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.


single fin, fcs fins, future fins, SUP fins

It’s that time of year again, Surf Expo in Orlando, FL is happening this week Friday 9/6 -9/8.  Stop by the True Ames Booth #969. We will have a full selection of our latest surf fins and SUP fins.  Lots of different fins in stock right now for your single fin, twin fin, thruster, quads, and we offer different 2+1 setups for longboards and SUP boards.  our system fins are available in FCS and Futures Compatible.


For more than three decades Chuck Ames and the True Ames Fins team have been at the forefront of the fiberglass fin industry. Balancing a surfer-driven design ethic with an unyielding commitment to innovation and production excellence, we have forged an international reputation in the surfing and windsurfing communities as the guys who, simply put, make your waveriding vehicle of choice work even better. After all, as Chuck likes to say, “You could have the best board in the world shaped for you but, if the fins are off, it won’t go- the thing just won’t work the way it should.” Day in and day out, it is our goal at True Ames to make sure such fin failures never happen to you.

Fin Design at True Ames: The Importance of Fin Template and Foil


The outline of a fin is what determines the area and the look. The way the area is distributed on the fin is what makes fins individual and work in so many different ways. A wide base fin with a wide tip is the most stable but not forgiving. A narrow base fin with a narrow tip will be very loose and fast but unstable at slow speeds.

The fin’s sweep (or rake angle) affects the board’s ability to carve turns. A more vertical fin will make tight turns and fast directional changes while a more raked fin will carve wider arcs and handle more power through turns.

Tail width is also a factor in fin choice. Narrow tail boards do not require deep fins because there is less distance from the fin to the rail. A wide board requires a deeper fin than a narrower board. For example an 8’ egg style board that is on the wide side should use about an 8.5” to 9.0” fin. A narrow tail single fin board that is 7’6” can use a fin in the 7” to 8” range.

True Ames Surf Fins incorporate a constant foil which means you will not find any flat spots on our fins that may cause water disturbance which will ultimately cause poor performance. Our bigger solid color fins are foiled from 7/16” solid 6oz. glass sheet stock. Smaller fins do not need to be so thick to have the proper foil.

To read more about fin design and how to choose the best surf fins check out trueames.com


SURF EXPO 2012 – True Ames Fins booth # 1266

Check out our latest fin designs at SURF EXPO this Sept. 6-8th 2012. Orlando, FL

True Ames offers a greater diversity of fin products than any other fin company. Our material experimentations have created the True Lite Hexcore fin line, which includes thruster templates that are FCS and Futures Compatible from Lost, Erik Arakawa, Hamish Graham, Timmy Patterson, and Channel Islands. Our close relationships to imaginative pros, such as Josh Farberow, Jimmy Gamboa, Oliver Parker, Daniel Graham, Ashley Lloyd, and Brad Gerlach allows us to maintain the constant flow of feedback that will continue to establish True Ames as the industry’s greatest fin resource.

True Ames Surf Fins New Video: Hexcore System Fins for FCS and Futures Fins Compatible

Here is a quick clip that showcases our line of Hexcore System Fins. These ultra light fins are available in FCS compatible and Futures Compatible.

We use the Resin Transfer Method that allows us to construct a composite fin, inside which hexagonal pieces of lightweight coremat displace fiberglass and resin. The result is a fin that is up to 25% lighter than a normal fiberglass fin, yet retains the same positive flex and amazing drive!

Whether you are surfing small beach breaks or solid reef breaks, we’ve got you covered with a wide variety of fins to fit your board and type of surfing.

NEW BAMBOO FINS: Tyler Warren Bar of Soap Twin Fins

Ok, so we finally have the Tyler Warren- Bar of Soap, Bamboo Fins in stock. This is a new batch of bamboo machine foiled fins that we made right here “in house!” These fins have been in the works for a little while and now we’ve perfected them. A really cool thing about them is that the orientation of the bamboo grain gives these fins optimum flex and stiffness for a perfect ride. Not only are the super light but the actually float!

Fishy Fins

If your looking to try some new fins on your Fish, take a look at these.  From solid fiberglass to Hexcore to wood… We’ve got you covered.  Our Twin fins come in FCS compatible, Futures compatible, and Glass ons.