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Fin configuration on directionals

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Windrider
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Fin configuration on directionals

Postby Windrider » Thu Jan 01, 2009 9:02 pm

Was talking with Patrick at Hawaiian Watersports, and he had a lot of good stuff to say about changing the fin configuration on thruster directional boards. I really like my 6'1" Cabrihna Tow-Surf, and had never really considered experimenting with changing the fin configuration. But, he got me to thinking about it.

Anyone have opinions on:
(1) taking off the center fin and just running with the thruster fins?
(2) Putting in a small center fin (right now all three fins on my board are the same size), or
(3) Just running with the center fin, no thrusters.

Most interesting thing he said was about the upwind performance of the board with either #1 or #2 configurations.

Any thoughts?

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Re: Fin configuration on directionals

Postby Peter_Frank » Thu Jan 01, 2009 9:20 pm

Windrider wrote:Was talking with Patrick at Hawaiian Watersports, and he had a lot of good stuff to say about changing the fin configuration on thruster directional boards. I really like my 6'1" Cabrihna Tow-Surf, and had never really considered experimenting with changing the fin configuration. But, he got me to thinking about it.

Anyone have opinions on:
(1) taking off the center fin and just running with the thruster fins?
(2) Putting in a small center fin (right now all three fins on my board are the same size), or
(3) Just running with the center fin, no thrusters.

Most interesting thing he said was about the upwind performance of the board with either #1 or #2 configurations.

Any thoughts?
Yes, one main thought:

Riding solely with twinsers make (usually - can not say generally of course, only my own experiences from windsurfing with dedicated twin fin boards, and kitesurfing with a broken rear fin) a board extremely loose.

This is a feeling I dont like personally (except for the ability to make floaters in the foam better) - as I want the board to be able to track and turn hard with good feedback, but still have fins sufficiently small to keep the board riding on its rails a lot, and not "tumbling" over the fins when pushing really hard :thumb:

Some prefer the extremely loose boards, others like them more "firm".

I honestly think it is a very personal choice, but if I had to choose, I would choose running with only one bigger center fin, instead of two twinsers.

Luckily I dont have to choose - can ride with either a three fin or quad fin setup on my two boards :thumb:

But indeed, fin choice and sizes can mean and change much more than the board itself 8)

Kindly, Peter Frank

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Re: Fin configuration on directionals

Postby Kevin Salter » Thu Jan 01, 2009 10:21 pm

I use a 6' 1" surfboard , and most of the time I use it with a small rear fin and std side fins.

In windy choppy conditions the board points higher and rides smoother with small rear fin, and on bigger faster waves the board turns a lot better with the small rear fin.

I only use the normal size rear fin with my 9m in 12>>15 knts.


Riding with out a rear fin , you lose a lot of drive and the board gets pretty skatey. I don't like it myself.


The small rear I use is roughly 1/2 the size of the side fins and has a very fine foil so it doesn't create lift , but it acts as a tracking stabilizer fin.

Most 6' surfboards will feel too big and powerful in 30+ knts with a full size rear fin.
Whack in the small fin and the board will ride smaller and handle heaps more wind/ power/speed.


The other thing I have found with the side fins is that fins with an inside concave like the FCS M3's I use are much better for kiting and can handle more speed and plane up wind earlier.

Basically you can't ride a surfboard without fins, so fins have a lot to do with the feel and performance of a surfboard. :thumb:

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Re: Fin configuration on directionals

Postby Windrider » Thu Jan 01, 2009 10:42 pm

Good input so far, guys. Thanks.

Patrick liked the hatchet fin design for the center fin, with the center fin also being smaller than the thruster fins. He said that the hatchet fin made it have noticeably less drag and improved the upwind performance.

The "hatchet fin design" looks like the center fin in the sets of fins in the picture below. It's significantly narrower at the base than the other ones.
Attachments
Vector_2_fins.jpg
Center fin in groups is a hatchet fin.
Vector_2_fins.jpg (9.4 KiB) Viewed 5029 times

Kevin Salter
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Re: Fin configuration on directionals

Postby Kevin Salter » Thu Jan 01, 2009 11:18 pm

The normal size rear fin I use is a custom C drive , that has a lot smaller base than the sides, and yes it has less drag and points upwind better.

Notice also that the fins you have pictured, the rear hatchet fin's effectively further forward, which closes up the fin grouping and helps the board to turn better at higher speeds.

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Re: Fin configuration on directionals

Postby aeberl » Fri Jan 02, 2009 2:45 am

fin placement and configuration completely changes the behavior of the board, BUT it is very important to adjust your back foot placement with changing fin configuration. For example, a twin configuration may feel extremly loose if you place your back foot on top of the fins, but if placing it just a bit towards the front you'll get a lot more drive out of your twin fin. Twin fins are very sensitive to back foot placement. Similar thing happens when riding single fin, but the board will be somewhat less sensitive to verying back foot positions; you'll have to experiment with propper placement of your center of gravity as well. So my advice is to go either strapless or at least without the rear strap when trying out new fin setup.

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Re: Fin configuration on directionals

Postby michelinman » Sat Jan 03, 2009 1:21 pm

My experience only but here goes.

Single fin only and no side fins-will slide out with little pressure.Have 4 directionals with diff fin setup.
1. 6" centre fin in an American box with 2 side bites. Board 6' 2" x 18.5" . Rear strap as far back as it goes . Very drivey . W/surf type ride. All round wind.
2. Light wind fat fish. 5'10 "x 22". 2 big -around 5"- fins .Good for small waves.
3. 6' x 18.25" ish .Quad all round board.Prob the board I would have if Allowed only 1 board.
4. Same dimensions as above but much less volume .Skinny nose and pin tail.Thruster set up. High wind board. Sometimes known as side shore board.

Point is they all work and work well. But it is all about what you fancy.Expensive I know but experiment.Best tip. Find a good shaper and tell him what you are after.Look at surf boards.

Happy New Year.


P.

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Re: Fin configuration on directionals

Postby Nico » Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:01 am

Tried various setups a while ago while surfing.
The board a 6'4" five box setup allowed me to try all sorts of combinations usind the standard fins:
-twin fin board was super loose, couldn't put too much pressure for fear of spinning out
-single (using same small fin size) board was tiff and to my surprise gripped quite well considering it had only one small fin far back
-Thruster gave the well know carvey drive feeling
-Quad gave lots of speed and snappy turns
Have opted for the thruster version with a smaller back fin (half size)
This is all surfing without motor (kite).
This will probably all change when I will use this board with my kite.
Nico

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Re: Fin configuration on directionals

Postby Windrider » Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:01 am

I think I'm going to try the smaller center fin with the normal thrusters. Now the search is on for that smaller hatchet center fin. Three shops and no luck so far.....

S'okay, I have to stay out of the water for another 10 days anyway. I have some time to look.

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Re: Fin configuration on directionals

Postby Windrider » Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:03 am

Thanks for your input folks. Today I bought a Future Fin 4.25" hatchet fin for my board. 4.25" is the same size as my current center fin, but the current center fin is not a hatchet. Good price, too.... $21. Won't get to try it for two weeks, but I have something to look forward to next time I go out.

Mahalo.


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