Forget about pandemics. Forget about cancellations, deaths, Great White Shark attacks and SeaWorld trainers crushing the spines of baby Killer Whales, a wobbly stock market, Kelly Slater, abundances of caution, toilet paper, Donald J. Trump sending you $2000 (if you happen to be an American), millennials and their war against boomers, Kanoa Igarashi.
FCS has released a new fin and acceptable, respected surf media has lost its collective mind.
In one day, headlines across august publications were synched and screamed, using a font size not seen since Laird Hamilton towed Teahupoo.
Magic Seaweed: “Testing the world’s smartest fin.”
Stab: “FCS Just Released The Most Premium Progressive Fins Of The Last Decade”
CoastalWatch: “Tested: FCS’s New H4 Fin Set Is Scary Good.”
Surfline: Nick Carroll Tests FCS’s New H4 Fin Set And he finds the space fighter smart fin…scary good
But can it be true? Is it possible that a fin could be so incredible, so wonderful that every important surf media bumped every other bit of planned editorial in order to celebrate?
We must turn to Nick Carroll himself, who found the time to write three of the above four stories at over 8,000 words each.
The H4 is another thing. At first look you’d think you’d got hold of the wings off some sorta hi-tech mini Space Fighter. The fins are a deep grey verging on black, with a super-fine grooved finish that shimmers slightly in a certain light, like a vinyl record surface. Moulding is super precise, with fine edges and no spare flesh anywhere.
As with other H-series products, the fin design is distinctive. The side fin has a conventional leading edge template and a less conventional trailing edge, which cuts short and up at the tip, hatchet-style. The foil follows the trailing edge, creating a slight ridge on the outer surface of the fin where it tapers into the hatchet. The inside face is dead flat, and all the edges are sharp and tight. Like I said, very precise.
The rear fin begins conventionally enough at the base, with a curve in both leading and trailing edges, but just a couple of cms up, the whole fin tilts back and the template lines straighten, tapering into a football-ey tip.
I know you can see all this in the graphics, but you won’t quite be able to pick that ridge running back to the hatchet, nor maybe absorb the hard precision of it all. The fin materials are also highly precise and “built”, with a shell of unidirectional carbon tape containing an injected composite core, which produces an extremely quick-flex, tight fin that’s also very light.
I was high on them pretty much immediately.
Now I understand. A fin that makes a person high.
H4 + Surfing: A love story (buy here).
But do you remember the day that SurfStitch purchased Magic Seaweed, Stab and FCS but then uh oh?