Surf Gear

K2.1 Side FinThe K2.1s are a high performance fin for skilled progressive surfers.  The K2.1 design is nothing new to the surfing world. F.C.S. has had these fins around for quite some time with minor changes in template and limited options for materials over the years. Slater has renovated his K2.1 and he ended up his ninth world title with them, that’s a successful improvement at its finest. We’ve stocked up South Coast with these things for that very reason.

The new K2.1s are made out of the F.C.S. performance core fiberglass construction. The performance core fins are stiffer than their natural composite brethren, you know, those plastic feeling ones that look like they could glow in the dark. Now they are composed of a foam core, a fiberglass foil and a satin cloth for aesthetic amusement. This translates to a less forgiving fin but one that is more sensitive and able to handle more powerful waves without sliding out or over flexing while racing down the line for a beach break barrel. They are also much lighter due to the foam inside the fiberglass foil as to not weight down the tail of your board when you’re trying your best Slater impression to get above and beyond the lip on your turns.

Almost all high performance fins now are made with some type of foam core but that’s not what makes these blue and white beauties stand out. The real deal behind them is how their templates work with the flex patterns of the P.C. construction. Most thruster sets have the 3 fins shaped all with the same template and length but not this set, hence the name K2.1. The side fins have more surface area compared to a shorter trailer fin, so responds like a small twin fin plus a trailer fin to balance out the pivoting.

The side fins have a wide base to produce forward drive through turns and allow you to slam your rail into a gouging cutback with confidence that the extra surface area will hold your line. They have almost no rake making them stand straight up like the dorsal fin on a shark. The lack of rake lets your board change direction quickly like snapping a more vertical bottom turn up a wave when you need to do work fast or risk being pitched via a heavy lip into a reef head. If you’re thinking right now that’s too risky, these fins aren’t for you. If you‘re drooling on your computer at the thought of such an opportunity, then you‘re on the right track to qualifying for a set.

The trailer fin is about the size and template of an M3 fin; there is a bit more rake, but less area so when you submerge your tail the board will go into a controlled slide or quickly cutback without sacrificing all your speed in the process.  The concept behind having a smaller trailer fin is to make it easier to break free from a carve and perform a more radical direction change, welcome to fins free surfing. Combine that with the responsiveness of performance core material and you’ve got a recipe for some heavy hitting Young Guns style wave riding.

These fins are not going to let you make a mistake without paying a price. They’re used by a nine-time world surfing champion, they were meant for those with the skill and the sheer guts to assault the most angry of waves at their most critical points. If you don’t set yourself up for a deep bottom turn you can expect these fins to make your snaps feel terribly forced and lacking of all style. They have a very pivotal turning nature so you must surf them more vertically and use more torque from your legs if you want be able to connect maneuvers.

Surf them in hollow beach breaks or in more heavy reefs in the area to understand how they work. Don’t worry about getting stuck behind a section, the side fins have the ability to drive you right around it with some double pumping or if you‘re daring enough right over it with a floater. Now you’re probably thinking these fins are too technical to be practical but it’s a double edged sword that will sharpen any surfers skills to their own benefit. Yes they’re not forgiving, but after you have them dialed in you’ll learn to execute proper bottom turns that produce incredible drive up the face while that smaller trailer fin lets you crank through a turn with style and enough speed to fire off your next blow tail snap.

Shop our selection of FCS Surfboard Fins Online

The Chub

by Fabiano on July 8, 2009

The Chub is a performance short board built to tackle small and weak waves. The fish was thought to be the ultimate combination of paddle power and turning ability but now modern surfing has a new board type that has been refined to claim the title of grovler board. The Chub is our version of that board. Much like a fish the Chub has a foil(placement of volume) that holds its thickness through the majority of the outline. Thanks to our lack of Northwest power this year all California shapers have begun to tinker with volume placement in hopes of maintaining a snappy board without sacrificing glide for mushy sections. Slater decided to take it a step farther by braving a 5’3 in overhead Indo but he’s Slater so that’s another story all together. The point is the new mode is to take your board, scrunch it down and fatten it up. The Chub is the final product of our own desires to still be able to do snaps and throw some buckets on gutless waves.
The Chub’s oval outline gives the board a lot of curvature in the rails. The curve allows the board to scoop from a bottom turn more easily than a parallel railed board (most high-performance short boards) . Think of a bottom turn like scooping out ice cream. If you use a knife(straight with little curvature), the scoop is more drawn out and ends up looking more like a long shaving. Now do the same with a spoon (lots of curve) and you’ll notice the distance it took to displace the same amount of ice cream is much shorter. Now before you stop reading and ditch this article for a pint at Bud’s Ice Cream the important thing to remember is how this affects the boards surf-ability. In small waves we need to be able to perform turns within a shorter distance because the lack of wave face (the height)  keeps us from generating the power we normally produce from our turns.  The curve helps the board come off the bottom sooner so you end up hitting the lip more vertically. This allows you to get more aggressive and perform the same big wave hits on smaller wave faces.
The Chub has low rocker and lots of thickness to get you in and flying through mush sections as fast as you can bottom turn. In a small wave board the last thing you want is to lose your speed between your turns. The extra float will help you maintain that speed while you draw your lines so you can really make the most out of the crumby days summer sticks us with. Where a normal short board fails to perform a vertical snap, the Chub can outrun the section, cutback, and finish with a stylish roundhouse. Rob Machado introduced the biscuit with the tagline “foam is your friend…” and if there’s anyone to take small wave style tips from its Mr. Smoothy himself, no afro required.
The Chub comes standard as a 5-fin option surfboard so you can adjust the turning as you feel required for the waves of the day. You can play with the fins however you like, be it thruster, quad, twin or our personal favorite at the shop the MR-TX. The MR-TX setup is a twin fin setup with a tiny trailer fin to help reduce slide on turns. This setup allows the board to skate up and down the wave smoothly while still maintaining all the traction on the bottom turns. The result is a very snappy board with tons of drive to plow through the most racy of avalanching sections which is why the Chub comes standard with this set up, but don’t let that stop you from getting creative with your own fins.
Sizing of this board is crucial because of all the volume. You’ll know you’re riding it too large when it takes you more than 5 seconds to be able to change direction or that its too short if one foot is on the nose while the other is on the tail. Treat the order like a fish, you don’t want to go too big or you’ll lose the turning abilities, don’t go too short either or you’ll lose out on the glide in weak surf. Try 4-6 inches shorter than your typical board, we have many demos available at our shops ranging from 5’2, 5’7. 5’10, 6’1 and possibly more to come. We encourage you to try them to better suit your surfing needs.

