The Story of Bill Bahne and Fins Unlimited Surfboard Fins
The Story of Bill Bahne and Fins Unlimited
In an industry that is quickly becoming homogenized and largely shipped overseas to take advantage of cheap, outsourced labor, a company like Fins Unlimited is a breath of fresh air. Founded in the 1960s by Bill Bahne, Fins Unlimited has been building quality surfboard fins for five decades—and doing so right here in the United States. The company is based in California, and has been a staple of the surfboard industry for so long that it has almost become synonymous with surfing. But many people don’t realize that Bahne’s influence extends far beyond fins, and even wave riding.
In addition to Fins Unlimited, Bahne has made many other major contributions to the active sports industry. He started shaping surfboards in the 1950s, and in the 1970s was also involved in developing the monoski and an early model of the snowboard. During that same time period, he also started Bahne Skateboards.
Classic Bahne Skateboards Advertisement (photo credit:Pinterest)
Recently, Bill Bahne was inducted into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame in recognition of the contribution he has made to the sport. Tony Hawk’s father was reportedly at the induction ceremony, and brought along Tony’s first skateboard—a Bahne. If not for that board, Tony Hawk may have never started skating, and skateboarding may have missed out on one if its greatest legends.
That makes you stop to wonder how many surfers may have gotten their start because of Bahne’s boards and fins—not just your everyman weekend warrior, but even the pros that we admire in the magazines and in films. Bahn’e influence and contribution to our sport can’t be overstated, and we are proud to carry his Fins Unlimited designs, and to help get his work and expertise into the hands of surfers like you.