, where the fin is light and has the perfect flex and made of high quality fiberglass.