Forums > Stand Up Paddle General

Let's talk about Fin's

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Created by BalticFlip Two weeks ago, 7 Feb 2024
BalticFlip
10 posts
7 Feb 2024 10:43PM
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Hey Guys!

I'm not new to this forum but not posting because most things are written and discussed.

But I didn't really found a thread about different Fin's and what they possibly have to offer.

Example:

I have a one board quiver, but the board is not so great Allround since there's a lag of performance in small mushy waves. I always loved quad setups so far, so this time I also went for quad. But I felt braked out. Like having a drag anchor under the board.
First thought, possibly my technic, the thick leash, the fins could possibly cause the problem.
So Ive changed to a coiled leash which not drags behind the board and mounted a middle fin instead of the quad rears. It was better but still felt a little bit sticky to the water and braking immediately if the wave is getting round in deeper areas.
Next thing I tried was a pair of twins with a knubster. I bought them for a short Sup I had earlier but didn't work good. This time it's a lot better. The board has drive now and is much livelier now. Later I dismounted also the knubster or trailer fin and it got even better.
The board still isn't a small waver shredder but the twin opens up a bigger range to use the board to low end.

But twins doesn't make every board better. And still most used setup is the trustee. And the quad is told to be fast accelerating and faster as the thruster, the opposite what I felt. And what would happen when some retro Keel Fin's where mounted to my board. Would I get even more drive and acceleration?

So I thought we maybe can dive deeper than the standard manufacture marketing talk and discuss if fin setups in general feel the same or depends it on the type of board which I use?

I hope you understand what I try to figure out, english is not my default language;)

??peace

malas
16 posts
8 Feb 2024 9:40AM
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In the distant past I prone surfed single fins then thrusters and twins, never liked quads as I felt they tracked.
Since I started SUP I've really liked the large US box tail fin and smaller side set ups. Reminds me of my single fin days. Like the speed of smik bonzer though.
Best surfer I ever knew was Evan Jones from the NSW south coast, he hand foiled his own and always used large twin fins. His opinion was multifins it wasn't the size of the fins but their position in relation to each other that was most important in controlling looseness/stiffness.
Jim Banks has some interesting stuff on YouTube.
(Im a intermediate only)

Tardy
4906 posts
8 Feb 2024 11:06AM
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I have found that you need thin flexible fins so you can pump the board up and gain speed ,stiff fins I find are fast also but lots of drive and stiff ,harder to push on ,so its the opposite to windsurfing ,I like fibreglass fins for surfing with flex ,
I only use quads because my boards have wide tails ,some boards will suit other combos ,
After buying a board I try lots of combos to find what suits the board the best ,and also suits the wave and way I ride my boards ,then I usually stick with that combo .
So I have found front two fins flexible and the rear two slightly stiffer ,to give you the drive on the bottom hand turn .
You can over fin your board and it will feel like you are dragging something ,It usually takes me about 2- 5 surfs on one board
to find out what i like best, sometimes I come straight back in after one wave and change as I know straight away I have too much fin
and I cannot turn it as fast as I would like ,try a few fins and different combos until you find what you like ,it is a personal preference for everybody ,I hope you find yours .

colas
4972 posts
8 Feb 2024 3:51PM
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Select to expand quote
Tardy said..
so you can pump the board up and gain speed


BalticFlip, this is the most important point.

The first thing to learn is how to generate speed, then you can think about the fins.
Generating speed is done by two things:

[1] staying in the power part of the wave: the "curl", the "pocket", basically where it is the steepest. Learn to read the wave and turn to stay there to "tap the juice"
[2] pumping the board, pushing on the legs in sync with the wave and board to generate speed, just like you generate speed on a swing. Once you feel it is happening, it is obvious, it is unmistakable. You must then add one "swing pump" to your turns to generate speed by your turns. Trying to pump a skate on land will help a lot, too.

