Fin systems are only as good as the talented board builders that use them. We are lucky to have some talented craftsman using the system. This showcase features their work and the innovative ways they are leveraging the system.


Tilley Surfboards Collage


ETC Logo



The KRYPTK TIMBO is a board that suits a variety of conditions. I have personally surfed it from 1ft wind slop right up to 6ft slabbing Samoan reef breaks.

There is plenty of volume especially in the chest area that makes paddling a breeze. Traditionally the concaves I use with this model go from a gentle rolled V in the nose through to a moderate single concave dividing into a double concave out the tail.

This creates a very fast down the line board yet one which can turn on a dime. With this board I am trialling running a large single concave right out through the tail just to simplify everything. Testing so far has proved quite positive with results.

The construction of this board consists of a stringerless EPS blank wrapped in epoxy resin and a thin skin of paulownia timber vacuum formed on the deck. Coupled with 2 layers of 4oz glass top and bottom makes for an extremely strong board. The paulownia deck resists typical indentations that feature commonly on normal glassed epoxy and PU surfboards. They boards are extremely light and robust and weigh in under 3kg.


Length: 5’ 9”
Width: 20 1/8”
Thickness: 2 1/2”

GEARBOX thoughts

The first thing that drew me to gearbox was I liked the look of the boxes especially the ability to easily customize them. The second thing I loved was the price of the routing and installation jigs. They are 1/3 of the cost of other known brands yet in my opinion gearbox are a much better option. The routing jig is simple to use and the broad base of the boxes provides and extremely secure grip onto the foam blank. They are so easy to install and can be used with any 2-tabbed fin system.

I’ve personalized the boxes in many ways from creating paulownia wood covers through to customized coloring and completely hiding the box under a colored hotcoat. The boxes are very strong and I have never had a board come back with a damaged or broken box. In addition the service from Lance and Robin are second to none. Mahalo guys.

For more info on the board contact Steve Hann!

My Graphic

No description or dimensions available!

For more info on the board contact Richie Scott!

Third Shade Fins
Mair Surfboards Logo



This board represents a redesign of the our classic Cuttlefish, which has been made since the early 70's, bringing it a lot further forward into the future! The original Cuttlefish boards used to feature shaped out wings, but then we went to fuller less defined wings.

Now the design has come full circle to a more radical shaping down of the wings and even the entire tail area. The idea is to give the tail a lot more bite and less drag. The rail line has also been tweaked to focus more precisely on the wing area. The wings serve both to bump out the with of the tail but also to provide a focus area to turn on. This version of the design is a keen board!

The bottom features a strong single concave running into a very bowled double concave with exaggerated vee running out the tail. This board employs a rather unusual construction technique using a combination of vacuum bagged balsa and epoxy construction over a polyurethane blank. Additionally, under the balsa on the deck, there is also an inlay of DCELL in the area of the deck concave to further improve the strength underneath the knees.

The board features a quad fin layout that focus on the area around the wing of the board. The fin boxes feature customized GEARBOX boxes with abalone inlays on the covers.


Length: 5’ 11”
Nose: 17”
Width: 23 1/2”
Wide Point: 2” back
Tail: 18 1/2”
Thickness: 2 7/8”

For more info on the board contact Robin Mair!

Cuttlefish Collage
Mick Pierce Surfboards

No description or dimensions available!

Mair Surfboards Logo

Comments from Jason Tilley, the shaper/builder of this stunning board!

I build a lot of different types of boards. GEARBOX gives me a flexible system to customize for each board. Different load beam covers, a genius and well explained high density foam insert method, superb jig, and nice fin adjustability.

To accomplish this the nose was completely reworked. But first we started with a board that was about 9” longer than this design, with the wide point moved way back on it, then we chopped 9” off the length and reworked the nose. This kept the rail line from the longer board and all of the curves in the tail.

I like the solid foot print and confidence inspiring bonding surfaces under the load beam covers (not on the surface creating a bubble chasing nightmare like many boxes). The icing on the cake for me happened while setting the boxes and realizing how easy it was to set them flush. The square (in profile) collar (load beam collar) allowed me to feel and see that the boxes were set were I wanted them with the proper cant. So many boxes are rounded on the underside or very narrow and just want to slip around and try to give you inconsistent cant angles.

The cherry on top of all that is second to none support.

GEARBOX Comments: we just wanted to add that this board of Jason’s really highlights what can be done with the box’s load beam cover, and the customization options it presents!


For more info on the board contact Jason Tilley!

Quadmatic 2 Collage Image
Riley Balsawood Surfboards Logo

"The Native"


For summer and its small waves, the Native is a thruster thrasher for the larger or older generation – who don’t want to go to a longboard or a fish – this is in between these. For the traveling surfer we are using the strong and neat GEARBOX fin system, with the balsa wood covers. Compatible with all dual tab and GEARBOX base fins. This allows for changing fin setups and lets you choose between fin size, rake, angles, material, and more, and the fins can be moved!

