The history of the twinny

Stu Nettle
Design Outline

If you’re given to trawling board racks in surf shops or following shapers on social media you don’t need me to tell you that twinnies are back in a big way. It’s not a resurgence but a re-resurgence. We’ve been here before, a few times in fact.

This particular twinny renaissance marks itself by an improv approach to two fins; a cross-pollination of old twin fin designs that’s creating multiple hybrids. Yet twin fins have a long history, one that dates back to Tom Blake, and the design has been used to achieve a variety of outcomes from dead ahead speed runs to turn-on-a-coin agility.

Following is a potted history of twin fins covering all the categories to date.

Simmons Dual Fin

In the late 1940s Bob Simmons, a shrewd engineer from Pasadena, got a carpentry job with Gard Chapin, Miki Dora’s volcanic step-father. Simmons wasn’t a surfer, yet upon Chapin’s insistence he began to learn, and he also learnt to build boards after work hours. Simmons chanced upon Naval Architecture of Planing Hulls, a technical manual for boats, and applied the same principles of speed and manoeuvrability to his surfboards.

Simmons cared little for aesthetics, instead building crude yet functional craft. Surfboard design was in its infancy yet it instinctively erred toward the long and the sleek, while in contrast Simmons’ boards were short and squat - approximately 8 feet by 24 inches. He assumed that a broader tail was a key to high speed, yet it also tended to spin out. In 1948 he solved the problem by fixing two crescent-shaped fins to each corner of the tail. The fins were set parallel to each other.

A Simmons Dual Fin on display at Mingei International Museum, San Diego

Ironically considering the attributes of later twin fins, Bob Simmons was never much interested in turning. As Matt Warshaw says in The History of Surfing, “Engineered speed was all that Simmons cared about - the rest was frippery.”

Bob Simmons in full flight on a Dual Fin, way out ahead of the curl at Malibu (Joe Quigg)

In 1954 Bob Simmons was struck in the head by his own board - a Dual Fin - and drowned while surfing Windansea in San Diego. Fifty years after his death an abbreviated version of the Dual Fin - dubbed the Mini Simmons - receives a burst of popularity. The Mini Simmons is first shaped by Joe Bauguess from San Diego and then championed by surf-historian Richard Kenvin, also from San Diego.

From the very beginning, twin fins are inextricably linked to the Southern Californian surf town.

Fish

In 1967, Bob Simmons Dual Fin concept entered the modern era when San Diego brothers Nick and Barry Mirandon of Surfboards La Jolla created the Twin Pin, a longboard with a deep swallow tail and a fin on each ‘pin’. The Twin Pin had minimal popularity, however it’s noted here as it was the design inspiration for the most enduring of all twin fin configs, the fish.

The Twin Pin by Nick and Bear Mirandon of San Diego

San Diego kneeboarder Steve Lis fixed the Twin Pin’s back end to a full nosed kneeboard. In time he’d switch the fins to traditional keels, not dissimilar to the half-moon keels Simmons used, except only foiled on the outside. Lis also also set the keels parallel to each other - again like Simmons.

With the Shortboard Revolution in full swing and stand up surfers casting about for new ideas it wasn’t long before San Diego surfers were riding the sub-six foot fish as a stand up board. The concept was indigenous to San Diego, being well-suited to the hollow reefs around La Jolla, yet it bogged in slower surf and spun out in big waves which limited its popularity elsewhere, at least for the time being.

A Steve Lis-shaped fish (Hydrodynamica)

When the 1972 World Titles were held in San Diego, a group of locals stole event favourite David Nuuhiwa’s fish, broke it, then strung it from the jetty with the words “Good luck David” scrawled across the bottom. It was, after all, ‘their’ design. Fortunately, Nuuhiwa had another fish and he rode that to second place. Hawaiian Jimmy Blears came first - also riding a fish.

Despite the iron-fisted approach of San Diego locals, the fish design slowly spread, though it would take a 1990s revival to truly reach international cut through. In retrospect, the fish is the only design idea that remains intact since the Shortboard Revolution. And though it’s morphed and evolved in the fifty years since Steve Lis unveiled it, the traditional fish design is distinguished from all other twin fins by having three fixed elements: a swallowtail with keel fins that run parallel to the stringer.

