The rotating surfboard fin system

November 7, 2022 | Surfing
Power surfing: rotating/shifting fins increase release and reduce drag | Photo: Red Bull

Have you ever imagined riding a surfboard equipped with a rotating fin system that would adapt to your style every time you carve, cut back, or apply a power turn?

Wiggl is a surfboard fin box that allows fins to move laterally and shift slightly from one side to the other, i.e., from rail to rail.

It was developed by Miguel Cerezo, a mechanical engineer from Alicante, Spain, who's been surfing for 22 years.

"I decided to create a different fin plug system almost by myself because I broke and repaired the ACL in both knees, and I can't put so much power on my turns," Cerezo told SurferToday.

"So I developed this plug system to facilitate my turns and enjoy my surfing more. It started as a game, but after a few years, it became a challenge."

Miguel kept evolving his innovative fin plug, raising the bar with time.

"The feedback was getting better and better. Finally, there was a point where I had to achieve a perfect design and make it available for everyone."

"Then, I got the proof of concept that's required."

"Pro surfers repeatedly tested Wiggl at a wave pool, in identical wave conditions, and they gave their feedback."

"They did it for free, so their opinions were real. And it couldn't be more positive."

Wiggl: the rotating fin system developed by Miguel Cerezo | Photo: Wiggl

Less Drag and Faster Surf

According to Cerezo, the pro surfers got 25 to 40 percent more turns on each wave.

Also, the GPS-measured average speed was 10 and 20 percent higher on surfboards equipped with Wiggl, thanks to reduced drag levels.

"The results inspired me to move on to the next step, which is to market the rotating fin system," added the engineer.

"There is much more we can develop to improve fin systems with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling."

Wiggl is compatible with FCS I and II, meaning that you can insert your standard surfboard fins in these specially-designed fin boxes.

The founder of Wiggl calls himself a researcher and inventor that is always trying to come up with things that might improve the area he's involved in.

The idea for this dancing fin box popped up after a surf session in Uluwatu, Indonesia.

Cerezo wondered why he couldn't do sharper turns like the other surfers.

Later, he found out that the injuries in both knees and surgeries were the cause for his lack of lower body strength.

Simultaneously, the Spanish's work on a project where he had to design and manufacture a seven degrees of freedom (DOF) robotic arm for subsea exploration mechanisms triggered the birth of Wiggl.

"The side fins' rotation is definitely an improvement compared to the normal thruster setup, but I also enjoyed the release of the back fin for tighter turns," underlined Basque Country pro surfer Txaber Trojaola Renobales.

"I also felt an advance in performance. It's a bit difficult to explain, but the turns were easier to complete. It seems the speed is higher and turning is easier," details Ruben Vitoria, another pro surfer from Zarautz.

Multiple Setups

Several possible combinations can be used, including:

  • All three fins in loose mode;
  • A fixed central fix plus two side fins in loose mode;
  • Two fastened side fins and a central fin in loose mode;

All Wiggl RFS plugs can be set to loose or fixed in any position of the allowed angle range so that you can choose the best setup for the given wave conditions.

According to the developer, surfboard shapers will have no problem installing these boxes as they require the same tools and time as standard plugs.

The patented free-rotating fin system that adapts to each ride in real time is about to become a reality.

Miguel Cerezo started a fundraising campaign on Kickstarter to produce the first batch of plugs. Find more at wigglsurfing.com.

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