Q&A about the FCS2 Fin System.

Posted on June 07 2017

With Sanded Australia now stocking FCS Fusions and FCS II Fin Systems. We have been getting a few questions so we thought we would answer as much as we can! 

 

1.1 What is FCS II?

FCS II represents the very latest in detachable fin systems and performance. By applying 20 years of knowledge working with surfers, shapers and experts in hydrodynamics, FCS has created an entirely new fin system. FCS II features a stronger, lighter honeycomb composite construction with flush leading edge and keyless operation to create a superior fin system that is easier to use.

1.2 How do I install and remove fins using the FCS II system?

FCSII is a keyless system. To insert a fin into the plug, place the front tab of the fin inside the front slot of the plug so that the hook in the fin tabs meets the horizontal bar inside the slot. Then, lower the rear tab into the rear slot of the plug until the mechanism engages the tab. This mechanism will hold the fin in place until removal. To remove the fin, grasp the fin and pull upwards.


1.3 How does the FCS II mechanism work?

The FCS2 mechanism interacts with a channel in the rear tab of the fin to lock the fin to the plug. The mechanism consists of a self-lubricating, wear resistant barrel assembled around an aerospace grade titanium rod. When inserting the fin, the rear fin tab slides over the barrel which rolls and moves sidewards. This action deflects the titanium rod, which reacts to provide a lateral and downward retaining force on the fin. A hallmark of FCS fin systems, this lateral pressure ensures that the fin is firmly held in place and creates a static fin base to smoothly transfer energy from surfer to fin. 

1.4 How is the FCS II plug made?

The product is far from a simple plastic moulding, with a sequential mix of manufacturing processes and materials used to create the product. Multi-part tooling, internal mechanism assembly, ultrasonic welding, foam overmoulding and CNC machining are all used to deliver the final product. 

1.5 How strong is the system?

FCSII is a pre-glass system (installed before the board is laminated) and is stronger than the original FCS system. The unique composite construction allows for an improved bond between the glass and the plug; boosting the impact strength. Straight line shearing is prevented by incorporating a figure 8 outline (continuous curves). To provide an insight into the break strength of the system, FCS has completed pressure tests to simulate the amount of force that a surfer can place on a fin before the system breaks. On average, the new FCS II system can withstand 130.7Ib (PU/Polyester board construction, this even higher at 154.1Ib for EPS/Epoxy construction) before failing.


1.6 How light is the system?

The FCS II plug has a very high strength-to-weight ratio and is one of the lightest fin systems available, with the plug weighing just 29 grams (0.064Ibs). This plug weight (uninstalled) is comparable with FCS Fusion (25 grams / 0.055Ibs) and Futures (26 grams / 0.057Ibs). The unique overmoulded PU foam construction also allows for weight reductions post installation by effectively eliminating all unnecessary resin filled regions.


1.7 How large is the system footprint in my board?

FCS II has a smaller footprint than other pre-glass systems allowing the tail of the board to flex naturally. The maximum length of the plug is 110mm (4.33”) and the maximum width is 37.5mm (1.4”).

1.8 How easy is the FCSII system for shapers to install in boards?

FCS II was designed to be one of the easiest systems to install. Just like FCS Fusion, FCS II is installed pre-glass with a single route process. Custom-designed FCS II install tools and cutters along with comprehensive, easy to follow instructions make installing FCS II as simple as possible. FCS II is installed with the shaper’s dot preserved.


2.     System Durability FAQ

2.1 Will the FCSII mechanism keep working over time?

The FCS II mechanism will continue to work no matter how many times you change your fins. FCS has completed repetition testing (installing then removing a fin from the system) with no retention force lost over 4,000 cycles. The mechanism does not use delicate moving parts (such as springs) that are prone to failure. The rotating barrel (constructed from a high quality, self-lubricating polymer) acts as a wear-resistant interface between the fin and the titanium tension rod. The rolling action of the barrel assists the insertion and removal of the fins whilst reducing the wear on both the mechanism and fin base (eliminating shearing that would otherwise occur across flat, static surfaces). This simple, but well refined mechanism constructed from superior materials ensures operational longevity. Under normal conditions, the FCS II system will outlast the life of the board.  

2.2 Will fins eject out of the system unintentionally when surfing?

The FCSII system has a high fin retaining force (around 12kg/26Ibs) and fins cannot be removed from the system by placing force on the front or side of the fin (i.e. the direction of forces applied to the fin during surfing). A fin can only be removed from the system by applying an upwards force to the rear of the fin. This force (and the direction of this force) is highly unusual during surfing and therefore in most circumstances there is no way for a fin to eject from the system during surfing.

*If there are exceptional forces repeatedly applied upwards to the rear of a fin during unconventional surfing, it is possible to fasten grub screws onto the fin to provide additional retaining force. However, this is entirely unnecessary under the great majority of surfing conditions.

