Changing fins can change the way your board feels, and can freshen or improve your surfing … so when iJS was offered a test run on these yet-to-be-released in the U.S.A. set of fins, we could not resist!
Scarfini FX2 fins are identical to some higher end / higher price tag fins out on the market, with some major exceptions. First and foremost, the FCS compatible Scarfini fins are about $10 to $20 dollars less than their established counterparts – a definite plus for budget conscious surfers. Secondly, Scarfini fins are constructed with much lighter and stronger materials.
Scarfinis are produced by a South African based company, boasting fin technology that constructs fins from a carbon base that sandwiches a super light honeycomb core … and the road test was yet again, Oahu;s North Shore winter waves coming in at head high to overhead with a steady off shore wind making things more fun and interesting for our testers!
The fin template is solid, and very similar (if not identical to the FCS equivalent priced a good $25 US dollars more!) The base of the fin set was just the right length for our tester’s 6’0″ fish shape surfboard, dubbed the akule by its shaper Mitsu. The base combined with the fin depth made the surfboard move with relative ease on rather gnarly drops, showing little if any slide out.
The fin’s rake is solid for our tester, providing an excellent balance of propulsion with the smaller rake and larger offset BUT not so small as to sacrifice any of the usual stability needed for dropping into the North Shore’s punishing waves.
The fin flex is where our tester noticed the biggest difference – the Scarfinis are definitely stiffer than the FCS counterparts, requiring a bit more torque to snap into turns during critical sharp maneuvers. The stiffer fins in this case tended to result in the usual stiff fin syndrome of snapping immediately back into its usual shape after the turn … removing the more feel that a more skilled surfer relies on when turning a performance board.
However, for new surfers, the stiffer fins do provide a more snappy turn, as the flex tends to help turn the board faster with its quick return to the original shape after a turn … as long as the rider knows that it will rebound faster and cause more of a jerk movement rather than a smooth and snappy turn.
Overall, for the savings in dollars, the Scarfinis are quite an excellent value, utilizing the already popular FCS plugs format … although it’s not licensed or sanctioned by FCS, they are becoming widely available at local surf shops for their performance and better value!