Leading manufacturers, Starboard and Tabou have recently announced the launch of a new light weight fin box, which is to be incorporated into their multifin boards. But, they also hope that it will replace the current industry standard, the US Box in the not too distant future.
Initially designed by Tabou's head shaper, Fabien Vollenweider, who then took it to Cobra for their expertise, and opened the floor for anyone else to improve upon the design, the Slot Box was first initiated because Vollenweider felt that the Mini Tuttle boxes created a weak spot over the rider's heel, and therefore had the potential to cause injury.
Aside from the possible weak spots of the Mini Tuttle, there are two main advantages to the Slot Box:
Firstly, each box weighs a meagre 77 grams compared to the US Box which weighs 300 grams. That doesn't sound like a huge saving for a board with only one box, but for those with two, three, four, or even five boxes, you're getting close to a one kilogram saving which is about a 15-20% weight save overall!
Secondly, the Slot Box utilises the same dimensions as a traditional US Box, which means you could use all of your current US Box wave fins in the new system by simply removing the pin.
For a detailed review on the new boxes, and to find out the opinions of some of the most respected industry figures, including those of Fanatic Brand Manager Craig Gertenbach, Fanatic R&D Manager and 2009 Sylt Waves Runner Up Klass Voget (Fanatic, Simmer, MFC), JP Brand Manager Martin Brander, shaper and rider Patrik Diethelm (Patrik, North), Mistral Brand Manager and former world cup competitor Anders Bringdal, and the inventor Fabien Vollenweider himself, check out the box clever article on page 44 of this month's issue of windsurfer international by following this link HERE.
And, take a look at the video of the new Slot Box on Starboard's website by clicking HERE.
Only time will tell whether the whole industry adopts the new system as the standard...