2.3 Will sun and salt water corrode the FCSII mechanism? And how about if sand enters the plug, will it jam?

The FCS2 mechanism has been designed to operate in a highly corrosive environment. All mechanism parts are relatively large in order to reduce any potential part erosion from grit and all cavities within the mechanism and slots are open and designed to flush any salt and sand build up. All materials used to construct the FCS2 plug have been selected for their anti-corrosion properties; including titanium which is an inert material (will not rust). If sand (course or fine grain) enters the plug, the mechanism will not be restricted or jammed because this foreign material cannot penetrate the mating barrel-rod assembly region and will eventually flush out the open slot cavities. 

2.4 Will water leak through the plug mechanism and into my board?

No, the plug is completely sealed; water will not leak into your board through the plug.

2.5 Can I damage my board using the FCSII system?

Any board damage can be totally avoided by inserting and removing fins as per the instructions in the FCS2 user guide. Excessive force used when removing or inserting fins may cause the fins to inadvertently contact (and consequently damage) parts of the board around the plug. Always be sure to hold the fin securely when inserting and removing the fin from the system and avoid using excessive force. Avoid using your thumb to brace the board as you may cause indentations.

3.     Range & Compatibility FAQ

3.1 Will my old FCS (dual tab) fins work with this system?

Yes, you can use all your existing FCS fins with the FCS II system. The FCS II plugs are backwards compatible - grub screws can be used within the FCSII plugs to secure your existing dual tab FCS fins to your new FCS II boards. Naturally, inserting and removing your original dual tab FCS fins will not be a keyless operation. Whether you are using FCSII fins or FCS fins, the trailing edge will line up with the shaper’s dot on your board.

3.2 Does the system come with grub screws to use old FCS (dual tab) fins?

No, FCS II plugs do not come standard with grub screws. If you are using old (dual tab) FCS fins with the FCS II system, you can either reclaim grub screws from your original FCS plugs (from old boards) to use with FCS II plugs or purchase new grub screws on our site

3.3 What is the best technique to screw in the grubs screws?

Place a grub screw over the end of an FCS key. With your board secured with deck facing down, guide the grub screw into the empty threaded hole of your FCS II plug at the same angle as the hole. Maintaining the screw orientation at this angle; begin to fasten the grub screw by turning the key clockwise (if the insertion angle is incorrect and excessive force is used, thread damage can occur). Continuing screwing until the grub screw is fastened to the plug and/or fin.

3.4 When using my old (dual tab) FCS fins within the FCS II system there is a gap in the front of the slot – is there any way to fill this gap to improve water flow?

Yes, you can use FCS2 Compatibility Infills (available separately within the FCS2 Compatibility Kit) to fill the gap between the front tab of the original (dual tab) FCS fin and the front of the FCS2 plug front slot. These infills are made from high quality silicone rubber which will not damage the plugs or fins (they are also extremely durable, light and built to withstand extreme temperature and corrosive conditions).

3.5 Can I leave grub screws in FCS II plugs when using FCS II fins?

Yes, you can leave grub screws in FCS II plugs even when you are switching between original FCS fins and FCS II fins. Small grub screw channels on FCS2 fin tabs allow the grub screws to be fastened so they are flush with the board (without restricting the tool-less operation of the FCS2 fins). This allows you to leave grub screws in your FCS2 plugs (even when using FCS2 fins). Just remember that if you fasten the grub screws below the plug surface, you will be fastening the FCS2 fins to the board (and therefore the fins cannot be removed without first releasing the grub screws).

3.6 What is included in the FCS II Compatibility Kit?

The FCS2 Compatibility Kit includes a Centre Compatibly Infill (x1), Side Compatibility Infills (x4), Grub Screws (x10) and FCS Key (x1) in a reusable zip lock bag.

3.7 What cant angles are the FCS2 Plugs available in?
FCS 2 comes available in four different cant angles; 0 degrees, 3 degrees, 5 degrees and 9 degrees.
* 0 degree plugs are for centres only (they cannot be used for quad rears).
* 5 degree plugs are recommended for quad rears.
* 5 degree and 9 degree plugs are recommended for front fins.

Along with embossed markings, FCS II plugs have a coloured print to identify the cant angle (this print is removed from the plug during installation):

* 0 degree plug is not printed.
* 5 degree plug is printed dark grey.
* 9 degree plug is printed orange. 

3.8 Can I use a centre FCSII fin in a side plug (and visa-versa)?

Each FCS II fin is designed to function exclusively with the corresponding FCS II plug type. For example, the mechanism within a 0 degree FCS II plug is designed to operate with a centre FCS II fin and will not work with a right fin. Therefore, only use the type of FCS II fin that matches the type of FCS II plug:

* Centre fins should be used with 0 degree plugs only.
* Right Thruster fins should be used with 5 degree right or 9 degree right plugs.
* Left Thruster fins should be used with 5 degree left or 9 degree left plugs.
* Right Quad Rear fins should be used with 5 degree right plugs.
* Left Quad Rear fins should be used with 5 degree left plugs.

3.9 What colours are the FCSII plugs available in?

FCS II plugs are available in 4 colours: Grey, Blue , Red , Yellow. Be sure to use the "drop down" boxes when purchasing them in our shop as you will have to pick the right ones you need including if you need "Left or Right"

 Let us know if you have any further queries!  

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