If you buy a set of fin blades and footpockets separately and need to put them together, there are a few things you need to check and a some tips to making fitting easier.
First of all, check that the blades will fit into the footpockets. Some are designed for a screw-fitting that makes the job much easier. Check that the footpockets have or come with a fixing set. All of our screw-fit pockets have fixing kits included. The kit will consist of the correct size stainless steel screws, and small plates for securing the screws through or into. If the blades are the " matching" ones for the footpockets, they will have screw holes that line up with those in the fixing kit, so the job is a simple one requiring just a lining up of parts and a screwdriver. There will also be 2 C-clips for securing the side tendons of the footpockets onto the rails of the blades.
If the blades are of another brand, first check that the blades will indeed fit the footpockets in shape or design. If the footpocket is screw-fit and the blades have no holes or holes in the wrong place, then you will need to drill holes through the blade to attach them using the fixing kit. But first make sure that the manufacturer advises drilling is compatible with the blade shape, material and construction.
An alternative is to use a footpocket designed for glue-fitting. This is a very secure method for fitting blades to footpockets and does not require any complication of drilling the blades. It is then a matter of using the correct type of glue. Some options for gluing the footpockets are to use 3M 5200 or Loctite 406. These are both “super glue” Cyanoacrylates and you should be able to find them in both clear or black if you choose. You will need to apply pressure and/or a weighted flat board over the glue area until the glue sets.
Pre-fit the blade to the footpocket, before gluing, then mask up to the edge where the tendons push onto the blades. This will minimise messing up your nice shiny blades with glue dribbles or fingerprints. If you ever need to remove the blades from the footpockets, you can use sikaflex 291 to glue the tongue of the blade into the base of the footpocket and use the “super glue” for the tendons. This will make removal of footpockets a whole lot easier if need be. Note: the sikaflex won’t hold the tendons in well enough so you can’t use it for them. You will also need to apply weight or pressure to the join until the sikaflex hardens.
You'll need to pre-clean all rubber surfaces to be glued with suitable solvent, detergent or sandpaper. Then it is a matter of applying the glue and sikaflex to the appropriate sections of the footpocket and easing the masked up blade into place. When the glue is dry, remove the masking tape from the blade.
Another variation is to use a screw-fit footpocket but to glue fit it to an undrilled blade. You will need some of the parts in the fixing kit to do this. Again, pre-fitting, masking and pre-cleaning of the blades and footpockets is required. However, you can use sikaflex to fit the tongue of the blade into the base of the footpocket. Glue in any cover plates necessary to fill recesses in the footpockets. The tendons can either be simply slotted onto the side rails of the blades and secured with the C-clips provided. Or if the blades do not have side T-rails, glued on using the super glue method above and glue on the C-clips as well.
Of course it is even simpler to buy your fins already assembled, or match the blades to the brand and style of footpocket for easy assembly.