And then, as Tardy said, your choice of fins will be the ones that help you reach these 2 goals, depending on your technique, waves, and board.

www.surfer.com/how-to/pumping-maintain-speed-step-by-step-instruction-tutorial

tutorials.barefootsurftravel.com/articles/generate-speed-surfboard/

upsurfcoaching.co.nz/speed-generation-surfing-small-fast-waves/







Bighugg
481 posts
9 Feb 2024 2:00AM
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Hi, could you give , board fin setup pic, brand n size specs . Fin box types.
This may help others with same to give their best working setups.
I'm similar to Tardy with fin trials .
and the feel of NAY / wrong / drag or YAY / WOW can be instant or MMMmmm... what wave do I want to try this on..
and with an asortment of fins have recently been working a pattern though my older boards ,
Disclaimer ; re board Fin boxs ;
only 1x Furtures of Quad n Center box , 1x FCS1 n center.
All others have; Center box with SMIK /Starboard/GEARBOX slot fin side boxs
that will exchange Twin Tab, Hanalei and other longer base fins in Front and Rears ,
Starting with Singles, 11" then working down, 2 n1 mixes, Quad / reverse Quad mixes, Big Twins only / Keels / Twins with trailers.
Thin fins, Fat, foiled, deep foiled, raked, pivot.
Extra Cant can be a hiden turning Gem , but can be wild when pumping from the nose on some boards
For slower, fat or small waves ; 2n1, small Extra Cant sides with Pivot Cutaway , XL Twins,
or Quad, small Extra Cant fronts with rears Pivot S to L, is loose or stepup to, L - XL Flip Tips or QUOBBA rears has more drive/ hold with quick turns.
ENJOY

BalticFlip
10 posts
9 Feb 2024 7:43PM
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Thanks for all your answers.

Of course ive to work my technik but who doesnt if not a payed fulltime waterman.

My Boards mostly had all FCS II. Only the very first F2 (US, FCS) and scnd Coreban Vibe (Futures) had other boxes.
The following boards where all Gong from france.

There was 2x the MOB 7'6'' one 105L one 120L which only worked as quad because the wide tail as tardy said. The 120L had the thruster option the 105 was 1 Generation later and the Centerbox was gone. Ive used FCS II MickFanning Fronts L and Carver Glas Flex Rears(flat). I had drive and loseness and did not felt anything bad about the fins. That's why i kept the fins because i thought it would work best for me and it would always stay that way.

Next one was a Zero 9'0''. US Center Box FCS II Side Box. Ive never tested the orig. Gong 9isch Center Fin. Ive mounted a Harley Ingleby 5.5''
and some sidefins. Ive played with Center Fin Position, worked best in the front third of the box. I had enough drive to go through lulls could go radical and fast in control, was able to slash a backside topturn and that all with a longboard. Really a great board, stable easy going and surfing limited only by its pilot. I miss this board and would direct take the same fins because it felt just right for me.

Then I wanted something light and compact with no swingweight for the "good" days when no chop and minimal wind so I got my hands on a Fatal 7'4'' 108L. Immediatly the bad awakening, I had to start in deeper section and lulls are not easy to go through because I had much less glide now. When you read marketing of fin manufacture you get the idea twins could be the answer because of sooo much drive. Tested once AM Twin with trailer, felt wrong. MF Thruster Setup mounted, was the best choice. Board is in Sweden now. Miss it a little but, because I had alot fun on Vacation at beachbreaks in france. Surfing atlantic ground swell instead of baltic wind swell makes of course the biggest difference, thats why most watersports adicted people have a board quiver and not one board for all.

Now I have a Karmen 8'4'' one board quiver (lol) classic outline much more rocker, much thinner tail, 5 fin option. Because I've done well with the MF's up to this point, I tested them on vacation in France. We had good waves and you immediately noticed that something was different here. I couldn't tell directly if it was the rocker, outline, thin tail or fins. But I could only change the fins so I tried. MF Front - Performer Rear, MF - Carver Rears 50/50, MF - Carver Sides (flat), MF Thruster, Performer Quad, Performer Thruster. By my standards the waves were very good and had power (10 -15sec).
On vacation I noticed that the Quad was slower and very raily. Back home in the onshore slob you feel it 5 times more because you are riding in the lower limit range. Anyway, I've tested the Karmen so far with:
Quad - sticky, raily, like having a huge bush of grass draging under water on the leash.
Thruster - similar to Quad but noticeably better in all aspects, very controlled, maybe best option for punchy fast atlantic waves
Twin - completely different board, fast, free, easy to edge over, handbrake released
Twin + Trailer - Like twin but less variable, probably better for more control
Keel retro(no Name China) - still on the way to me, hope for more drive but more control than twin, still variable as no trailer needed.
I cant test Single Fin and 2+1. Reverse quad (u mentioned fronts and rears changed (or turn the tip foreward))should also not work in my case, because I think the rear sides in general are the brakes (perhaps to much toe and/or cant). How do u get extra cant? Do u customise your fins? Making fins shorter is easy as breathing but adding cant should take some more brain and tools. Unfortunately FCS doesn't give very precise specs of their fins, so how do you know such precise data? Any Suggestions for flexi Twins?

