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Fluid Earth's Humpback Whale Fin for surfboards

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Fluid Earth's 8" skeg / Fluid Earth / LicenseCC-by-nc-nd - Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives

Sharper turning surf board fin

Inspiring Strategies


Product or process
Fluid Earth developed a fin for surfing that increases maneuverability and performance. It is called the Humpback Fin (8" skeg) because it was inspired by the flippers of humpback whales, which have tubercles or bumps on the leading edges. Fluid Earth worked with Dr. Frank Fish, who also developed the tubercle technology used by the WhalePower Corporation for turbines, fans, and pumps.
The biomimicry story
Frank E. Fish noticed that the leading edge of humpback whale flippers have tubercles or bumps. This didn't make sense to him because it went against the normal way of thinking. Through wind-tunnel tests, Fish realized that the tubercles on the flipper delay the stall angle by approximately 40%, while increasing lift and decreasing drag.
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About the Product

Company: Fluid Earth

Product Phase: Available

Product Type: Surf board fin