Donald Takayama in Hawaiian South Shore signing a surfboard May 11th, 2011.
WhileDonald Takayama’scontribution to surfing and surfboard design runs the gamut from longboards to short, and even includes a storied career as a professional competitor, perhaps his most futuristic and visionary invention is theHalo Fin.
Drawing on the theory behind the pivot fin,Takayama sought to create a fin system that allowed larger wave riding vehicles such as longboards, SUPs, and shorter hybrids to turn with ease and efficiency.
When he finally nailed the science and perfected the design, it was quintessential Takayama to give it the simplest name possible—Halo, which means “fin” in Hawaiian.
First of all, the center and side fins work together closely. In fact, the center fin can be considered an extension of the side fins. Thus, this isn’t a setup where you want to slap a center Halo onto a board with a pair of random standard fins.
There are two major notes of interest when it comes to the Halo Fin.
In fact, if you look closely at the outline of the typical fin versus a Halo side fin, you will notice that the orientation of the fins is almost completely opposite. That is the genius of Takayama’s invention. While the standard keel fin (which all modern fins are descended from) has a leading edge that is rounded back, and then a trailing edge that is straight or nearly vertical in orientation to the bottom of the board (modern keels and standard shortboard fins are simply keeled with adjustments made to the shape of the trailing edge), the Halo side fins are actually reversed. The leading edge is straight, while the trailing edge is curved. This may seem to fly in the face of everything that we “know” about modern fin design, but Donald Takayama was never afraid to think for himself, and what he found was that this fin setup allowed for sharper, more responsive turns on larger boards—even when the surfer wasn’t standing over the fins. (This last point is important because one of the limitations of large boards such as longboards and SUPs is that they can typically only be turned from the tail).
Halo Future Fins Side Fins
The Halo center fin is an interesting hybrid. In many ways, it resembles the standard pivot fin (which Takayama has also been credited with inventing). However, if you compare the shape of a side Halo fin to the tip of the center Halo fin, you will find that they are practically identical. In essence, Takayama has taken a side Halo fin and extended it’s length, creating a Halo-ended pivot fin that works in concert with the side fins. When all of the elements in the Halo setup come together, what you get is a more efficient, faster fin setup that increases drive while also improving the turning radius. Considering the fact that most fins have to compromise between drive and maneuverability, it would seem that the Halo fin is the mythical silver bullet, providing both, rather than sacrificing one for the other. And that is exactly what Donald Takayama intended. For those looking to spice up the ride on their modern longboard, SUP, or even mid-length quad, it’s pretty difficult to find a setup more cutting-edge than the Halo Fin. Hawaiian South Shore is one of only a few distributors worldwide carrying the Halo Fin. For more info on the design, check out this informative video that Hawaiian Pro Designs head honcho Noah Shimabukuro put together for us: http://www.hawaiiansouthshore.com/Surfboard-Fins/takayama_halo_fins