Early 70s Twins

In 1970, a number of Australian and US shapers, notably Geoff McCoy, Mike Eaton, and US expat Tom Hoye (who’d later invent Da Claw, a five fin board) craft short, pod-shaped twin fins. Like the Dual Fin, the fins were placed on the rear corners. The boards were similar in shape to paipos - Hawaiian bodyboards - that also had two fins. The theory goes that, just as stand up surfers repurposed the fish kneeboard, so to did they refashion the paipo for their own pursuit.

Unlike fish, the early 70s twins didn’t have keels but ‘tuna fin’ shaped fins, and they also had the fins toed in. Subtle though it is, fin toe was crucial for the designs to come, such as the Thruster. Fin toe increases responsiveness by keeping the board in turn mode, and it was widely adopted in all later multi fin configurations, the traditional fish notwithstanding.

George Greenough weighed in with his observation on the twin fin design: “Twin fins work better the closer together you put the fins till you get a single fin". Unperturbed by the great one’s disdain, the public bought in with twin fins accounting for a reported 50% of the Sydney market in 1970, while an April 1971 issue of Surfer magazine shows 13 ads with twin fins. The same issue a year later has just 2. The reason for their short-lived popularity was an inherent lack of drive and an alarming propensity to spin out. It didn’t help that they arrived on the scene at the nadir of the Shortboard Revolution - when boards were at their very shortest. If the same fin configuration was placed on a 6’6” and not something 12 inches shorter they’d have been more dependable.

Geoff McCoy with a twin fin in 1971

In late 1972, a 15-year-old Mark Richards visited Hawaii for the first time and provided a harbinger of what was to come. MR included a Geoff McCoy twin fin in his quiver. “I surfed my twin fin most of the time I was there,” MR says in a 1973 issue of Surfing World.

Late 70s Twin Fins

For three years during the mid-70s, Reno Abellira included a stubby fish in his quiver for the Australian contest leg, and in 1976 he rode it on a small day of the 2SM Coke Surfabout. MR won the contest but noted Abellira’s performance on the 5’3” x 20” fish: “His fish was skating over sections at speed where others were bogging down.” Having abandoned twin fins a few years earlier, preferring an Aipa Sting as his small wave board, MR revisited the twin fin idea. His first board was the ‘Bumble Bee’, 5’11” long by 22” wide with a bulbous nose inimical to the savagely angled surfboards of the day.

The Bumble Bee worked, but only in waves up to 3’ after which it spun out. Following a shaping stint with Dick Brewer, MR took the Hawaiian master’s advice and applied the twin fin concept to a customised single fin outline. The resulting planshape was similar to a stretched-out fish, with sharper nose and narrower tail, plus the inclusion of flyers to further reduce tail area, while the fins were shifted up the board for maneuverability. It’s the classic twinny set up. The rip, tear, and lacerate arrangement. It's also what most people think of when they refer to twin fins.

Having the pivot point (i.e the inside fin when turning) inside the centre line is the key to twin fin dynamics; the turn is initiated quicker than on a single fin, and the board also can also turn along its outline as well as its rocker line. Also, with more fin area to push off and a wider tail than the single fins of the day, the twinny was significantly faster.

Mark Richards 1977 'Free Ride' board

MR rode his twinny to four straight world titles but the design wasn’t without its critics. “Here's what I remember best about twin-fins,” wrote Matt Warshaw in a Surfer article titled ‘Twin Fins: They Mostly Sucked’. “Yes, MR ripped on 'em. Dane too. And young Martin Potter. The rest of us struggled. God, we struggled. Off the bottom, twins were as reliable as a wet paper bag. Top-turning, you get a little foam between the fins, you might as well be riding a unicycle up there.”

In ‘81 Simon Anderson unveiled the Thruster and by late 1982 - MR’s last world title year - 75% of surfers were riding them. What followed next was fifteen years of three fin fascism, Bruce McKee shaped quads but only Glen Winton noticed, Wil Jobson created the Twinzer - a twin fin with forward canards - which Martin Potter rode for six months, while Skip Frye and other dogged San Diegans slowly, quietly evolved the fish.

