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 Post subject: Best surfboard shape/fins/thickness for upwind?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:56 am 
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Aside from raceboards, what's the best surfboard for getting upwind? I have an underground twintip 148x46cm and I think it can go upwind better than most surfboards even in the lightest winds. I want to ride some small waves and mostly practice carves, toeside, and transitions with some small wave riding. Looking for a general idea of what to look for so I can go hunt around the surfboard shops here and try and find something that might work.


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 Post subject: Re: Best surfboard shape/fins/thickness for upwind?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:45 am 
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Location: Labia
Had a Slingshot Celeritas that was my best upwind board but preferred the SST for down wind riding these where 2008 / 2010 but that style of board is still current.
The Celeritas was an easy board to ride and felt great strapped and unstrapped- do miss it and will buy another.
Few others out there that will work well but the perfect board is blend of things that each rider feels important.


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 Post subject: Re: Best surfboard shape/fins/thickness for upwind?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:17 am 
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Nope :D Big wide surfboard with big fins will take any TT any day. Key will be wide tail, good thickness for flotation and big fins for upwind drive.

Might not be the best surfboard, but will definitely take out any TT> Actually most surfboards with wide-ish tail will win upwind battles against TTs.


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 Post subject: Re: Best surfboard shape/fins/thickness for upwind?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:44 pm 
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For sure width, rocker and fins are key, where more width, less rocker and more fin = easier upwind/low wind.

Have seen a few guys from around here up in the great lakes pick up surfboards while down in hatteras and be sorely dissapointed in the low end when they get back here. Problem is they picked up a shortboard template. Something like this

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Pretty narrow and way too much rocker to get decent low end riding until you get something 6'3 or bigger. It'll go upwind fine as soon as there is plenty of wind but a 6 footer in this shape will not get going any sooner than your average twin tip.

Choose something like this

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And your getting something that planes up early and flies upwind yet is super fun in anything less than powerful surf. A little less sex apeal, but loads of functionality. Go quite a bit shorter in this shape... say 5'6-5'10 ish

Now there certainly are lower rocker pointy little shortboards that work great with a kite and haull ass upwind. I'm just illustrating the general ends of the specturm. Put a race board beside a fish and then a shortboard next to that and it looks like a general progression in shape from total upwind/low wind prowess to ultimate wave riding with the fish in the middle that has visible aspects of both. If I had to put it down to one variable, I would say rocker is probably the biggest factor affecting early planing and upwind competence. Ive seen guys riping upwind on mini guns that have no width to them, but are flat rockered and fast.


Last edited by Starsky on Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Best surfboard shape/fins/thickness for upwind?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:09 pm 
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The wider the better, full rails help and flat rocker helps, There is a way to get a board going upwind without tons of fin, by getting well forward and keep the entire board in the water and flat. I was always putting the biggest fins on when I was a rabid surfer, and rode more off the tail. Now that I kite, I rarely use the trailer (center) fin. For strictly getting upwind, it's better just running two. The bigger the board, the more fin area you will need. Generally, the most high performance built short boards go upwind better if you ride them oversized, and full tailed hybrids are especially good. Clunky retro fish shapes may get up on a plane easily, but they turn like dogshit. Couldn't pay me to ride one. Yeah Donavon can ride one, but those guys could ride a door and make it go ok. (Oh god, please dont tell Flysurfer about The Fish....)


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 Post subject: Re: Best surfboard shape/fins/thickness for upwind?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:19 pm 
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FarQueLot,
I have read the celaritas is a good upwind board, glad to hear, ill keep an eye out to demo that board

tautologies,
Big fins sound like a good idea, should they just be extra tall, or do most surfboards have fins big enough? Should I try and get fins that don't have a lot of sweep to them? Should I try and go for 2, 3 or 4 fins?

Starsky,
Thanks for the info on the fish shape, ill probably try that shape out with some extra thickness, I'm 6'6" 230, you think 5'10" is still big enough?

Windrupted,
ill look into full rails, are those just thicker? The hybrid shape sounds good, you have any pics of what I should look for?


