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Fin Review: All you wanted to know about the H3 Nexus




Design Blogs

Get gear geeky and explore all facets of the FCS H3 Nexus fin...

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 30 August, 2016 - Much like the Futures Fins Rob Machado’s from the last article, the H3’s are an “older” fin, released in July of 2010. Finatic wanted to take a look at the H3’s specifically because they give us a foundation for the “carbon technology” that’s now standard in most high end fins.

Therefore, reviewing the H3 Nexus Fins now will give us a solid platform when writing future articles.

That and the FCS H3 Nexus Fins are an extremely popular fin within in the Finatic Fin Testing Program, so we have a ton of data to look at. There was a point in time not too long ago when all three sizes of the FCS H3 Nexus (Small, Medium and Large) ALL held a spot within the Top 10 most popular fins in Finatic, which is incredible.

 Fast forward to today and the Small has dropped out of the Top 10, while the 5th spot belongs to the H3 Medium and 10 th spot belongs to the H3 Large. 


Between just the H3 Nexus Medium and Large, the fin carries a 32.1% popularity rating, which is unbelievable. Below are some dimensions to keep in mind while we talk about the FCS H3 Nexus Fins.

Keep in mind that there’s a 14.22 in. TOTAL surface area difference between the Small and Large H3 Nexus fins! That’s absolute insanity and one of the main reasons that you NEED to be surfing the right fins for your weight range. The FCS weight recommendations for the H3 Nexus are as follows, the Small for 120 – 150 lbs., the Medium for 145 – 175 lbs. and the Large for 165 – 200 lbs. 

Total Surf Area Difference Equation = (Large Fin SA (15.66 in.) – Small Fin SA (13.29 in.)) x (2 sides per fin) x (3 Fins) = 14.22 in. The H3 Nexus Fins were and still are a ground breaking fin. As mentioned earlier they were really the first fins to utilize carbon to create a specific flex pattern. They utilized a completely carbon base to keep the base extremely stiff so the fins track well and hold a line.

However, when you look closely you’ll see that the carbon base abruptly stops to reveal a matt core center with carbon (black strips) and kevlar (yellow strips) that form a criss-cross pattern which fills out the tip. What’s interesting is that this particular formation allows for not only increased flex through the tip of the fin, but also allows the H3 Nexus to “twist” through the middle and tip of the fin.

That translates to massive amounts of stored energy that releases when coming out of your turns! We would also like to note that the H3 utilizes a more “strait up and down” template with less rake than you would expect from a normal fin. This lends these fins toward in the pocket surfing on strait up and down waves and allows for quick adjustments with the slightest amount of leverage.


With this understanding of the FCS H3 Nexus Fins, let’s dive into the reviews and see what kind of conclusions we can draw. In our first review (Above) you can see that Billy W. says exactly what we would expect! “Good control and response held very well in the face and gave excellent response without too much effort.” I could not have said it better myself. Again, that more vertical template is what Billy doesn’t know he’s experiencing when he says, “excellent response without too much effort.” I highly doubt we would get that kind of a review on a fin with more rake. It should be noted that I believe Billy W. has a very light  back foot as he’s 200 lbs. and surfing the Medium H3 Nexus.  I think it would be interesting to get his take on the Large Fins now that he’s tried the Mediums. I would like to discuss what I saw in a few other reviews, before we look at one more review in its entirety. Christopher M., who also gave the H3 Medium “4 Fins” said, “I did feel them drag a little if the wave was lacking real push.”

It should be noted that the H3 Nexus have a SLIGHT concave at best, and therefore when the waves are lacking “power” or when you get on a mushy shoulder they may not generate speed like a true foiled fin would. Then, Dave H. who gave the H3 Large Fins “3 Fins” said this, “I could make some nice tight turns with these.” Again, we think about the TEMPLATE and the intentional Flex Pattern and this makes complete sense; tight, in the pocket surfing.

I wanted to end with someone that gave the Fins “1 Fin” rating and see if we could figure out why that was. What jumps out at me on this review is that these fins were surfed on a 6’8” in Nicaragua.

My guess is that this board is a rounded pin and Robert L. was surfing a point break. Point breaks tend to have long drawn out lines where big arcing turns are preferred. While he may be feeling the “flex” when he says, “Too much flex for the power and speed of these waves” my guess is that what he’s really feeling is the template. If you had a big open face and a round pin, you don’t want a “pivoty” fin like the H3 or the fins could feel squirrely. If I were Robert, in these conditions, I would try a very large fin with a ton of rake. A template similar to the FCS II Carver, in this specific situation and depending on the power of the waves, I might even use a solid glass fin. I believe Robert simply chose the wrong fins for the wave and board type. After this experience and with a few more waves under his belt, I bet he’ll make difference fin decisions next go around; which, at the end of the day is what this is all about! Also, at 6’1” - 215 lbs.

Robert is pushing even the Large H3 Nexus to its limits. Just because a fin doesn’t feel right doesn’t mean it’s a “bad” fin, it may be a “bad” fin on a particular board or wave type, as I assume is the case here.

Fin Review, Gear Review, FCS H3 Nexus Fins, Design Blog, Carbon technology, Finatic Fin Testing Program, Industry News
Chris Hough

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