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Image FCS H-2 surfboard fins, 2004

TLF ID M000357

These are three silver surfboard fins manufactured from mixed materials by Surf Hardware International, Talon Technologies and Metro Solutions in 2004. The fins feature the text 'FCS H-2' printed in black. They are displayed with their silver metal storage box, which also features the text 'FCS', and with a small key used to lock the fins onto the surfboard. The storage box contains soft black foam. There is also clear plastic packaging, which features text explaining the history of the fins' design.

Educational details

Educational value
  • These FCS H-2 surfboard fins are a continuation of Australian innovation in surfing technology. In 1980 the development of the three-fin surfboard by Australian surfer Simon Anderson was considered the most significant change in the 80-year history of surfboard design. The subsequent development of the removable fin system was the next major innovation. Invented by Brian Whitty in Australia in the 1980s, the removable fin system enabled easier manufacture of Anderson's three-fin 'thruster' surfboards. The system was further developed by Bill McCausland, Gary Mountford and Graeme Bennet, who were the founders of FCS.
  • H-2 surfboard fins improve the speed and manoeuvrability of surfboards. The product is a result of a unique collaboration between hydrodynamic and materials experts, manufacturing consultants, world-champion surfers and fin makers. The H-2 fin has a different geometry compared to previous fins and is made from a lightweight aluminium and fibreglass composite material. The design was developed using scientific tank-flow testing and refined by use in the ocean. The program was jointly funded by an AusIndustry Start Grant. In 2005 the FCS H-2 surfboard fins won the Australian Design Award of the Year.
  • The FCS H-2 fins represent a new approach to improving surfboard performance by focusing on the design of the fins themselves rather than the shape of the board. It was also the first time that rigorous scientific testing and analysis had been introduced to what has long been a hand-crafted industry. The design process involved testing in the Tom Fink Cavitation Tunnel at the Maritime College in Hobart.
  • Talon Technologies was the materials engineering consultancy responsible for the construction technology and commercialisation of the H-2 fin. The fin is made from an epoxy fibreglass and texallium skin moulded over an ultralight high-density polyeurathane core. Texallium is an aluminium-coated fibreglass cloth and was used mainly for its 'high-tech' aesthetic. The construction of the core of the fin has been keep secret by the company.
  • Removable fins are standard on the majority of boards manufactured globally. Up to 95 per cent of modern shortboards have a removable fin system and FCS have about 75 per cent share of that market globally. There are numerous advantages of a removable fin system: boards can be packed flat for shipping and travel, the fins are usable across many boards, and in most impact situations the fins break out at the tabs before damaging the board or surfer.

Other details

  • Contributor
  • Name: Powerhouse Museum
  • Organization: Powerhouse Museum
  • Description: Content provider
  • Address: NSW, AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
  • Name: Surf Hardware International
  • Organization: Surf Hardware International
  • Description: Author
  • Address: New South Wales
  • Name: Talon Technologies
  • Organization: Talon Technologies
  • Description: Author
  • Address: New South Wales
  • Publisher
  • Name: Powerhouse Museum
  • Organization: Powerhouse Museum
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: NSW, AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
Access profile
  • Generic
Learning Resource Type
  • Image
  • © Curriculum Corporation and Trustees of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences 2009 (except where otherwise indicated). You may view, display, print out, copy and modify this material for non-commercial educational purposes provided you retain all acknowledgements associated with the material.