Now I've talked a lot about the boards, even though I wanted to avoid it. So let me remind again, I want to know more about what you can get out of fins instead of talking about weaknesses of boards or their alternatives, because there is a excellent thread about small wave SUP's already here in the forum.

So good so far, best regards!














theSeb
228 posts
10 Feb 2024 12:36AM
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I like quad setups and I find that I prefer larger front fins. When I first got my 8.8 Spice my first session was on the stock Starboard carbon fins (4.7" front, 4.5" rear). They felt great in the 3-4 foot conditions. But after the swell dropped a few days later the board felt a bit dead to pump and generate speed in 2-3 foot conditions. I also didn't like the fact that a board with FCS II boxes came with FCS I fins.

So I bought a set of larger MR FCS II twins and a quad set of AM FCS II fins. I run the AM fins on the rear and they are about the same size as the stock carbon 4.5" fins. The board feels much more alive and happier to generate speed. I use the MR fronts day to day, but once it gets to over 5 foot, I switch back to smaller AM FCS II fronts, which are about the same size as the 4.7" Starboard fins. The MR fins felt great in 3-5 and I haven't tried them yet with anything bigger. I probably should try.

You can see here how much bigger the MRs are in comparison to the Starboard 4.7" fins. I think they are about the same size as the 5.5" Starboard fins. I was too lazy to dig out the carbon 4.7" fins from the fin wallet in my car, so I am using "armacore" Starboard fins for the comparison, but the shape and size is the same as the carbon ones



My 8' Hypernut came with 5.5" fronts and 4.5" rears. I broke one of the fronts (I have a bad habit of doing this) and the 5.5" fins weren't in stock. So I bought the biggest FCS I fins I could find in my local surf shop without realising how big they actually are. They are comical in size, but I really enjoy them on the Hypernut and I find that they help me to drive out of a bottom turn and the board feels great in the 1 to 4 foot range that I normally use it in.



I suspect that my preference for larger front fins could be related to my size.

micksmith
VIC, 1672 posts
10 Feb 2024 2:08PM
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Board : Smick spitfire 7.10" x 27"
Fins. : Rob Machado Seasiders Quad
Rider. : 80-82 kg , 62yrs, heavy back foot surfer

These quads combined with the smick spitfire are a dynamic duo, by far my favourite fins in waves faces up to roughly head high. They are a fair bit thinner than the fcs2 carver, performer as I had those ( not for long coz they crap ) because they're thinner they have some flex which I attribute to their performance characteristics, I'm no fin expert but I know what works and these babies work for me.

colas
4972 posts
10 Feb 2024 9:24PM
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As I owned/own also these boards, I can share some info.
Note that ONLY use quobba fins. The extra top speed (I'd say they provide about an extra 5% to your surfing speed limit) trumps anything other fins can offer for my personal taste.

Select to expand quote
BalticFlip said..
There was 2x the MOB 7'6'' one 105L one 120L which only worked as quad because the wide tail as tardy said. The 120L had the thruster option the 105 was 1 Generation later and the Centerbox was gone.


I have a Mob 7'6" 120L, but for my surfing (I favor my front foot), I found the rear fins too big. So I cut two Quobba M centers to 78mm as rear fins to loosen the tail:



Select to expand quote
BalticFlip said..
Next one was a Zero 9'0''.