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 Post subject: Re: Best surfboard shape/fins/thickness for upwind?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:29 pm 
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In general I agree with windrupted but just to be clear, I'm not suggesting old school fish shapes. Who drives cars or uses phones from the 70's these days??? The modern hibrid or modern fish has very little in common with the old school parallel rails and twinzer designs that first took the name fish. The fish above has thin rails , plenty of outline curve, a single to double bottom shape, quad fin set up. Not much in common with say this:

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I think your right when you say shortboards get decent low end when they are oversized. What I'm talking about allows you to ride the board in a much smaller size, where two boards of equal low end and upwind, say a 6'4 shortboard, and a 5'8 modern fish, the 6'4 will feel like an albatros compared to the skatey slashey little fishey.

All of this is in regard to smaller surf conditions. Once its crankin or were talking bigger swell, the fish will get too bouncy, but the OP was talking about upwind, not surf. Don't think there is one board for all conditions, but firmly feel there are boards that do a great job of covering most of what you see day to day.


Last edited by Starsky on Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Best surfboard shape/fins/thickness for upwind?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:52 pm 
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Exactly - and as Starsky also just wrote:

The board that cranks upwind, will be horrible for surf - and the other way around :roll:

You can not get both - but you need to take your choices on what compromises you are ready to accept.

I would not use big fins though - they might help marginally on upwind performance, true - but for a waveboard it will fully destroy ANY wave and carvefeel whatsoever :x

And the surfboards are using the "shape" much more than the fins to go upwind, where you glide and ride on the edges of the board, instead of the tail - so width and rockerline and edges are far more important IMO.

Meaning, a good "modern" fish board, with not too big fins - will be able to glide well and go pretty okay upwind - and also ride waves "pretty okay".

Or a not-really-wide but longer board with a long flat rockeroutline, and very sharp edges - will also perform well upwind, and still be quite good in high winds and big waves too, but not perfect in small steep waves.

And one could go on and on !

Basically IMO, a "perfect" waveboard for okay wind and small-medium really steep or fast waves, will be the WORST at going upwind :-?
And the best upwind board will be bad in terms of waveriding :-?


LOTS of different choices - but always a lot of compromises you have to select !

:D Peter


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 Post subject: Re: Best surfboard shape/fins/thickness for upwind?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:22 pm 
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JollyGreen wrote:
Starsky,
Thanks for the info on the fish shape, ill probably try that shape out with some extra thickness, I'm 6'6" 230, you think 5'10" is still big enough?


I do.

probably a 6'5 + in a shortboard.

All good stuff in this thread.

Construction is another issue. I think its relatively easy to find the right shape. Quite a bit tougher to find it in the right construction, be it beefed up glass job, epoxy, sandwich etc... Tougher still to find it in the right construction that isn't super heavy and stiff.

You can go with a regular surfboard with a decent glass job, but will be limited to riding and lightly at that. Your a big guy, If you wanna rip, tear, slam and jump at all, your gonna crush a regular poly board pretty quick. I hate feeling like I have to baby a board, or kite for that matter.

Both my surfboards are epoxy sandwich, and I searched pretty hard to find ones that aren't stiff bricks. My first surfboard for kiting was poly... Tought me tons, including that I needed something tougher!


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 Post subject: Re: Best surfboard shape/fins/thickness for upwind?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:45 pm 
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Location: Bergen County & LBI NJ
JollyGreen Wrote:"I want to ride some small waves and mostly practice carves, toeside, and transitions with some small wave riding. Looking for a general idea of what to look for so I can go hunt around the surfboard shops here and try and find something that might work."

I did some research and just made a decision to pick up the 2012 Slingshot 5-8 Celertias board from Greenhat kiteboarding http://greenhatkiteboarding.com/store/i ... cts_id=882
For your size from what I have read the 5-11 would be your ride.

Have not got a chance to ride it yet but I'm certainly looking forward to it.. Board looks and feels solid and its not to heavy. Planning on riding strapless and strapped.


Xtream


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