The Fish Revival

Several parties can lay claim to the mid-90s fish revival. In 1994 Tom Curren rode 12 foot Bawa in Indonesia on a 5’7” Fireball fish shaped by Tommy Peterson, and the session was published in several magazines plus it was featured in Rip Curl’s original Search video. The name of Peterson's board was somewhat of a misnomer as it had a standard Thruster configuration though it did share the fish planshape. The Australian surfing public was still largely ignorant of what a fish really was, as evidenced by a 1994 article in Tracks ‘What Is a Fish’ that had to spell it out in plain terms.  

Around the same time, Andrew Kidman and Jon Frank were looking sideways at surf culture and trained their lens on Derek Hynd riding a Skip Frye-shaped fish at Jeffreys Bay. The footage was the high water mark of their 1996 film, Litmus.

Down at Ulladulla on the NSW South Coast, Mick Mackie recalled his grommethood where he’d seen older surfers standing up on kneeboards at Cronulla Point - more evidence of equipment repurposing. Mixing kneeboard design with Dimitrije Milovich’s Winterstick - a split tail snowboard - Mackie spun new DNA into the fish design. Sidecuts, flextails, and deep swallows were part of Mackie’s oeuvre - but they were all still fish.

Though he incorporates sidecut and flex, Mick Mackie maintains traditional elements in his fish such as parallel keel fins

Though shapers such as Mackie, Skip Frye, and Dick van Straalen were maintaining design integrity in the fish, during the 90s many others pushed the boundary of what a fish was, crossing it with quad and Thruster set ups, and pushing the classic planshape till it only vaguely resembled Steve Lis' original vision.

The Duo

The most recent original twin fin design is Neal Purchase’s Duo, though it’s an idea that had surfaced before, most notably with Bill Thrailkill in the US. Purchase was unaware of Thrailkill’s boards when he set two double-foiled fins parallel to each other on a blank. He could well have been heeding Greenough’s advice about reducing distance as the fins were just six or seven inches apart instead of the standard ten to twelve inches. This, Purchase told Swellnet in 2015, gave the Duo “squirt” but without the “wiggly, fishy feeling in the tail”.

Neal Purchase Jr's Duo

And Now...?

When NPJ made his first Duo, he told Swellnet he looked at a standard twin fin with fins set wide apart and thought to himelf, "Fuck, there's all these other places where you could put the fins!" And that's just what he did. Because twinnies were sidelined for many years it means the design isn't exhausted, there's still lots of fresh ground to turn over.

Twin fins will never have the stability of, say, a Thruster, so they're not quite as versatile, however improvements in bottom contours, namely rocker, have added a bit more control to their handling. Even during his title years, MR still rode single fins in Hawaii, yet twinnies are now edging into bigger waves. Both Pete Mel and Anthony Tashnick have ridden big wave twins at Mavericks, while Torren Martyn has been pushing the step up twin in DOH waves.

However, it's down the other end of the board rack where the real cross-breeding is happening with twinnies being fused to every imaginable design feature and template, with chequered success. Yet, with untilled territory and eager experimentation it's not unreasonable to think that the above categories couldn't one day be added to.

Comments

linez's picture
linez's picture
linez commented Tuesday, 19 Jun 2018 at 6:58pm

Thanks Stu, brilliant read, this is what I love about SN. The why's and how's about board design as well as the history involved keep me coming back and hanging for articles like this.

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy commented Tuesday, 19 Jun 2018 at 7:31pm

Nice article, Stu.
Nigel Beckham could be interesting to talk to.
Seems they never went out of fashion for him. Started making them start of the 90s maybe?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 19 Jun 2018 at 7:32pm

He's never seemed to get the accolades yet his name pops up in unexpected places. It surfaced a few times while putting this together.

I should take it as a sign and get on the honker.

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy commented Tuesday, 19 Jun 2018 at 7:52pm

Did you go ahead and get a fish after you said you were enjoying your mate's (Josh Keogh I think you said)?

Here's a cpl pics on Beckham instagram
https://www.instagram.com/p/BBRoD_uvpk6/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BBb5o3svpiB/?taken-by=beckhamsurfboards

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 19 Jun 2018 at 8:07pm

I rode one of Josh's boards, and last week I picked up a 5'6" fish by Nick Miles at Sculpt. It's an unreal board, does just what I expected it to, however I think I'm only gonna ride it in marginal conditions. After a few sessions it's once again apparent how differently I have to ride fish compared to my normal boards. I just can't switch over and hit the sweet spot.

