To all hockeyland,

The following are questions/answers regarding the Wonderbonding asked of
me after the initial posting about the process.  These questions were
asked by several individuals on the hockeynet and is being reposted here,
with their express approval, for general information and knowledge
sharing purposes.  Please press the Delete key on your keyboard if you
prefer to read the non-verbose version <g>.

>  If one does reinforce one's fins in the method you are
>  describing, what sort of effect/ cost on the old leg muscles is
>  involved???  Is it a significant difference in effort? Would
>  recreational players be simply overwhelmed by the effort?

I only applied the urethane to the underside of my foot area, and not the
entire fin, so the blade of the fin was intact and provided the same
kicking area and force.  The only difference was that since the bottom of
the fin pocket was made stiffer, more of the energy of each kick was
being imparted to the fin blade.  As for weight, there was about a
75-gram weight increase (per fin) for the additional Wonderbonded

I found that there is an additional effort that is required of the legs
to push the fin through the water.  I would guess it to be about a 10 to
15 percent increase in muscle energy required.  This compares to about a
5 to 10 percent increase for the finsert design.  I definitely advocate
using the Wonderbonded fins gradually.  I would get your leg muscles used
to them first, before you use them on a regular and full time basis.  In
my first round of testing, I injured my ankle because the force of
kicking put an additional strain on my ankles and they weren't used to
it.  I am determined not to repeat that again.

As for recreational players being overwhelmed, I will have to defer that
question, since I think that each person in question is best suited to
form their own opinion, on a case by case basis.  However, I do think
that any player (whether he/she is a competition or a recreational
player) would not refuse a benefit of increased speed when trying to
outswim an opponent.  Providing that they have the leg muscle capability
to generate the additional kicking force and resultant speed.  In other
words, it's nice to be able to pull away from an opponent, when they are
chasing you, to try to get the puck from you, but don't try to score that
goal all by yourself at first.... grin.

>  If it's not a trade secret, with what substance are you Wonderbonding?

I am using a 65 shore D urethane that is a two-part mix.  There are
literally hundreds of urethane manufacturers out there, and although I
could forward you the company information of the urethane that I
currently use, I've been through three suppliers in about 5 years time,
so it's certainly not sacred or cast in concrete which brand you use.
The only real factor is the material specifications of the product in
question.  However, I suspect that if you were interested in pursuing
something similar to my venture, you will want to find a local supplier
of urethanes.

>  Twaron fans [now mostly a moot point, but may be an issue
>  w/ others] have tried a wide variety of sticky stuffs to hold said
>  together.  The difference in flexibility being the original weakness
>  the fin also was problematic to any adhesive.  I see a similar
>  with bonded finplates.

Hmmm, well bonding to a rubber material is not impossible.  It's just
difficult and requires some preparation.  First, I sand the rubber to
roughen up the surface.  I then wipe it down with acetone to clean off
any residue that I may have missed.  After that, I apply a
rubber/urethane primer to prepare the surface to be bonded.

Now, here's where we go different ways....

I am only bonding to the underside of the fin at the foot pocket area.
Not the entire fin, so the relative motion and flexing isn't as much at
the fin blade itself.  I think from reading your email that you were
talking about bonding to the fin blade itself, and that would make it
difficult.  I can see that bonding to a very flexible surface is much
more difficult since, it does flex so much more, and the bond of the
urethane is compromised readily.  This would only cause me to find a
urethane that would flex and bend with the base material.  In this way,
the bond won't be disturbed as much.

Another alternative would be to place some holes in the base material and
apply a thin layer of urethane on BOTH sides of the fin surface to be
bonded and in this way, you will achieve a mechanical bond and it will be
stronger yet.  There would be a weight gain that is undesirable, but
unavoidable too.

I am glad that my mediocre research interests you.  The excessively
flexible fin pocket of the Alas has been a deficiency that I have been
working on to rectify and this may be the ticket to do so, but there is
still more testing to do before I can claim success here.

Best hockeyin',

Mark Nakamura
>From San Diego....... Igor, hand me that knife!!......

(Note: For any comments or additional questions, please reply directly to
me at and not to the entire hockeynet; thank you)