The Story of the Threedom
The conception of the ”Threedom” fin configuration came over us, myself and one of my best mates Dave Lambertson of Carpinteria, in a garage relaxing over a couple of games of billiards In 1980, we had a circus of board designs to choose from; single fins, twinnies and now the thruster. That being said the focus of our conversation slipped right into critiquing board design. Ok, so the single fin is maxing out with no-noses, wide points behind center and wider tails. The twin fin, for those that could ride them, were slashing and skating in and out of control, if you will and then the resolve to those who couldn’t manage either was the thruster, to plug the gap, no offense to twin lovers. I always had respect for those that could rip them.
Oh….so back to the “Threedom” concept………. Dave, a sagey kind of thinker, proceeded to analyze the thruster. Apparently he said he had had an earlier epiphany before he went to sleep one night about making the side fins smaller and the back fin taller to alleviate the tension on your back foot that never seems to allow you to stray too far from the cluster. I was now mind surfing his epiphany and senses. At that time I had a shaping bay inside the surf shop called “Ocean Rhythms” and couldn’t wait until morning to draw one up. I had some outlines in mind already that might fit this new fin array and found the fin size; shape and placement had to be placed properly to meet this vision. Obviously I made Dave the first one and was glassed by Moonlight Glassers of San Diego.
Since the wave prospects in Santa Barbara in the summer are rare, we ventured deep into mainland Mexico for some testing. We hit some classic, quality waves and a bonus hurricane 10’ swell! I had brought down a thruster and we traded off the new one which we hadn’t named yet between us. I approached it with no expectation, just go for it and see where it wanted to take me. Well, it did the opposite! I took it where I wanted to go, kind of like surfing where your eyes lead you. Wow! My feet weren’t always over the fins and I could trim forward like a single fin. Cutbacks were smooth and drifted controllably, pulling verticals without losing speed and almost at will due to the side fins that are placed higher up on the rail line. Because the side fins are toe in slightly and the fins spread further apart from one another, there is low drag and lots of carried speed throughout the tail section. Needless to say, that is where we both agreed to characteristically call it “Threedom” (freedom!).
In good fun, we added the “All World’ phrase to go along with our shared venture into discovery. Obviously our take on this was not to replace a particular design, but to expand our horizons. We made about 150 “Threedoms” out of Ocean Rhythms in the early 1980’s. The board model never really was acknowledged all these years due to the explosion of board marketing and professional surfing. It is fun to share this design now since there is a new explosion of sharing all and any kind of board design. Some 30 years later, I still prefer riding the “Threedom” fin configuration which now is typically called a 2 + 1 set up. I know that there are some of you out there that have experienced the “Threedom” in the same light Dave and I have.