Though the region boasts an enviable number of world-class surfboard shapers–perhaps more per capita than any other coastal hamlet–Northeast Florida’s known more for sleds and blades than rudders and skegs. It’s not surprising, given that the fin-making process is famously messy and arduous, let alone subject to smaller profit margins than the already minuscule ones that shapers are beholden to in the time of outsourced production by Big Surfboard–Firewire, Global Surf Industries, et al.
Beyond that, many surfers undervalue their fins–believing that a 9″ medium-raked, run-of-the-mill FCS is appropriate regardless of a board’s tail width and rocker. The ride-everything mantra that’s been slowly seeping into the fabric of Northeast Florida’s surf culture, however, is changing that notion.
Enter longtime St. Augustine log lord, Chris Tincher. A student of traditional surfing and founder of the raucous Old City Log Jam contest, Tincher’s an underground, though doubtlessly instrumental figure in surfing locally. He knows surfing. And he loves fins.
With the help of some fellow East Coasters, Tincher’s launched Cinema, a Florida-based surf company that will specialize in skegs. While the resin is still drying on Cinema’s initial offerings, fins and apparel are available for preorder.
We caught up with Tincher to ask about making rudders for his log-loving sisters and brothers in Florida.