I’m always into anything that can avoid a ruined surf session. And honestly, most surfy accessories and gear can be DIY’d. Always a good thing, right Martha?
So here’s an easy, cheap DIY in case those Carbon/Kevlar/Titanium/Plutonium fins get busted out by your shred style, brah.
So, you’ll need:
- Sculpey III, or Premo! Modeling Clay (the clay needs to be a bit on the soft side, unlike a FIMO type clay)
- A blade to cut the clay
- Thin Paracord
- Toothpicks or a heavy duty needle
- Fin screws
- Fin Key
Most of these items can be picked up at a craft store, with the exception of the Fin Screws and Key, of course.
I cut off a bit of clay from the block and rolled it into a thick tube. My polymer clay modeling skills are terrible these days, but I’m going for function, not style, like these guys:
I cut off the ends, then screwed one of the fin screws into each end of the approximately 1.5 inch long cylinder using the fin key. I did this when the clay was soft and left them in, even while baking. To screw these in soft clay, go slowly, and apply light pressure. Don’t screw past the top of the cylinder! This is why I hate hard, crumbly clay for this project.
Don’t worry. The screws won’t come out after baking unless you unscrew them using a Fin Key.
In the center, I used my needle to make 2 toggle holes for the Paracord to go through later:
I placed the clay on a silicone sheet and put it in my home oven at 230 degrees F for 80 minutes to ensure it baked throughout the clay.
After it was cooled completely, I didn’t need to do anything to the piece. Since it’s a type of plastic, there’s no need for sealants, and it’s waterproof. You can sand the piece, but I’m still going for function.
I threaded the Paracord through the holes, made a Lark’s Head Knot over the fin key, knotted the ends together, and now I’ve got three handy item types in one:
- Fin Key
- Fin Screws
- Leash Loop (or multiple, depending on how much Paracord you use)
Yes, it screws another one right back in, so you can put replacements on since the threads on one company’s fin system generally stays the same, which in most of my boards is FCS.
You can take this with you anywhere, just be careful making it a necklace to wear while you surf. If it’s too long, it can come up and smack you in da face.
Could happen. To me.