Three fin ‘thruster’ surfboards by Energy Surfboards

Made by Energy Surfboards in Narrabeen, New South Wales, 1987-1988.

These surfboards are an example of a significant Australian innovation in surfboard design. In the late 1970s, Australian Mark Richards dominated world championship surfing. He introduced a short, two-finned surfboard suited to his light weight as well as to small surf. But Simon Anderson, a tall and heavier professional surfer, found the twin fin ‘twitchy’ (hard to control) and unsuited to bigger waves. He experimented with a triple-fin prototype, eventually enlarging the area of the board to a...


Object No.


Physical Description

Surfboards, (2) Energy Flyer Square Tail and Round Tail Thrusters, Energy Surfboards, Australia, 1987-1988



Designed and made by Energy Surfboards/Simon Anderson, Narrabeen, NSW, 1987-88

The three fin surfboard, or 'thruster', was first developed by Australian surfer Simon Anderson in 1980. His employer Energy Surfboards made the three fin thrusters in Narrabeen, NSW, Australia. For years prior to this surfboards had only one fin. In 1976 the twin fin was introduced to Australia, but the addition of the third fin improved stability and power (thrust) when executing turns. Anderson did not patent his idea, and soon the majority of surboards carried the three fin design.

'Simon's thruster is a real wave buster!' Bob Beale, The Sydney Morning Herald, 3 February 1994, p 3.

'The laid back legend who gave the world three fins,' Roland Fishman, Sydney Morning Herald, 15 July 1990, p44.


Energy Surfboards 1987-1988


Anderson, Simon 1980


Credit Line

Gift of Energy Surfboards

Acquisition Date

8 January 1988

Cite this Object


Three fin 'thruster' surfboards by Energy Surfboards 2016, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 23 March 2018, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Three fin 'thruster' surfboards by Energy Surfboards |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=23 March 2018 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

Know more about this object?


Have a question about this object?