Check out at clean video about the latest development of Starboard on their fin systems on the waveboards, the Slot Box.
With already four brands adopting the Slot Box for their next generation wave boards and wave fins (Starboard, Tabou, Drake and MFC and with more brands to follow), the new Slot Box promises to become a new windsurfing standard and potentially replace the US box altogether.
The great thing about the Slot box is the weight saving. A classic US box weighs a bulky 300g with its dense, plastic fibre-nylon molding and a composite PVC/PU foam/Glass fibre box wrapped around it. The Slot Box weighs just 77 grams. When you look at modern wave boards with two, three, four or even five finboxes, these weight savings add up to something pretty interesting.
The other advantage of the Slot Box is its dimensions: it uses the same dimensions as US boxes which means that current US base fins fit inside once the pin has been removed.
Slot Boxes use two specially designed side screws to lock the fin in place. These screws hold the fin in and also apply sideways pressure. This ensures that there’s always zero wobble in the fin once fitted. For convenience, the screws’ head are designed to fit with the same screwdriver as the one used for footstraps and air-valve fitting.
The Slot Boxes are currently available in two sizes: Slot Box 10 and Slot Box 13. Fit a Slot Box 10 fin inside a Slot Box 13 box and you have 3cm of adjustment room. Slot Box plugs are also available. These are used to close-off any unused boxes.
At 77g per box, the Slot Box opens up new opportunities when it comes to multi-fin board designs. And before long, maybe we’ll see even single fin boards switch from the humble US Box to the new Slot Box. Definitely a space to watch.
© Starboard 2010
What is it? A super light and functional finbox system allowing for slight adjustments and a huge weight savings over conventional boxes. The new Slot Box uses two side screws to lock the fin in place. Once tightened, the fins will not move. The screw heads are the same as your footstrap screws so no additional tools are required, you can make easy adjustments and dial in the setting that works best for your conditions.Advantages: Weight, weight and strength! That is right, less weight and more strength. A normal box is in the 300 gram range while the new Slot Box comes in at less than 80 grams. With the new multi fin boards, 4 boxes add up to a lot of weight and this weight savings is very welcomed.
Interview with Fabien Vollenweider to further explain the details of this box by Brian McDowell:
Brian: What is your view on the future of US boxes?
Fabian: The US Box will stay as a standard for single fin wave boards for the future – they have been time tested and proven.
Brian: And mini-tuttles and other systems?
Fabian: I did not used the mini tuttle boxes due to the fact that the screw is sometimes under the heel and it can create a weak spot a s well as being uncomfortable for the rider. The other thing is that you can’t move the fin forward or backwards, it is locked into one position. This is a very important thing on quads as the more the fins are apart, the more the board will have a carvy feeling. The closer they are together the looser the board will be – I believe it is good to have options.
Brian: In your opinion, how do the Slot Box performs better or worse than the current US Box?
Fabian: I started on the design of this Slot Box 2 year ago and went to Cobra to offer it as an open platform so that every brand can use it and those who want to improve design can. Cobra did offer their knowledge in composite structure to get the strength of the box. Starboard stepped in and came up with the great idea to use a philips head screw instead of the allen screw that I had originaly designed. I have left this fin box system free (no royalty) and open platform because i think it’s the only way to get the same system on every board so we don’t have to make 20 different fin types for different brands- that hurts the end consumer. We can’t afford to have too many finbox systems on our market to respect our dealer and customer. Third party fin companys could offer fins that fit US and Slot Box with minor changes made by the shop when you buy a set of fins – this should make stock management much easier for them. We have been testing these systems for 2 years on our team riders multifin boards to be sure of reliability. You can see those on many pictures of the boards from Thomas Traversa, Alex Mussolini and Ross Williams used this past year. We are now testing single fins with this box to check reliability.The great thing about the Slot Box is the weight savings. A classic US box weighs a bulky 300g with its dense, plastic fibre-nylon molding and a composite PVC/PU foam/Glass fibre box wrapped around it. The Slot Box weighs just 77 grams. When you look at modern wave boards with two, three, four or even five finboxes, these weight savings add up to something pretty interesting. The other advantage of the Slot Box is its dimensions: it uses the same dimensions as US boxes which means that current US base fins fit inside once the pin has been removed. Slot Box have 3cm of adjustment room (front/back). Slot Boxes use two specially designed side screws to lock the fin in place. These screws hold the fin in and also apply sideways pressure. This ensures that there’s always zero wobble in the fin once fitted. For convenience, the screws’ head are designed to fit with the same screwdriver as the one used for footstraps and air-valve fitting.
Brian: How important is the concept of uniformity of fin systems going forward?
Fabian: I believe it is very important- I think in the past we had a mess with all the different fin boxes. It was hard for the manufactures and a bummer for the consumer that wanted a new board- not only might he have to change his favorite fin, he might not be able to find it available 3 years down the road in the box his new board has.•
Brian: And mini-tuttles and other solutions?
Fabian: I think we as an industry need to get together and make things simple for the consumer. If all the brands use this box then we won’t have a problem. That is why I am making it available for every brand to use.
Brian: Is this all just about multifin and wave sailing?
Fabian: For now just multifin – we are working on reliability for bigger fins.
Brian: What about larger boards and stress loads. What solutions can you see for keeping the benefits and strength of powerboxes but for similar weight loss advantages like the Slot Box?
Fabian: Power box is already as light as it can be!
© Tabou Boards 2010