Cheyne Horan Surf School

STARFIN (also known as the winged keel)

The STARFIN is a surfboard fin that Ben Lexcen and I designed soon after Australia was victorious in the America's Cup of 1980.

I felt at the time that twins and singles both had their place but maybe there was room for a big change in surfboard fin design..

Today I still ride STARFINS almost everyday and I ride them because they WORK! They are especially good in sloppier surf under six feet (sound familiar... yes that's the surf we all surf most of the time!) and have a tail lift effect and positive drive that is very easily felt once you ride one. I definitely would advise anyone to try one and see what they think, I get excellent feedback from lots of people saying how stoked they are at the performance of the STARFIN.

The keel that Ben Lexcen had designed for Australia II was quite controversial and Ben was an inspiration to me. One day we phoned him up and asked if he was interested in working on a surfboard fin which he must have thought would be a breeze after a boat keel!.

We met in 1984 and I was quite nervous because I admired Ben a lot but he was friendly and easy to get along with.

We discussed fin design and went straight into testing using advanced hydrodynamic methods including tank testing and what we came up after many testing sessions was the STARFIN.

Starfin plan

I was amazed and super stoked at how well the new design (which has wings like the winged keel of Australia II) went and still feel they are superior to the standard swept back "tuna fin" design.

The STARFIN has origins in aeroplane wing design (especially the WWII British fighter the Spitfire) as well as fish and whale fin influences and of course yacht keel designs..

1980 was a big year for surfboard fin innovation and Simon Anderson's 3 finned "Thruster" was born the same year, Simon went on to win Pipe and Bells with his new boards that had a "thruster" fin set up. In short "Thrusters" took over the world. The "Thruster" fin set up which was a bit like a twin-fin with a back fin and had been pioneered by the Campbell brothers of Hawaii and their "Bonzer" fin set up which was one bigger fin at the back and two smaller triangular fins almost on the rails.

The STARFIN has been very popular with longboarders for a long time now probably because they have a good percentage of single fins amongst them.Surfboard evolution might be catching up with the STARFIN though. There are more and more "snub nose" designs hitting mainstream popularity with a rounded nose, more volume and generally shorter.The starfin with it's finbox allows for the micro adjustment that you need with that sort of board.

Anyway try one and see what you think.
STARFINS are available in White, Black, Red and Green and they sell for A$70

Plus shipping and handling to US $20
Europe & UK $30
All $ are Aus$

Please email me to place an order..

Copyright 2011 Cheyne Horan