About those things on Carissa Moore's board...
During Sunday's WSL webcast of the Oi Rio Pro, the cameras cut to finalists Carissa Moore's back up board, revealing a snaggle-toothed tail.
Did you spot it?
A row of four teeth-like fins glued to the trailing edge of her board.
Clearly an aftermarket addition, my first response was to recall Power Ridges, adhesive 'channels' for surfboards that appeared in the late-80s and, despite bold claims about increased speed and performance, strangely never found a foothold in the marketplace
In this case, the fins, or winglets, or teeth, they don't appear to have a specific name, are made by Mink Systems out of Hawaii. Carissa has just begun using them, however Kai Lenny has had them on his boards for most of the year, and, if advertising is to be believed, he was riding them when he did the big air drop at Jaws last November.
"I have them on every board," says Kai in a breathless Instagram post. "It has helped me go faster, throw more spray and has turned my average boards magic!"
The thinking appears to be along the lines of winglets on aircraft planes and on racing cars that control laminar flow, stabilise the vehicle, and reduce drag. Whether that's applicable to surfboards is one more mystery to throw into the mix. Maybe they'll go the way of the Power Ridge or maybe not.
Mink Systems are made by Kai's coach and trainer, Doug Silva, who on Instagram pithily explained how his new invention works. They "funnel and channel...compression."
Doug is a one-time pro surfer and ex-Quiksilver executive originally from Solana Beach but now living on Maui. For a fifty-something surfer, Doug gives an impressive testimonial of his new product in this video.
Though their website isn't yet live, Mink Systems plan to start selling their products online shortly.