I know what'll happen if I persist on the fish: Next big swell at the point, when it really matters, I'll be like a newborn giraffe trying to readjust back.

bbbird's picture
bbbird's picture
bbbird commented Tuesday, 19 Jun 2018 at 8:12pm

Stu, that was great read; brought back memories of the 1970's & evolution.
Reno Abellira was carving cutbacks in 2ft summer slop at Narrabeen (Ben Apia 5’3” twin fish)
M.Richards shaping 'apprenticeship' with Geoff McCoy ...before Hawaii & world titles.
Those early twinfins were waaay tooo loooose in power with speed for me; compared with single fins of the day ...as Greenough and McCoy attest.
Quads now appear to be a more stable evolution of twin fins. e.g. Slaters' Teahupo'o late drops & over foam barrels are amazing.

bbbird

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Tuesday, 19 Jun 2018 at 8:20pm

Great article.

Haven't ridden my twinny in ages. Might have to chuck mine in the wagon and bust it out on a small clean day soon.

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Tuesday, 19 Jun 2018 at 9:47pm

Really enjoyed that, a good mention of Tom Blake and Bob Simmons too.

Was never a natural twin surfer myself, but they have the ability to surprise with speed and turn even for me.

Just putting it out there that if you look at current equipment for the BWWT, it's a 70's style gun shape (right to the down rails on some) with quad fins - similar to how you describe MR adjusting the design for the purpose he required.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Wednesday, 20 Jun 2018 at 9:38am

I'm with you VJ. I'm not a typical twinny surfer, I've got to make substantial compromises to get one going properly. Every now and again it's nice to be reminded of the twinny feeling, however they're a long way from my one board quiver.

memlasurf's picture
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memlasurf commented Tuesday, 19 Jun 2018 at 9:48pm

Yes great article Stu and I think it was you who opined that they are schizophrenic. I tend to agree, they can be a total blast and they can be totally frustrating. I love it in the right waves and get completely pissed off in the wrong ones. Hollow, barrelling waves which stand up, are not my forte on them; smooth wally waves with a bit of push, they are unreal. For average shite conditions, thruster is the way.

CryptoKnight's picture
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CryptoKnight commented Tuesday, 19 Jun 2018 at 10:26pm

Here's one of the early seventies ones. My best mate at the time had one of these that his brother, who lived in a house at Angourie, with Steven Cooney and sometimes Nat Young, brought back and gave to him. Shane Stedman did one similar too.

http://www.vonweirdos.com/sold/Hutchinson-Twin-Fin_573.htm

Its very similar to the one Batcheldor rode.

http://crystaldreams.surf/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/IMG_1245.jpg

Kauai's Gorilla boy deliberately brought a twinny to Australia and I, and Pete T watched him take on any thing the NE Coast of Aust could offer, including maxing Lennox... (and, no, it doesn't break like sunset).

Richo, ulu's, twinny, first place?

Oh, oh... what's he done...

Spuddups's picture
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Spuddups commented Wednesday, 20 Jun 2018 at 5:26am

Great article. I have a couple of twins. They are great for small clean waves on my forehand. I have never ridden a faster board than my 5'7" fish. As others have mentioned they have their limitations. I find that quads address a lot of the issues with twins; quite a good halfway house between twins and thrusters. I'm pretty much exclusively riding quads on my forehand now, and I'm just starting to figure them out on my backhand. Thrusters are still the best all-round fin set-up though in my opinion; i.e. if I can only take one board somewhere I'll take a thruster.

topgeer's picture
topgeer's picture
topgeer commented Wednesday, 20 Jun 2018 at 9:25am

Great article Stu, bit light on the twinzer (which I know you have covered before in 2014) - http://www.swellnet.com/news/design-outline/2014/12/05/twinzers-forgotte...
but they have had a resurgence in Australia with Bryan Bates, Byron Bay making some exceptional examples - he is using channels instead of a nubster fin...
http://www.bryanbates.com.au/shortboard-range#/twinzer-2/
well worth a ride, my 5'9 is one of my best boards!

