Futures is the type of company that thrives on feedback, testing and progression. If they can improve on a fin design they'll do it even if that means going against the grain, breaking from what's fashionable or even breaking new ground- with these guys form definitely follows function. I've known this to be true for the last two years that I've been riding their stuff... and every year I get a little more excited about what they're putting together.
Here's the latest- Jamie Mitchell's SUP Thruster Set. I just got these today and already I'm walking around with a paper towel stapled to my chin because I'm drooling all over 'em:
|This is the center fin of the set... it's just a bit bigger in height, width and overall area than the Gerry Lopez thruster set... just what I was looking for!
If you've been following this blog for awhile I'm sure you know that Futures absolutely sold me on their Gerry Lopez thruster set- they killed it with those fins. Basically, the team at Futures put their heads together with the master himself and came up with the first true SUP specific thruster fin set. The fins were excellent, working perfectly in the two boards I was riding at the time (9'4 Stamps Ninja roundtail and my 9'1 Ninja/Bump) both had relatively foiled, round tails which suited the fast, flexy fins well.
My latest board, however, is an entirely different beast. The 8'6 Stamps Grim Ripper has a fuller outline and tail. I've been running the board with a combination of set ups; a stock G.Lopez thruster set (very loose and light feeling underfoot but with the board's wider tail, not drivey enough), G.Lopez sides with a 7" Futures Performance fin (drivey but a little stiff, not as quick to release off the rail) and a combo made up of huge G10 twinnies (Stu Kenson's personal set on loan... thanks Stu) and a G.Lopez center (zippy and loose... drivey but apt to track and railroad away from you at speed). As you can see- I'm kind of all over the map with the fin set up, I'll like one on Monday and then change it out by Tuesday. Clearly, I'm still searching for the perfect set up.
|Side by side comparison: Gerry Lopez center fin vs. Jamie Mitchell center. BTW: How sweet do those Mitchos look?
It was almost eerie then when I received the new Jamie Mitchell thruster set- it seemed like somebody over there was reading my mind. The middle fin is both wider (more drive) and slightly taller than the Gerry Lopez middle fin (J.M. back fin area = 22.57sq." vs. G.L. area = 18.48 sq.") while the side fins are just a hair smaller than the Gerrys. Could this be the magic combo for my 8'6"? Are these the fins that match my wide bottomed board"? Well, we've got some surf coming and I'm fired up to run these things through their paces. You can be certain that I'll report back on the performance of these fins.
Oh yeah- there's a bunch of other fins that came with those Mitchos... most notably are the race fins sent for the 2011 race season (never to early to start getting things dialed in!) and of those.... wait 'til you see the full carbon Jamie Mitchell race fin (actually, there's a sneak peek of it in the first photograph on this page) developed for Battle of the Paddle type racing... that thing looks HOT. Stay tuned for more fin-porn- coming soon!