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Unique surfboard features a foot-turnable fin

Unique surfboard features a fo...
Surfer/inventor Klaus Dilling, with one of his TunaFlex-equipped boards
Surfer/inventor Klaus Dilling, with one of his TunaFlex-equipped boards
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An underside view of the TunaFlex system
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An underside view of the TunaFlex system
A top view of the TunaFlex system – the rod (beneath the rubber tuna pad) joins the top end of the fin, at right
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A top view of the TunaFlex system – the rod (beneath the rubber tuna pad) joins the top end of the fin, at right
Surfer/inventor Klaus Dilling, with one of his TunaFlex-equipped boards
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Surfer/inventor Klaus Dilling, with one of his TunaFlex-equipped boards
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While pretty much all surfboards have fins that improve their directional stability, those fins are typically fixed in one position. Dilling SurfCraft boards are different, though, in that their fin pivots with the surfer's back foot.

Invented by California-based surfer Klaus Dilling, the boards incorporate his patented TunaFlex system. At the heart of that setup is a fin which pivots slightly to the left or right, relative to the rest of the board. A shaft runs from the fin itself, up through a hole in the board, and is crowned with a disc-shaped appendage that sits flat against the deck on top.

Attached to that disc is a flexible rod that runs lengthwise down the center of the rear end of the deck, covered and cushioned by a rubber pad. Both the rod and the pad are anchored at either end, but are free to flex from side to side in between.

A top view of the TunaFlex system – the rod (beneath the rubber tuna pad) joins the top end of the fin, at right
A top view of the TunaFlex system – the rod (beneath the rubber tuna pad) joins the top end of the fin, at right

When the surfer stands with their back foot on the pad, they're able to push it and the rod back and forth – left to right – as they move their foot. As the rod moves, it turns the linked fin accordingly.

That said, the user isn't really intended to make a conscious effort to turn the fin, steering the board as if it were a boat. Instead, the idea is that as they carve into turns the regular way – by shifting their weight – the momentum will naturally cause their back foot to slide towards the outside of the turn. Doing so will change the angle of the fin, reportedly allowing the board to execute the turn with more panache.

Dilling has turned to Kickstarter to finance production of the boards, and is offering backers their choice of five separate models, each one designed with different types of users in mind. Pledge levels range from US$800 to $950, with shipping estimated for August ... if the surfboards reach production.

The TunaFlex system is demonstrated in the following video.

Source: Kickstarter

Dilling SurfCraft with TunaFlex

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3 comments
3 comments
ljaques
And here, 54 years after learning how to surf, I thought all you needed to turn a surfboard was pressure on one side or to lift pressure on your forward foot and shove it one way or the other. (My used 8'10" Gordon & Smith board cost me $15, so that's a steep price, guys.)
Dilling SurfCraft
@ljaques - while you are right that the fundamentals of turning a surfboard are not changed, you are missing the point. 54 years ago surfboards were very different. Today, surfers have the option to ride a great variety of board designs and fin configurations. That is called innovation. My fin system design which is embedded in Dilling SurfCraft surfboards, is another innovation in a long series of innovations of the last 100 years. If your $15 surfboard is good for you, then that is great! But just because you don't understand something, or surf well enough to tell the difference between a $15 garage sale board and a board with the latest innovation in surfboard design, doesn't mean it is without merit. Your lack of curiosity is on display here, more than anything else. If buying a new surfboard is not your bag, then surfing with any level of skill is presumably also not your thing. All the best to you.
sonic
Nothing in that video showed it did much at all. If that's their best shot it's going to fail.