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Wednesday, 20 Jun 2018 at 9:35am

Yeah, I considered the Twinzer, but both because I'd already covered it and because it's technically four fins on the bottom I didn't include it in this list. Some people may argue the other way...

It's a little surprising that, Bryan Bates aside, Twinzers aren't being swept up in the latest twin resurgence, as they give that whip-fast skatey feel out the tail that people enjoy yet have more stability and hold than a typical twinny.

topgeer's picture
topgeer's picture
topgeer commented Wednesday, 20 Jun 2018 at 9:40am

Exactly, the Twinzer IMHO is a far superior board than many of the twin fins out there- the feel of a twinny with the hold of a thruster! Especially bottom and top turns. Down the line speed and acceleration is phenominal.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Wednesday, 20 Jun 2018 at 9:54am

Was waiting for this - twinzer with its canards and larger rear fins should solve the drive problem of twins, and be loose as a goose to boot.

On quads (larger front fin, smaller rear fin, larger spacing of fins) a board feels locked in and still unable to go top to bottom as vertically or complete full rail roundhouses like a thruster or a 2+1 would (for me). Fast yes on the forehand. Maybe the twinzer is the brightest puppy in the two fin family?

radiationrules's picture
radiationrules's picture
radiationrules commented Wednesday, 20 Jun 2018 at 10:43am

"inimical" of progress is knowledge. Great work Stu

BTW I recon that mingie exhibition, from which I have the book - will prove to be a watershed moment in recognising our scientific surfboards really are

Dorrito10's picture
Dorrito10's picture
Dorrito10 commented Wednesday, 20 Jun 2018 at 11:06am

Hey Stu, just wondering If you've rode Gary McNeil's RTT twinny? I'm not affliated with the guy or anything but I reckon (in my uneducated opinion hahaha) that he deserves the title of modern aussie twin fin king. His boards are phenomenal.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Wednesday, 20 Jun 2018 at 11:19am

No I haven't ridden one but I know a few guys who have (including a crusty old prick who comments on here occasionally - hey Reg!). Considering the work Gary's done advancing twins, both with the RTT and his step up twin fin guns, the title would be fitting.

dmnfisher's picture
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dmnfisher commented Wednesday, 20 Jun 2018 at 1:24pm

I agree 100% with you Dorrito...it was the piece of the puzzle missing from this article, and I realise its tough to include everyone shaping twinnies, but Gary's boards are amazing...the RTT is without doubt the best board I have ever ridden and I haven't found it wanting in any conditions I have surfed...mushy beachbreaks to grinding, down the line point breaks...it does it all...

Dorrito10's picture
Dorrito10's picture
Dorrito10 commented Wednesday, 20 Jun 2018 at 10:30pm

Agreed mate, he ticks all the boxes with performance, tech and looks. Fingers crossed the tax man is kind to me this year because I would love to take one to Mentawai's next year.

.cylinders's picture
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.cylinders commented Friday, 22 Jun 2018 at 12:22pm

I was fortunate enough to pick up an RTT 5'6" with flax inlay while in Indonesia last year and have been riding it with the futures K2 keels. Going to add the Rasta keels and twins to the fin collection and test them all out as I feel the RTT may be better suited to the more upright twins. So far I've been really impressed with the board, it handled solid Temples and some head high Jake's Point quite well, as a result I've started surfing some of his other models too (Swallow tailed Entity quad @ 5'10" with carbon rails makes a very good travel board, although a tad flat in the rocker for hollow waves).

Also recently got a Jim Banks Magic Carpet 5'6" which is another high performance oriented fish, though I haven't yet had a chance to test it out due to my hand plane addiction. The Carpet I have is his old model with a double concave, but apparently he is raving about a new version he's only made 1 or 2 of which features a V-bottom and goes like the clappers from all reports. It's worth noting that his son Matt waxes these things to the nose and gets airborne on them regularly...

Dorrito10's picture
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Dorrito10 commented Friday, 22 Jun 2018 at 7:43pm

Cheers .cylinders. Glad to hear they've worked for you too. Im yet to hear a bad report about them, so makes me feel confident to part with the cash. Probably be the 2nd person to be riding a twinny out at Jakes Point hahaha. Keep an eye out for a local lad that rides his drop nose Buttons replica out there.

