GEARBOX 2 is a unique new fin box design with some features not found in other fin systems.
The patented load beam collar features a cover that can be customized in a wide variety of ways to enhance the appearance of the surfboard. While still providing a superior bond to the resin system! No other fin systems offers this level of customization!
Here are some of the key takeaway features.
An unprecedented amount of innovation is currently occurring with fins and fin systems. Ranging from the simple to complex, tool-less fin attachment, to a wide range of other options.
Our choice was to go back to basics, with a system that is light, strong, while at the same time simple to install and easy to use. A design optimized for under the glass installation. The goal was to deliver a system that was both simple and familiar for builders to install, and surfers to use.
GEARBOX 2, is as light as possible without compromising the strength. The unique patented design, delivers unprecedented strength for an under the glass system.
Current under the glass systems rely on the bond between the laminating resin and a plastic flange that surrounds the box. This is less than optimal! GEARBOX 2 turns the flange concept on its head by placing the web of the flange lower down on the box, creating a load beam collar. This collar creates a flange shaped to form a cup on it's upper surface, a cover is then placed within this cup.
We select a cover material that provides optimal bonding to the resin system. The entire exposed upper surface of the cover allows the bottom laminate of the surfboard an optimal bonding area. The outer flange of the load beam encapsulates the cover. More important is the unique aesthetic created once installed in a board. Creates the appearance of a pin line around the outer perimeter of the box.
The high density expanded ABS utilized in the cover being stiff, imparts additional rigidity to the collar!
The design of the collar does not restrict the cover material, anything providing a good bonding surface is fine. For example, in a balsa wood board the cover could be balsa so that the box blends in with the surrounding wood. The design of the cover supports the application of inlays or overlays to its upper surface. Facilitating different appearances for the installation of the box.
While a wide array of stylistic uses exist for the cover, the primary criteria is good bonding with the resin system. Covers are also available in a range of primary colors to provide further customization options!
The cover also has a recessed cant angle indicator located at the outboard edge. It is used to easily check the cant angle of the box once installed in a board, and when there is a fin in the box.
GEARBOX 2 employs a familiar screw placement, located on the inner side of the box, generating a locking force on the fin base. The fin bases have recesses onto which the screws land to help force the base into the slot. Center boxes have opposing screws. A bridge in the center of the slot ties the two sides of the slot together to resist the lateral forces on the box.
To assist in the fine tuning of a board, the slot features 5mm (3/16") of movement forward and backward. Not only does this help when installing a fin, but it also facilitates control over the performance of the fins.
The box's slot is compatible with dual tab fins, and with our own full length base.
The two step install process creates a cavity with a shelf onto which the load beam collar rests. Providing better bonding to the surfboard foam. The complete routing system makes the installation process simple. The routing system also supports a single routing option (1ROUT) if one of our HD foam support blocks are utilized. These blocks are sold separately and have been machined for a precise fit in the routed cavity and to the box.
GEARBOX 2 was designed against a small set of important design principles. To better help understand the design choices made for the system, more details on some of the design criteria are discussed here. It is also important to understand that the system is not static, we are constantly making tweaks to improve the product!
This has been our primary focus for the many years we have spent developing the system. We were adamant that we wanted the strongest and lightest box we could design. Many different aspects of a design can impact the strength, from material selection through to the shape. Our design addresses all characteristics that can impact this important element.
We derived strength from two different aspects of our design. Our patented load beam collar handles the loads, dissipating them throughout the structure. Also the depth of the beam allows for increased shear strength around the perimeter. Installation strength is critical to spreading loads, on the box, throughout the entire structure. Our installation technique coupled with the load beam design enhances this strength.
It is also worth pointing out that the shape of our box also plays a large role in the strength. The large footprint is better able to handle rolling loads, while at the same time providing a unique appearance!
Not something given much consideration, when looking at current fin systems. They range from bland chunks of plastic, to random shapes that don't always compliment the surfboard. Due to the unique design of our load beam we have been able to create an aesthetic not seen in other fin systems. With our design the box all but vanishes into the board once installed. The cover in the load beam facilitates this by completely hiding the underlying structure. All that remains visible is a thin outline of plastic around the perimeter, plus the dam surrounding the slot and screws. It doesn't get more minimal than this!
We made a design decision that the load beam should support a wide variety of different cover material types. We select cover materials from a wide array of choices that provide good bonding strength. Additionally, we have a wide range of color covers that make it simple to enhance the appearance of the system when installed in a board!
In modern surfboard design, weight is a critical component. This has alway been a high priority for our design. We wanted the lightest possible box, that met our strength requirements. There are many ways of reducing weight, but doing so without compromising strength can be a delicate balancing act. The design and shape of our load beam has allowed us to push the weight reductions to the limit! But we chose not to sacrifice strength for weight!
We wanted to keep the system as simple as possible! It needed to be easy to understand how it worked and how to work with it. To achieve this we stuck with many tried and true techniques for creating a removable fin system. Focus remained on the customer, the system needed to be approachable and familiar to all surfers! We achieved this by limiting the options, and sticking with grub screws for locking the fin in place!
Here we once again tried to rely on what board builders are already familiar with in their factories. The system had to be an under the glass install, eliminating an extra step compared to a post install. Saving time and expense for the board builder. These days most use either a two-step process or a single rout. We elected to use a two-step routing process as it better fit with the unique aspects of our load beam. Ours differs because we have a much deeper load beam. To simplify the process we designed an entire routing system that minimized the number of steps. Different construction techniques sometimes need a different installation process. We designed our system to enable these alternate installation options.
To provide the widest array of fin choices the system is compatible with all available dual tab fins.