World Champion surfers, free swag, beautiful weather, and most importantly the chance to demo every surf board that South Coast Surf Shops has in it’s arsenal. Not just that, but you can also try out some of the best Rip Curl wetsuits they have in their surf line. The fun doesn’t stop there! Some of the great performance models of FCS Fins will be on hand for you to peruse. This sounds like a dream sequence that most people have before they wake up to screaming kids or blizzard like conditions, but on June 20th from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm at Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach, you have the chance to make that dream a reality. No really, our surf demo extravaganza will be a day you won’t forget.

South Coast surfboards have always been a main staple of the San Diego area, and this is your opportunity to feel American made boards beneath your feet. Everyone of our floor models from the longboard coaster all the way down to the high performance short boards will be available to ride and see what a quality made board feel like. Are you in the market for a board but don’t know what shape or skill level your ready for? Put those buying fears to rest. The sky’s the limit on this special day, where you’ll be able to test multiple models to get a better idea of what you might like to take home. Just bring and i.d. and all the boards are at your leisure. Not a surfer, but a fan of the beach? We have that covered too with some great swag giveaways and many extraordinary personalities.

South Coast is also honored to have surfing legend Tom Curren and current pro surfer Taylor Knox to share in fun. Tom Curren won 3 world championships on the world tour and his innovative surfing has inspired many future surf champions, including Kelly Slater. Taylor Knox has been a competitive surfer on the world tour, and is currently ranked 10th in his sixteenth season. Both surfers are California natives and great ambassadors for the sport of surfing. You might not be a big time surfer, but the chance to meet these amazing personalities will be well worth the experience. Tom and Taylor will also be ripping on some of the demo boards to show you the full potential that can come from our South Coast boards. Boards shaped and glassed in San Diego by Robin Prodanovich and Larry Ricci. Both shapers and glasser Mark Smith will be on hand to answer any questions about the boards and give you some great stories about their life experiences. If your still not sold by all this amazingness (yes, I made up that word), we will also be raffling off some amazing products from Dragon Sunglasses as well as Rip Curl goodies.

South Coast demo day will have a little for everyone. Don’t let the chance to try out our boards or meet some surfing legends pass you by. Bring the kids, your family, and some friendly strangers you might meet along the way. Mark your Calendar for June 20th from 8-12 at Crystal Pier, or come to the South Coast shop in Pacific Beach and they will point you in the right direction. We look forward to seeing you there!!

5’10 Arrowhead Quad Demo

by Fabiano on May 21, 2009

Spring has arrived and “what kind of board should I get for the summer?” begins to echo in surf shops around the county. Many have the archetypal debate of jumping on a fish or try to flatten out their current board’s rockers and add more hip area as compensation for the lack of size and swell power.

At South Coast, we’ve got Def Cons as the performance fish nosed short boards, old school keels, as well as modern Wing Quad Fish for those long slopped reef walls, Prod Quads, for fun looking beach breaks, and we’ve got a new addition to the small wave arsenal.

Enter the South Coast Arrowhead Quad. It’s not quite a fish and it’s definitely not your typical short board. Visually, it appears to be something one of our managers may have caught of the pier or an arrowhead you dig up out in the desert, yet despite these strange characteristics, the board performs exceptionally well in less than satisfactory surf.

This board features a rather narrow nose outline compared to most fish, similar to that of our Prod Quad or Launcher. This sharpened nose had that snappy light weight short board feel compared to traditional fish but still maintained surface area for small wave speed. “The low rocker and high volume rails let the board float higher above the water” said our shaper Larry Ricci. I felt this first hand as the take offs slide right down the face and grant you this vital burst of speed right from the get go. This, coupled with extra maneuverability from having less drag, allowed for smoother mushy wave foam climbs and close out floaters than any quad fish or hybrid fish I’ve ridden in awhile. [click to continue…]

Selecting the Right Surfboard Leash

By Robb Bailey

Although often overlooked, matching the right surfboard leash with the day’s conditions and environment can make or break your session.

The purpose of a surfboard leash is two-fold:

  1. To keep the board from getting washed into shore.FCS Surfboard Leash
  2. To keep the board from possibly injuring someone else.

Most surfers stick to one type of board and leash setup for everyday use. For the most part, one type of leash will do just fine. But the leash you use to surf a California beach break in 2-3 foot conditions is not the same leash you would use to surf 8-10 foot island waves with a reef below.

Different surfing conditions, surf locations, and board sizes will determine what leash to choose. Here are the general features that determine what type of leash to select:

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