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2006/51/1 Surfboard fins (3), key and packaging, 'FCS H-2', various materials, designed and made by Surf Hardware International, Talon Technologies and Metro Solutions, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2004. Click to enlarge.

Three 'FCS H-2' surfboard fins

The FCS H-2 surfboard fins represent a continuation of Australian innovation in surfing technology. In 1980 the development of the three fin surfboard by Simon Anderson was considered the most significant change in the 80 year history of surfboard design. The subsequent development of the removable fin system was a second major innovation in surfboard design.

The H-2 surfboard fins are designed for superior speed and manoeuvrability of surfboards. The product is a result of unique …


Object No.


Object Statement

Surfboard fins (3), key and packaging, 'FCS H-2', various materials, designed and made by Surf Hardware International, Talon Technologies and Metro Solutions, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2004

Physical Description

Surfboard fins (3), key and packaging, 'FCS H-2', mixed materials, designed and made by Surf Hardware International, Talon Technologies and Metro Solutions, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2004

Consists of a silver metal lidded box containing three silver surfboard fins with the text 'FCS H-2' printed on them in black. The box also contains a small key to lock the fins into the board which bears the text 'FCS'. The fins and key are surrounded by soft black foam and are contained within a clear plastic case which features text explaining the history of the fins design.



130 mm


10 mm


52 mm



The FCS H-2 fins were designed collaboratively by Surf Hardware International, Talon Technologies, and Metro Solutions.

The H-2 surfboard fin is designed for superior speed and maneuverability of surfboards. The product is a result of collaboration between hydrodynamic and materials experts, manufacturing consultants, world champion surfers (Kelly Slater and Tom Carrol) and fin makers. The fin has a different geometry than previous fins and is made from a lightweight aluminium and fibreglass composite material. The design was developed using scientific tank flow testing and refined by use in the ocean.

The FCS H-2 fin design and development team members include lead designer Andy Dowell (a naval architect and hydrodynamic expert) and a support team of three industrial designers Anthony Rodier, Michale Durante, and Bryan Stokes and graphic designer Adam Macqueen. Anthony Rouse was the initial project manager in the early stages with Wylie Fowler taking over the project in the latter stages. Bill McCausland, Gary Mountford and Graeme Bennet, company founders, owners and directors were part of the vision to initiate fin research at SHI.

For the first time a program involving surfboard and fin designers combined with scientific testing and analysis resulted in what SHI call their Hydrodynamic Program. The H-2 fin was the first product developed using this process. The process involved testing in the Tom Fink Cavitation Tunnel at the Maritime College in Hobart. The program was jointly funded by an AusIndustry Start Grant.

The resulting design is significantly different in four important parameters.
- the profile of the fin. Where traditional fins are based around a 'dolphin' type profile, the H-2's geometry is an evolution of a tempered elliptical profile, significantly increasing the fins efficiency in the water.
- the section of the fin. Traditional fins have a curved surface on the outside (facing the board's rail or edge) and a flat surface on the inside of the fin (facing the centre of the board). This section evolved from a number of tests on specific geometric parameters and was found to be the most efficient in the tank, and in the field.
- the tow angle (orientation toward the nose of the board) of the fin. To accommodate the improved efficiency of the geometry of the fin, the fin was angled a half a degree toward the nose to improve the performance of the fin in surfing manoeuvres, as evidenced in field testing.
- the cant of the fin (angle of orientation from perpendicular to the surface of the board). The most favourable cant angle of the fin was found in field testing to be 14 degrees to the surface of the board, 10 degrees more than traditional fins.

Talon Technologies was the materials engineering consultancy responsible for the construction technology and commercialisation of the H-2 fin. The fin is made from an epoxy fibreglass and texallium skin moulded over an ultra-light high density polyeurathane core. Texallium is an aluminium coated fibreglass cloth and was used mainly for its 'high-tech' aesthetic. The construction of the core of the fin has been keep secret by the company.

Removable fins are standard on the majority of boards manufactured globally. Up to 95% of modern short boards made globally have a removable fin system and FCS have about 75% share of that market globally. There are numerous advantages of a removable fin system such as: enabling boards to be packed flat in shipping and travel, usable across many boards, will break out at the tabs before damaging board or surfer in most impact situations.

Information sourced from FCS H-2 Australian Design Awards entry and 'The science of surfing', Curve, issue 12, July 2005, p29-31



These fins were lent to the Powerhouse Museum for display in the 2005 Australian Design Awards exhibition from July 2005 - July 2006. The fins won the Australian Design Award® of the Year in 2005 and a Powerhouse Museum Selection Award in 2005.

Over 190 products were entered in the Australian Design Awards in 2005. The judging panel recommended 49 of these products receive an Australian Design Mark and of these, 20 products for an Australian Design Award. The products receiving the Australian Design Award were announced at a dinner and awards ceremony on 22 April 2005 at Melbourne Museum. At this ceremony the recipients of the Powerhouse Museum Selection awards for 2005 were also announced.

The three fin surfboard was first developed by Australian surfer Simon Anderson in 1980. The removable fin system was invented by Brian Whitty in Australia in the 1980s to enable easier manufacture of the new three-fin 'thruster' surfboards. The fin system was developed by Bill McCausland, Gary Mountford and Graeme Bennet who were the founders of FCS.


Credit Line

Gift of Surf Hardware International, 2006

Acquisition Date

6 April 2006

Cite this Object


Three 'FCS H-2' surfboard fins 2023, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 4 February 2023, <>


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