Australian 100% handmade surf brand, Alakli Fin, creates original and high quality handmade fins for people who love surfing. Alkali Fin, was created by two friends, Nathan and Craig, who were fed up with low-end, factory-made surf gear.
They wanted to add authenticity to the surfing world. Hand-moulded from fibreglass panels, the brand strives to give new life to fin designs that have stood the test of time. They make it easy to choose your perfect fin, with options for all types of boards, configurations and styles.
Beautiful and unique colours, available in fine box, plug and glass-on, plus a range of limited edition custom designs. Combining the best of modern designs, premium materials and proven techniques, Alkali Fins is unique and unrivalled. The best thing about the Australian brand is that it works with shapers.
They let them know what they like and the brand customises their foils, colours and templates to suit their boards. In return, they help them develop better fins by providing feedback and testing new products.
Nathan and Craig are the founders of the Alkali Fin brand. Nathan's father-in-law Phil started making fins by hand 20 years ago. He was in great demand for the quality of his work. His business was soon highly respected by longboarders, who could appreciate and feel the performance of a high quality fibreglass fin, as opposed to the norm at the time: plastic pop outs and cheap imitations.
He eventually sold some designs and the naming rights to a multinational company, which promised him a lot, but eventually turned him off the industry. Nathan grew up with the idea that good, manual work was far better than industrial production.
Later, when Nathan was living in Bali, he observed a new movement in the surfing world: surfers were turning to high-quality products and rebelling against boards and fins made in cheap factories abroad, without care or style. So he contacted a close friend of his, Craig, and discussed the idea of making fins for surfboards.
Craig had a head for business, Nathan had a head full of ideas and a desire to say goodbye to the marine industry and spend more time surfing. So they created a name, hired Phil as lead craftsman, inherited his cellar full of history, fin patterns and dust and got to work.
Motivated by quality, craftsmanship and the belief that well-made fibreglass products surpass anything else out there, Alkali Fin quickly made a name for itself in the surfing world. Rather than sponsoring pros to have fun on a wave, Nathan and Craig enjoy working with shapers and free surfers who give feedback on fins and work with them to create better products.
Alkali Fin makes bespoke fins from start to finish, either at the direct request of the surfer or to supply shapers and shops. Making a fin involves around 15 processes and represents at least an hour's work.
Alkali Fin uses the traditional method of making their fins, which involves fitting a fin panel, cutting the template and foiling the fin. This method is the best way to obtain good flex and response in the fin, which will then perform much better. Alkalin Fin makes it possible to customise flex patterns according to the surfer's size or the way they like to surf.
Some bigger surfers prefer to have less flex in the tip because they have the power to take the turns, whereas a smaller person may need a little more flex to get that springy feel in the turns.
The brand's aim is really to create the perfect fin for every surfer. Their aim is not to mass-market, but to bring the best to every surfer. That's why they've decided to make their fins 100% handmade.
The problem with moulded fins is that they only have a few layers of fabric on each side and are filled with resin. The resin itself doesn't flex, so it's just a filler. The fins are rigid, which prevents flexing, so the result doesn't look good in a turn.
What's more, most fins that are mass-produced in China have terrible foils. Whereas with Alkali Fin you'll have a stronger fin, you can sand it down and repair it easily: for example if you hit a rock, just sand it down quickly and you're back on your way.
While there's nothing wrong with machined fins, they'll never be as good as handmade ones like those from Alkali Fin. And even if the advantage of machined fins is that they cost much less, they will certainly break more quickly and make you less efficient. If you want to be at your best on the board, and you can afford a board costing 1,000 or even 1,500 euros, then you shouldn't neglect the fins that will really allow your board to be at its most powerful and manoeuvrable.
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