.cylinders's picture
.cylinders's picture
.cylinders commented Saturday, 23 Jun 2018 at 1:52pm

The pepsi-cola fish? That's the image that come to mind when I think of Buttons... a Rolls Royce, blonde bird and a wild looking fish board on the banks of the Thames River.

Dorrito10's picture
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Dorrito10 commented Wednesday, 20 Jun 2018 at 10:34pm

As an afterthought I am the only one that reckons the dragon on the MR Twinny looks suspiciously like the one on Steve Cabellero's skateboards??

Clive Rodell's picture
Clive Rodell's picture
Clive Rodell commented Thursday, 21 Jun 2018 at 6:32am

Great article, thank you. Very informative, from my memory, no guarantees there :), very accurate from the time I was exposed to twinnies in the early 70s.
Not my bag, but who could argue with MR's stunning performances.

Chriso1986's picture
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Chriso1986 commented Thursday, 21 Jun 2018 at 7:32am

Great read! Going to find a wave on my twin now!

CryptoKnight's picture
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CryptoKnight commented Thursday, 21 Jun 2018 at 12:39pm

Bloody hell! Now the elephants are stampeding into the room! Surely you can hear them, or smell them if you can't see them... but!!!

All this history, twinnies, flexin' and stuff.

Maybe its best not to say anything, when the 'bloke' (a favourite term of Les's), on the point, is holding court, telling everyone how fucked twinnies are in the barrel and grunt, while behind him another bloke (thanks again Norrish) gets spat out of another barrel... on another twinny. And Richo walks past with his trophy for winning that barrel ridin' comp at ulu's, against all the thrusters, hanging out of his back pocket. While MR is just up the back, telling some crew (roaders) how twinnies are best when its hollower and gruntier. And some fuckwit pipes up that he saw this lej on his MR twinnie ridin' the guts outa pits and bombs at blax for years... maybe its best not to say anything. For 'cheers' sake. Imagine if they tried to ban ya from the point! That would be fuck'n hilarious.

I can understand maybe some have dark sunnies on, or vision problems, so missed the glint of Richo's trophy. Maybe some have hearing problems, surfers ear even, so couldn't hear MR. Maybe they just happen to look away when the twinny rider is getting spat out of his pit... that's an oldy but goody. seen that one. Maybe they just shat their pants and didn't want a bar of blax. Seen that too. I understand the afflictions, even though I'm in deluxe health. I train people that often have afflictions, so I understand.

But what about the stampedin' elephants. Surely someone has seen them! The first one has been here for ages!

History, beauty in the eye of the beholder! The nungas know all about that. Good ol' uncle whitey tried to do a real job on them. Tried to write them out of history as just lucky, dumb arses, chimps even. Despite them being the most successful Humans, the most successful Human Cultures ever. Ever. Fullstop.

Interesting what catches the eye. Or doesn't. Through the shades.

'Greenough reckons they're shit'.

Maybe no one can lift it. The first one. On the cover. No worries. Here goes, low hips too.

http://www.boardcollector.com/2015/08/michael-cundith-shaped-sky-twin-fi...

http://www.vonweirdos.com/giftshop/Sky-Twin-Fin-Swallow-Tail_524.htm

http://www.vonweirdos.com/giftshop/George-Greenough-Design-Sky-Twin-Fin-...

Anyway, I met Mike Cundith. I heard some interesting stuff about him. So I met him, and he showed me some ingenious stuff about epoxies. Ingenious. Deluxe. His invention. The classic invention, once you'd seen it a no brainer. And what a craftsman. He's been around twinnies, and flex, for a long, long while too, historically too. Still is.

http://www.mcsurf.com.au/flex/mc-twin-fin-model/77/1

http://www.mcsurf.com.au/flex/fcs-fish-keel-twin-fins-on-sale/533/1

Elephant two, fresh on the scene, stampeding through on the wave of the day! Here we go again! Drop the hips... no worries!

“Blacks is so scary to surf. I’ve never been as scared as when I’ve surfed Blacks,” says pro surfer, Beau Foster.

'the bone-crunching rock-slab regarded as one of the great tests of courage for a surfer in this country.'

Wait a minute!!! Wasn't that where that lej ripped on that twinnie!!!

Ooooh nooo!!!! WTF!!!

