In the course of chasing down a hatchet fin for my Cabrinha 6'1" Tow Surf thruster, I discovered that there appear to be two dominant fin companies in the directional kiteboard market: Future Fins and FCS. My Cabrinha has Future fins, and I was able to find a new center fin (Vector Hatchet). Easy to change the fin. Fits snug. Excellent performance. Not to sure about the "break-away" characteristics...... if you hit a reef and tear out your fin box, you've done some major damage to your board....
Any discussion on the pro's and con's of Future Fins and FCS? Any other major fin-players? If so, what's their claims to fame?
BTW: I decided to try the hatchet center fin based on input I got from a previous topic in this forum related to directional fins (http://www.kiteforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2353897&p=570404). I was surprised at the performance change in the board with the hatchet center fin. It made the board just a little "looser in the tail" on the water which feels really good. Also seemed to make it faster. Upwind performance seems to have improved some. A good investment of $21 for change in the board !! It's like I got a whole other board just for the price of a fin. Now I have two excellent boards instead of one....
Future's Vector fin series showing hatchet fin which is the center fin.
Future Hatchet fin.jpg (6.76 KiB) Viewed 1944 times
IMO for kiting future box's and fins are way stronger.
If the future box's are put into a pvc block in a sandwich board they don't seem to come out, and I know of a few guys who regularly crape there fins with futures and they don't break out to easy like the fcs.
My experience from using FCS, Futures & 4WFS are the following:
FCS: Durable boxes, fins are constructed to break before boxes do. Really easy to find new fins.
Futures: Really durable boxes. Usually the fin will bust before the box gives up completely but there can be a little gap between the box and the board if you run into something. According to ET in Guincho, this box can reduce flex slightly. Not super easy to find new fins all around the globes.
4WFS: 2-part box. The outer disc are constructed to release before the box gives. However, fins usually break before disc releases, unless you go with the glass-fins. I think they have a new box now called "under the glass" which I haven't tested yet. Least easy to find spare fins to while travelling.
All systems are good but keep in mind that boards and fins are not made for running into solid objects. Go with liquid stuff instead =)
Kevin Salter wrote:By the way what size Hatchet did you get ??
I ended up getting a 4.25" hatchet (10.8 cm). That's the same size as the two side fins, but it feels smaller because of the reduced length at the base. Couldn't find a smaller hatchet. Thanks for your input on that other topic. Helped me to make my decision to give it a try.
Just took these. It's a 2007 Cabrinha 6'1" Tow Surf. An excellent kiteboard. I wanted no pad on the front so that, when I take off the straps, I could also use it as a surf board and a strapless kiteboard.
The original fin is shaped just like the two thrusters and the same size as the thrusters.
I haven't tried any of the quads (Cabrinha or other brands) yet. I'm not sure exactly what a quad is supposed to bring to the game.
It's kind of funny because there are about 4-5 local riders who ride the same board that I have. They all really like it, but haven't tried the hatchet fin set up yet as far as I know. One of the people like the board so much, he bought an extra one last year when he saw that the thruster lines were being all replaced by the quads. He wanted to make sure that he had the same board in the future after his current one died.
Not much in it for me, biggest deal is that fcs are easy to come by when you really need to replace another one.
They both break off real easy if you hit the bottom if you use the plastic ones or the plastic ones which are glass filled. I prefer the 100% glass fibre ones (you can see the fibers.. ), not the glass filled plastic ones which break just as easy as the plastic ones. I don't care if my fin box is going to break i am just sick of catching the glass filled plastic fins in the sand/ on the reef, small ping - another one bites the dust..... session over
At least with a quad if you loose one you can go retro twinie for one way for the rest of the session!