Fin Covers

I have a bad habit of bumping my delicate, expensive, fiberglass or carbon fins into the wall, car, or some other standing or moving objects (sorry about the cat….) when putting my boards away, resulting in some repair work down the road. Some of my fins came with fin covers, some didn’t. Even the ones that came with the fin are ill-fitting and not really my style. To motivate me to use fin covers more, I decided to make some fun, bright, well fitting covers that will stay on the fin while driving, and will tell me which fin is which easily. This project takes less than 10 minutes on a machine- easy!!
Like the last craft, I used foam sheets again, like they sell in the craft stores, usually in the kid’s crafts section. This project requires sewing, but you can sew them by hand if you don’t have a machine.
Basically, I found it was easiest to trace the outline of your fin directly onto a piece of foam with a pencil. Sorry about the quality of the pictures- the light wasn’t working with me today. Trace a line across the base of the fin, but don’t draw it longer than the fin that sticks above your board. That way, you can have the fin cover on while the fin’s in the board. This bottom straight line WILL NOT BE SEWN!!

Tracing the fin outline onto foam

I put another piece of foam underneath, and instead of using pins, I stapled the pieces together a good distance from the edge of the trace line. I stapled upside down so I wouldn’t scratch the heck out of my sewing machine plate as I sewed.

Stapling the two pieces of foam together

To sew this on a machine, I used regular polyester thread and a stitch length of 4.5. If you make the stitch length too small, the stitching line will create a perforation tear in the foam and you’ll have to start over. I also used a 70/0 universal needle. If you are hand sewing, use a standard embroidery needle with polyester thread and do backstitching (you can find a tutorial here), but have a light hand and space your stitches to avoid foam tearing.
For the machine, you’ll see I used a roller foot, which is a specialty foot, but a teflon foot works just as well on this foam.
I placed my trace line on the left inner edge of the foot and used this as a guide. This ensured that my stitch line was 1/4″ OUTSIDE the trace line- this ensures that the fin cover will come on and off easily. If your fin is supa-thick, use a wider margin.

Sewing around the curved edge
Finished sewing!

After stitching the curved part of the fin cover together, I’m ready to start cutting out my cover.  Foam doesn’t ravel, so I don’t need to overlock the edge, but you can if want, just know that the less perforation in the foam, the better.
Start cutting the shape out about 1/4″ outside the stitching line. Cut slowly, and try to keep a continuous cut going (don’t stop and start cutting) to make the edge smooth.

Cutting out the fin cover

Once the curved edge is cut, I cut the bottom RIGHT ALONG the trace line I originally made. You should now have an opening for your fin!

Cutting the bottom of the fin cover

Erase your trace lines, and that’s it! Put the cover on the fin to ensure a good fit, and that the bottom is not too long. This one came out great.

The fun thing is you can decorate the cover with Sharpies (SUPER art project for kids!), use contrasting colors for each side, paste foam shapes to the covers, label what boards they go with, or label the type and size. I labeled mine at the top for easy organization and color coded them:

The anal retentive surfer…… 🙂

Enjoy!!!

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