I use 3 Quobba L on mine, with the center fin movable by hand on the water: forward for looseness in slow waves, back for better hold and drive in faster waves. See:
www.seabreeze.com.au/forums/Stand-Up-Paddle/SUP/Quobba-Fins-?page=7#2683476

Select to expand quote
BalticFlip said..
I got my hands on a Fatal 7'4'' 108L. Immediatly the bad awakening, I had to start in deeper section and lulls are not easy to go through because I had much less glide now. When you read marketing of fin manufacture you get the idea twins could be the answer


The front boxes are too forward to be used with only twins.
Real twin fin boards like the Infinity escape pod have their fin boxes between the front and rear boxes of a thruster:
infinitysurf.com/products/escape-pod

I use my Fatal 7'3" 105L with Quobba L sides and a L center fin cut to 103mm depth


Select to expand quote
BalticFlip said..
Now I have a Karmen 8'4'' one board quiver (lol) classic outline much more rocker, much thinner tail, 5 fin option.


The new Karmen shape is so perfect that I only use it nowadays, my other boards stay dry...
I sometime used quads in my old Karmen, as the rails had more volume in the tail and I needed more hold in bigger waves. But the thinner tail on the new Karmen shape holds well enough with a thruster
Quobba L in front, Quobba M center, on an US Box rail with a finjak to move it by hand on the water.

I tend to set it to 22cm in summer, and 24cm in winter (faster waves), distance on the stringer from leading edges of front and center fins.
The blue line:


My 3 custom Gong boards (I also have production Mob, Zero and Fatal in my quiver), all thruster setups with Quobba L fronts from top to bottom:
- the 7'11" 118L Karmen mentioned above, all around board. Standard Quobba M center on an US Box
- the 7'10" 112L Alley, with a slightly cut center L (removing the raked part, keeping the depth). Distance fixed to 28cm. Board for maximum looseness in hollowness.
- the 8'1" 114L Alley, with an even less cut center M (just squaring off the trailing tip). Distance fixed to 26cm. Board for maximum speed in flatter (fat) waves.




PS: All FCSII fin sizes are at:
www.surffcs.eu/pages/fcs-fin-data

BalticFlip
10 posts
14 Feb 2024 4:10AM
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After reading your experiences it seems, good to have larger front fins when its slow, round, mushy and the opposite when waves are fast, steep and pumping. The rear fins, i guess, seem to to be able to add control, loosnes, pivot or railed feel to the board. So thank you all so far.

I have now received the retro keels from china. The workmanship is not bad at all. They fitted cleanly into the board straight away. I'm curious to see how it works. Definitely a lot of fin than, but I think it looks harmonious on the board.

I made some comparision Pics. Maybe someone is curious how big they are.
www.seabreeze.com.au/img/photos/stand_up_paddle/20784488.jpg' />

Thanks for the FCS Specs Link. Good to know that there is a table for this. But it seems dates like cant and toe ive to get somewhere else.
Anyway.

Then ive found a video on Youtube i would like to share. I think if i found that earlier, then maybe i wouldnt have asked here.

?si=pPW5LF15SAXchF0I



colas
4972 posts
14 Feb 2024 3:11PM
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Select to expand quote
BalticFlip said..
But it seems dates like cant and toe ive to get somewhere else.


FCS fins have zero cant and toe, these are built into the boxes.
For instance the FCSII boxes are available in 0, 3, 5, and 9 degrees cants:
greenlightsurfsupply.com/collections/fcs/products/fcs2-fin-boxes
Gong uses 5 degrees I think.
But this can be tweaked at installation.

Only Futures have cant in the fins, and some rare fins have some toe, such as the K4 Ezzy that have 0 toe at the base but 3 at the tip:
www.k4fins.com/2016/06/22/toe-in/

BalticFlip
10 posts
16 Feb 2024 2:23AM
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Select to expand quote
colas said..

FCS fins have zero cant and toe, these are built into the boxes.
For instance the FCSII boxes are available in 0, 3, 5, and 9 degrees cants:
greenlightsurfsupply.com/collections/fcs/products/fcs2-fin-boxes
Gong uses 5 degrees I think.
But this can be tweaked at installation.



That was new for me. I thought this is the secret sauce to the fin. Thx Colas



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"Let's talk about Fin's" started by BalticFlip