I just got hooked up with a set of hot looking fins. Check 'em out: Future Fins Gerry Lopez Thruster set. These ones look really good. So good, in fact, that I jammed right home, pulled out my G-10 3-2-1s (my bread and butter side fins) and screwed the entire thruster set right in. I'm on it tomorrow- hopefully it won't be blown out by the time the 2:35 bell rings. I'm telling you, it doesn't take much to get me excited.
These are beautiful fins. A set runs in the hundred dollar range so you'd expect that these would possess top-of-the-line craftsmanship. Futures definitely delivers in that regard- the look and feel of the fins is top notch. In fact, the things are so precisely foiled and feel so light that you'd swear that just locking them down ratchets up your board's top end. The fins just ooze speed.
The things come in at almost five and half inches- which is about a half inch taller than the side fins I've been riding and half an inch shorter than the six incher I've been running in the box. Changing fins on a board is always a compromise between concern and hope: The concern with running a shorter fin in the middle box is that you'll lose drive, that is, the board won't have that "squirt out of the hole feeling" that a larger fin provides. The hope is that a smaller set of fins will loosen the board up, give it some release and snap off the top.
What I've decided to do is this: I'm going to start by running it fairly far back in the center box. The idea is that I'll make up with fin position the drive I've lost with fin height. My hope is that I'll produce that magic combination of drive and looseness that we're all searching for; that's the idea anyway. We'll see what happens.
Lilly was wondering what these things were made of. The Futures website says they are "resin transfer molded". To me they feel like fiberglass. Interestingly, these fins have some definite flex in the tips. The G10, 3-2-1s that I was riding were rock solid little chunks of fiberglass. They were fast but had very little flex. The GLs (Gerry Lopez fins) look to be a very different ride than what I'd been on. Especially since the 3-2-1s are basically triple foiled- a fin designed to provide super lift and drive, kind of like adding a turbo to your vehicle. The GLs, on the other hand, have a very slight inside foil. In fact, this fin set looks very conventional, almost like a super-sized version of a short board fin set. Perhaps the idea with these fins is to provide a more neutral, predictable, organic ride (did I just say "organic"???). Regardless, I can't wait to get them into some good surf.
A final comparison photo: Check back for a ride report!