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.

“We wanted to have a rad East Coast-based fin option, making templates that we feel work best for the surf where we live.” || Photo: Luke Kothera

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.

What’s up with Cinema fins? Who’s making em? Are you doing different sizes and templates? 
Cinema is a brand that a few of the North East FL loggin’ homies are starting up. We wanted to have a rad East Coast-based fin option, making templates that we feel work best for the surf where we live. All manufacturing will be done on the east coast, 100 percent hand made fins from Korey T. Nolan who does a rad volan-blend fin, and some wood grain options from Justin Evans in St Augustine. We are starting off with two different templates the McQueen, which is a more raked pivot fin 10.25″, and the Bogart ,which is a rake fin with a wide base 10″. Both of these came straight out of the minds of NE FL’s Log riding community. We’re  hoping to get the types of fins we couldn’t find anywhere else. Cinema is going to be doing small batches of limited issue fins. We’ll start with these two and then we’ll design others. We’re going to be doing Tees and apparel, too, featuring the work of local artists. [Void Skate Columnist Trent] Tarpits [Phillips] is heavily involved with everything we’re doing and he designed a killer logo for the fins and graphic for the first Tee.
All East Coast (or Northeast Florida) made and designed, right? Why was that important for you?  
All East Coast designed! 100 percent everything Cinema will be designed by folks in our community. I love building the log riding community and scene. It’s important to me that we showcase the local talent around where we live and surf, and give all these rippers as many creative outlets as possible.  All my friends Like Tarpits, [cinematographer/photographer] Luke Kothera, Austin Marvin, Gregg Mattson, Tyler Baker and Cole Hardwick are always talking fin design and how they wish they could get a fin with this or that certain aspect that would make it magic, so I thought lets start our own thing because that’s really the only way we’ll get exactly what we want.
It’s kind of a messy, time consuming process right? 
Absolutely. Making the fins is a labor of love, but a lot of guys are doing the backyard thing and making some rad stuff. I definitely don’t have the skill to make the fins, but I’ve been surfing for twenty plus years and have so many ideas for fins just floating around in the ol’ noggin’ ( just like all the homies do). Cole put us in contact with Korey and I know Justin Evans from surfing around the Oldest City so everything just sort of is falling in place. Those two guys make really rad products and I’m so stoked they will be collaborating with us!
What’s your go-to fin template? Are you a [Greenough] 4A 4-lyfe kinda guy? Turbo tunnel? 
[Laughs]. Let me be perfectly clear here: in my opinion Turbo Tunnel is a gimmick that should be left in the late 90s where it was spawned. Just like the new motorized fin that just came out. To me those kind of things are gimmicks used to rip people off. Sorry to  anyone who likes them, but that’s just how I feel.  I’ve always been a Nuuhiwa noserider pivot-style fin guy for square tails and noseriders and 4A for pintails and everyday riders. Those two designs are so timeless and our designs will definitely draw a lot of inspiration from them.

“For me the right fin is what makes a great board a magic board.”|| Photo: Kothera

For those who may be skeptical of a fins ability to enhance or change your surfing, what do different longboard fins–and their attributes: flex, rake, depth, etc.–do for your surfing? 
For me the right fin is what makes a great board a magic board. Again, I love the Nuuhiwa style noserider fin. it’s my go-to, but my buddy Ken White has made me a few step deck noseriders lately that are the best boards I’ve ever ridden. I wanted a pivot with a little less surface area and a touch more rake to liven things up a bit for those boards. Trent loves the 10 inch 4A but he rips so hard and is so creative that he’s always wanting to tweak the design to see what different feelings he can come up with. And that’s Cinema–a bunch of creatives tweaking with our equipment to enhance the thrill of the slide.
And Cinema will be more than just fins right? 
Cinema is basically all of our creative endeavours , from a close net group of friends, throwing up into the universe at large. We’re going to do fins, Tee’s, Stickers if one of the homies says hey we should do this we more than most likely will. I know we’ve been throwing around the idea of skate decks too.
Where can folks find cinema skegs and swag?
Write now we’re doing everything in house the first fins will be available soon and we’re taking pre orders so people can order directly from. I’m philspidaman on the ‘gram. Or you can hit up Tarpits [@barfxrake], we’ll get you hooked up. My group of friend is super tight with the Zap siblings that own WSMS in St Augustine so they will be able to help if you want to order some fins or swag. We’re looking for other shops that want to carry our stuff too so hit us up if you’re interested. Trying to stoke as many people out as we can, and just keep building the log community!
For more cool surf stories, plus interviews with local artists, musicians, and eternal optimists, check out Void’s May 2020 issue, The Check In, by clicking the mag below. 

Click the mag to Check In.