Wetsuit Recycle Project #2: Surf Fin Sock

I have more than a few “wall-hangers” in my crib. For non-surfers: wall-hangers are boards too pretty to actually ride, but are works of art to surfers. They hold a revered spot in the apartment, condo, or house, and are massive dust collectors. But they are soooo much better than framed pictures of your family posing awkwardly at the Wal-Mart Studio.

Since I grew up in Kentucky, hundreds of miles from a beach, I guess I’m making up for lost time with the beach theme overkill. I have a 10′ Dewey Weber I bought from a friend a while back. It’s not a mega priceless surfboard, but I really love it. Problem is, it’s got a HUGE glassed-in 10″ fin that cannot be removed, and it has poked some guests on occasion…yikes. I can’t flip the fin side to the wall (it’s too big), so now I have a little safety hazard to contend with in the hallway.

My husband’s solution is just….yeah.

Not the aesthetic I’m looking for

Glassed in fin- can’t be removed in a pretty way


I thought this would be a good time for those squishy soft 3 mm neoprene foam leftovers from my last post.

Since the fin could not be removed, this made it a little tricky to draft a pattern for the cover. Not to mention, I didn’t want to move around the 10 foot surfboard if I didn’t have to since I’m just that lazy.

So I used a piece of card stock and put it under the fin and traced it, all the way to the base. The whole fin profile didn’t fit, so I traced the top part of the fin on a separate part of the sheet- I pieced these together later to make the whole pattern.

Tracing the fin

Tracing the end of the fin


For this cover, I wanted a seam allowance of 1/2″, since 1/4″ of the outer edge of each side will be adhered together with neoprene cement. But you also need to take into account the thickness of your fin. This fin has a heavy duty glass job, so it’s got a lot of meatiness. That’s why I allowed for the extra 1/4″ on each half (total of a 1/2″ ease all around). Of course, I will cut the cover flush with the base and leave it unsealed, so I can slip in over the fin.

I prepped my pattern by tracing a 1/2″ additional seam allowance around the trace I made. It’s like connect-the-dots.

Marking the seam allowance

Cutting out the two pattern pieces

Lining up the two pieces up the pattern trace and taping them together

Since this is a custom made fin sock, I go back and double check that my pattern is in the realm of reality before I cut out any fabric.

A little extra at the top, all the better

Now, you can make YOUR fin sock all black (or whatever the outer color is) by adhering the seam allowances with the “right side” out, wrong sides together. But, I wanted the bright sealed seams to show, both for safety and for the cool factor, yo.

Here’s the original scrap pieces from the last post, cut open at a side seam on each leg to maximize the amount of “open” area of fabric. Check out the wicked yellow taped seams on the inside:

The pattern for size comparison

This is a good time to use staples when cutting out your pattern piece. A large rotary cutter would be difficult to use for a couple of odd shapes like this, so I’m using the thick fabric scissors again. If I puncture a tiny hole in the neoprene foam by stapling my fabric to my pattern, who cares?? This is a fin sock, it’s no longer helping to regulate my core temperature. I’m just using the squishy property of the neoprene foam to protect the fiberglass fin. Stapling it allows me to lift it off the cutting board to get a precise cut.

I had to get creative with the layout of the pattern on the fabric! Luckily, neoprene has no nap (direction) to worry about, so I can have fun with where I want to place my pattern. Just remember to flip your pattern over when cutting the other piece!

Get a good stapler that doesn’t require much pressure- they’re not much more expensive

These staples don’t dig in far- just enough to hold it long enough for you to cut

A piece cut out

I used sealing cement in black to adhere the long curved outer edges together, wrong sides together. The sealing cement comes with a little paintbrush, which is okay. I think next time I’ll use a q-tip to paint the cement on.

This stuff comes out fast and goopy, use the plastic packaging as an inkwell

A skin develops quickly- keep stirring it


This stuff sets up fast out of the tube, so work quickly and don’t squeeze out too much at once (lesson learned). 

I painted the outer wrong side edge around each piece, NOT sealing the bottom. The first coat you should let cure for 5 minutes, then paint a second coat and let that cure up about 10 minutes before adhering the sides together. 

NOT crazy about the paintbrush applicator it came with

I used my plastic clips to hold the sides together for another 1/2 hour in the garage outside. This stuff SMELLS AWFUL, and should be used in a ventilated area, preferably with a mask.

Once it cures, DONE! It was a decent fit, with a little extra room. Much better than a tennis ball.

Safety First.

I hope this kid would give me a thumbs up too…

2 thoughts on “Wetsuit Recycle Project #2: Surf Fin Sock

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