I recently got the itch to try my hand at whittling some wooden keels and landed on the idea of shaping them out of old skate decks as kind of a happy accident of coincidence and convenience.
I first experimented with wood fins a few years back when I carved a pair from a solid piece of hard wood. The fins looked/worked insane, but their life was short lived as one of the things snapped along a grain line on like my second surf. Felt like a massive waste of time, so I put my fin exploits on ice for a couple years.
Recently I got the itch to try my hand at making some fins again. I did some poking around and learned that most wooden fins are shaped from glued up wood, not only for its crafted layered appeal, but also for the added strength provided by layering the wood. I’m not setup to do my own glue ups, so I started thinking about where I could find some hard wood ply to experiment with. Straight away I thought of how skate decks are made from hardwood ply and how killer it would be if I were able to repurpose old decks into fins, especially if I were able to somehow preserve a portion of the graphics.
A buddy of mine at work hooked me up with a couple beat down old Powell Peralta reissue decks and I was off to the races.
I drew up a couple fin templates and kind fumbled my way thru making 4 pairs of fins from the 2 decks. I probably have 15-20 hours invested in these 8 fins, but the end result is pretty killer.