The Native is a balsa skinned EPS foam core shortboard. The recycled EPS foam and the absence of a stringer create a significant reduction in weight bringing the Native to merely 3.5kg. The end result is a high performance balsa wood surfboard with far greater strength and durability than your regular polyurethane board. This board is hand made in Australia and is unique in every way.

Surfboards That Don’t Cost the Earth! As always we are glad to customize this board to your needs.


• 12 month warranty - break it - we replace it
• The Native is super light - weighing only 3.3 kg
• Stronger and more durable than the regular PU boards
• Stable buoyant EPS core.
• Tested shape
• Quad version available is great for small waves
• Every Riley Surfboard is hand shaped & glassed in Australia
• Rounded pin tail
• Better resale value

To order your board:

1. Download and fill out our "Custom Order Form" (Download HERE )
2. Send the order form via email (see details on the form)
3. Choose size and shipping to add product to cart and follow through with checkout.
4. Shortly after we will start shaping your custom made Native which you will be riding soon!

To watch a short video on this check here!

For more info on the board contact Mark Riley!


For more info on the board contact Mark Riley!

Riley Balsawood Collage Image
SFD Surfboards Logo Image

No description or dimensions available!

Mahana Surfboards Logo

After a good amount of anticipation I finally got to install my first batch of GEARBOX 2 fin plugs.

The jig set is really well thought out and built, making for a quick and neat install. The boxes are sturdy, well finished and look great on the board. There is the option to use a high density foam insert which is recommended for lower density EPS blanks. Another plus is the possibility to customize the load beam cover with veneer, balsa or any other material to match the bottom of the board.

GEARBOX 2 definitely exceeded my expectations and that's without mentioning their fins, which I have been surfing exclusively for the past year, a true breath of fresh air compared to what is being offered elsewhere.

Mahalo Robin and Lance!


For more info on the board contact Cesar Marin!

Mahana Surfboards Collage
Inspired Surfboards Logo

I wanted to write a post about my first experience with GEARBOX that might help anybody else thinking about using the system. One thing that is so rad about GEARBOX is the jig, you can tell that the guys behind it actually build boards and not just taking feedback from the dusty crew.

The jig set up is 3 pieces, all of them have an arrow pointing at the rail making it pretty hard to screw up your placement. The placement target is molded into the base plate, and there are indicators INSIDE of the jig opening which made it even easier to double check my placement before and during cutting. Once you have the jig placed you plug an insert for the deep cut, this is a great way to do a 2 step cut...but the GEARBOX insert is very low tolerance. I found it easiest to stack the second jig plate on top and do the shallow cut first. Then I took the top plate off, dropped in the insert and did the deep cut. Even with my first batch of GEARBOX, cutting took no more time than any other fin system, very easy for anybody to jump right into this install.

I always install my fin boxes after lamination, in the same step as my hot-coats. I believe that the lamination in the tail area needs to be super tight, with all of the weave perfectly pulled tight, so I prefer to install later. After prepping the boxes with their die cuts, I made regular football patches with slits for the sand through lip on the boxes. What is sick about GEARBOX is that the fiberglass is bonding to the high density foam insert rather than plastic. I thought it was cool that the resin pushed all through the box and oozed between the insert and the lip, I knew they were anchored perfectly. This board didn't have any blow out issues, i only had to pop a few tiny bubbles around the lip with a razor blade. Install was super easy.

There were no surprises sanding or finishing the GEARBOX at all. Only real screw up (has to be one!) was that I did forget to tighten the screws before I glassed the boxes in. We just lightly buzzed the lip to pop the tape off and were able to tighten the screws without sanding into sweat.

I hope this info can help somebody out there getting into GEARBOX. I've had a bunch of board building friends ask me about these in just the last few days. I think its the best box out right now for 2 tab fins. I don't mind answering any questions about em if you have one just contact me anytime.


For more info on the board contact Drew Baggett!

Inspired Collage
Eke Ngaru Surfcarft Logo

Really enjoyed the experience of using the GEARBOX system, and for a first I'm happy with the finish! Very nice stable and solid router system, no changing of router bit heights - set and forget.

I did tape down the jigs as I was concerned due to the timber I was routing through and something shifting. It was probably unwarranted as the no slip surface seems to work well. Pushing the boxes in pre-laminating felt very firm, stable - accurate is probably what I'm trying to say.

And that’s a feeling you get throughout the process, everything is tight and well machined, from the jigs interlocking, through to the finish of the load beam covers - quality!  Being a maker of mainly timber boards the customizable load beam cover is a real bonus. Now for a first I'm able to make a timber cover that blends with the board, making the fin box system as unobtrusive as possible.

As important as a great system is however - great help is equally as valuable. Robin and Lance were very helpful and answered any of my questions promptly and with great detail - cheers guys.  would recommend the system to anyone from beginner to production shaper


For more info on the board contact Justin Tilly

Eke Ngaru Collage

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