Futures Fins Introduces Biocomposites-based Fin for SUPs

SpecialChem - March 28th, 2017
Futures Fins, has introduced a new fin for stand-up paddleboards (SUP) created from biocomposites. The RWC (reclaimed wood composite) Keel is an environmentally friendly biocomposite-based fin that meets, and in some aspects exceeds, traditional performance demands.

Eco-friendly Bicomposite Fin

The new fin is made from a wood-plastic composite manufactured by Green Dot Bioplastics. Futures Fins came to Green Dot looking for an environmentally friendly material with the natural aesthetics of wood that also met the performance requirements of the engineering-grade plastics normally used for this application. One of Green Dot’s Terratek wood-plastic composites, a blend of reclaimed wood fibers with recycled plastic, was the right solution.

Futures Fins’ prerogative has been to market products as the ultimate, premium performance. They use materials such as carbon fiber and Kevlar to produce high-quality, performance-driven, dramatic-looking fins. The new biocomposite fin disrupts this traditional marketing model.

Visually, The RWC Keel tells a different story than the other products. It’s a fin that looks and feels different than anything else Futures Fins manufactures, but performs at the same level, or better than many of the other fins for stand-up paddleboards.

Biocomposite-based Fin Tested Well

Each SUP fin receives a rating on the Speed vs Stability scale based on flex, rake and foil tests to assist customers in determining the specifics they need according to their skill level and desires.

The new biocomposite-based fins tested just as well in these three categories, but at a lighter weight as compared to the products they were replacing.

Previous Attempts to Manufacture an Eco-friendly Fin

  • Collaborating with Green Dot Bioplastics and using the wood-plastic composite wasn’t Futures Fins’ first attempt at creating an environmentally friendly fin. 
  • Previous materials were also experimented with: mushroom foam, hemp, flax, soy-based items and more. 
  • Ultimately, these materials were difficult to work with, and did not meet the performance level required.

The composite used ended up being a plug-and-play solution. It’s easy to mold, and creates a product that’s about 35% lighter than the standard products Futures Fins manufactures. Green Dot’s wood-plastic composite can achieve a wide range of characteristics by adjusting the species, size and concentration of wood particles in the formulation. While the formulation can change to produce dramatic differences, the common characteristic among all iterations is sustainability.

Futures Fins Future

  • Futures Fins is living up to their name as they plan to continue collaborating with Green Dot Bioplastics to introduce more products utilizing biocomposites and bioplastics. 
  • The key will be increasing the stiffness while keeping the product light, a task Green Dot is prepared to help Futures Fins achieve. 
  • This will enable fins to be made for long board and twin fin surfboards as well. 
  • The holy grail will be the development of a biocomposite or bioplastic for short boards, but the aggressive riding style demands more out of the fin.

About Green Dot

Green Dot’s mission is to make it easier for customers to make products that have less of an impact on the planet. It is a bioscience social enterprise serving product designers, plastics processors and style conscious consumers with a full line of bio-based and biodegradable bioplastics and biocomposites.
Source: Green Dot
Back to Top