'It matters not'. In a nutshell.

BaSz's picture
BaSz's picture
BaSz commented Friday, 22 Jun 2018 at 1:56am

a guy rides a 6"2 twinny

.cylinders's picture
.cylinders's picture
.cylinders commented Friday, 22 Jun 2018 at 12:28pm

I made the mistake of only having a twinzer NPJ 5'5" for my first ever SA trip, and I was adequately humbled all the way from PL to the border. I am after all, a fairly shit surfer.

chook's picture
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chook commented Thursday, 21 Jun 2018 at 1:22pm

one of the unsung heroes, at least in australia, of the twinny has to be rex huffman. steve lis may have invented the keel finned twin fish, but huffman rode it like no else, at big rock san diego.

CryptoKnight's picture
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CryptoKnight commented Thursday, 21 Jun 2018 at 2:33pm

I like it!

'It was monster Pipeline, hitting the outer reef at probably 20’ and doubling up and re stacking and exploding even harder at inside main peak. It was a machine for 12 hours, dawn to dusk. Howling offshore winds, thick, nasty and throwing. I was riding the only board I had, a 5'2” Lis Fish with twin fin set up. No leashes, they weren’t yet allowed.'

http://legless.tv/post/15531038451/no-choice-but-to-aim-and-fly-rex-huffman

GuySmiley's picture
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GuySmiley commented Friday, 22 Jun 2018 at 6:55am

great read stu, i'll add j tudor surfing a keel fish in one California day like a man possessed. not just for slow fat waves. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sSm9qeWS84

Love surfing my keel fish, its always a joy

goofyfoot's picture
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goofyfoot commented Sunday, 24 Jun 2018 at 1:46pm

How fun does that wave look!

Mort's picture
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Mort commented Saturday, 23 Jun 2018 at 11:17pm

Here's a Poem

Loose as a Goose,

End of Poem.

suckin-sand's picture
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suckin-sand commented Monday, 25 Jun 2018 at 1:03pm

Pretty sure Derek Hynd rode a 7' Twinny at '81 Bells big day. Derek wasn't mentioned in the article but he ripped on a twinnie. Never got into them myself. Too loose backhand.

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Monday, 25 Jun 2018 at 1:10pm

You're right that it was a twin fin gun, though it had a keel-shaped stabiliser at the rear.

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Monday, 25 Jun 2018 at 1:16pm

Here it is...

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Monday, 25 Jun 2018 at 1:32pm

Thats wild...who shaped it ?

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Monday, 25 Jun 2018 at 1:41pm

It's a HB and as Derek was a team rider I'd say TF shaped it. The text is too small to read:

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Monday, 25 Jun 2018 at 1:59pm

Is that yours Stu? Or just a photo of it.

I'm not cheap,
But I'm free.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Monday, 25 Jun 2018 at 2:04pm

Craig Baird's photo. Derek has 20+ boards at the Australian National Surfing Museum at Torquay for Craig to exhibit as he pleases. At one point he had eight different boards ridden during the '81 Bells, from Simon's Thruster, MR's twin, DH's twin fin gun (the board above), and all manner of single fin guns from Hawaiian downrailers to Maurice Cole's homegrown Watercooled gun.

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Monday, 25 Jun 2018 at 2:34pm

Aaah...thought I had seen it somewhere before. Some collectors gold in that list.
Has there been a more significant or diverse moment in board design and evolution than at that contest I wonder?

I'm not cheap,
But I'm free.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Monday, 25 Jun 2018 at 3:36pm

One for the collectors maybe ...a 1993 8'0 Sunset gun shaped by Maurice Cole for Spencer Hargraves - Gumtree $300

Brodey Sheppard's picture
Brodey Sheppard's picture
Brodey Sheppard commented Thursday, 28 Jun 2018 at 9:37pm

Look at some of those old fin designs! definitely not in line with today's engineering, but they're so cool, I saw an awesome old board at a garage sale not so long ago, I should have picked it up, it was beautiful.

They just are not made like these anymore! True classics.

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy commented Saturday, 13 Oct 2018 at 10:04am

Mick Pierce instagram.
Footage of Mike Tabeling on a twinny fish at Bruce's Beauties in 1972.
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bo2TTAKFZ4u/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshi...