Pro Teck Fins
Pro Teck fins are made by Surfco Hawaii and have a hard rubber edge which is designed to reduce fin cuts and injuries. Regular surfboard fins can be rather sharp, and colliding with them can cause deep cuts and cause serious injury.
Most of the time surfers cut their feet on their fins, but fin cuts can occur anywhere—even on your face! Fin cuts can also cause some ugly scars.
Some people avoid Pro Teck fins because they’re afraid people will think they’re a kook or a pansy. I have to admit, the bright yellow on some of the models does not help the situation. Thankfully, Surfco Hawaii has come out with some more discreet black and silver models. This draws less attention to the fin and scream “Kook!”
You can poo-poo the dangers of fins all day long, but fin injuries can be scary. I had a friend who got seriously injured when his femoral artery was nearly severed from one of his fins.
My first board came with hard plastic FCS G-5’s, but I replaced them with Pro Teck fins right away. I was just a beginner and I was afraid of getting sliced and diced by the fins. I used them for a long time and they worked (and still work) great.
When I finally started to be able to turn with control, I thought about putting in the original hard plastic FCS fins back on the board. Well, wouldn’t you know it, a few days after I thought about doing that I had an incident where I was caught on the inside after a ride. I was holding onto the front of my board and trying to regain control as a longboarder was riding straight for me. I got pummeled by the whitewash and lost control of the board and felt something strike my foot.
When I surfaced and climbed on my board I had this excruciating pain on the side of my right foot. I looked at it and there was a narrow white indentation where my fin had hit the side of my foot. The pain would not stop and I couldn’t even concentrate on watching for set waves anymore. I finally caught a wave back in and hobbled home.
My foot was badly bruised, but I’m convinced that if I had the hard plastic fins on my board at the time I would have been in the hospital getting stitches in my foot. Fortunately, all I suffered was a nasty bruise and the inability to walk for a day.
Pro Teck fins tend to be avoided by advanced surfers and the more “hard core” crowd, but I would recommend them to anyone. It doesn’t take much to have a board spring back at you on a leash or land on a fin after an aerial. I would ESPECIALLY recommend them to beginners who can’t completely control their board. Use them until you at least have some control.
For you advanced surfers, Pro Teck now has an all black Carbon-X model that has a rigid core and a urethane edge. The urethane edge won’t cut you—instead, you’ll just get a nasty bruise. That’s less time out of the water waiting for cuts to heal up.
Pro Teck also offers several different varieties of rigid fins with flexible urethane edges.