Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Fin Vortex: Conclusions

Well, I'm resolved. I was able to get the board out for a surf in 3' beach break wedges and after a few waves, I had formed a pretty strong opinion. For me, the small middle fin, semi-thruster set up just doesn't feel right. Too skittery, too sketchy. The board was fast, but not a drivey, torquey-type fast. More like a slippery, skating on ice type of speed. Not the feel I'm looking for out there. Conclusion 1: Small middle fin = no thanks.


Conclusion 2: G10 = butter smooth turns and a step up in speed. It's true, these stiffer fins are pretty darn sweet. As opposed to the resin versions of these 467 Tech Foils, the G10s loose no energy flexing through the turns. And you can feel it. When you hit the trough and lean it over, just a little push through the rails translates completely into forward squirt. The fins are fast and they feel super smooth through the water. I'm going to have to tap the 401K to pick up a couple of these- but they are definitely worth it.

Photo: Yep


Sheldon Abril said...

It's definitely loose, but not overly loose and it's helping me learn to use my legs more to build speed. I also lost that drivey feeling when I switched to this setup, but I like the way I can really dig into turns. I'll send a picture of my setup...

John Ashley said...

Cool- can't wait to check it out!

srfnff said...

So what middle fin are you using? Actually, the "smaller" middle fin you were using was too...big! For a true thruster feel all three need to be about the same size, at least as a starting point imho.

The G10's look pretty cool. Esoteric fins have always been a sexy draw for me, but rarely have they ever worked out to where I like how they perform. But if the G10's! Too bad they're so hard to come by.

Finnage has to be compatible with the board and the rider, that's why I don't think there is such a thing as a one size fits all fin set-up. Also, and this is the big one, personal preference reigns supreme. If you like that drivey feel, stability and speed a big center fin gives you then that's what's right for you.

On my 10-2 Angulo when it gets double o-head, the 9.5" Future cutaway goes in, along with the smaller longboard sidebites. A tri-fin set up works best on most "normal" surf days in the kelpy reef breaks. And when the beaches are breaking hard and fast, the big center, smaller sides go back in. There is no one size fits all set-up that covers all conditions and places either. It's just another one of the reasons finning around is so much fin, uh, fun. (Sorry, couldn't resist...)

John Ashley said...

Hey Gary-

I totally agree- it's all about feel.

I'd love to do a blind test where somebody put the fins in without me knowing what I was riding and not being able to flip it over to see what I had in the boxes.

That would be an interesting little experiment!

srfnff said...

The blind test is a great idea. Give yourself two completely different set-ups and see if you could tell the difference. If that was easy, go to three set-ups. That would be an interesting experiment and a good learning experience.