A question about fins for the surfers out there..?

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chris-uk
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A question about fins for the surfers out there..?

Post by chris-uk » Sun Mar 16, 2008 4:47 pm

If you are surfing a HP surf kayak how many fins do you put in the boat? I am asking simply because I have a friend who has just got a Prowler which he keeps using with one fin, or none at all!!!

I have experimented with fins a lot, as some of you know, but I am having trouble convincing him that the Prowler needs to be surfed with three fins in. What are your thoughts and why? Would you surf your HP boat without fins in?

Thanks for your thoughts...

Chris

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Post by av.surfer » Sun Mar 16, 2008 6:09 pm

Small conditions or i want to be able to spin the boat easily or i want a loose feel i use x3 2" fins. Bigger days or on fast breaks for down the line speed i use x3 3.5" fins or i use two 2" fins on the outside boxes and a 3.5" fin in the centre thats for a Neutron, each boat will respond differantly due to the hull shape, rail and fin box position, in my old Slingshot i always surfed with three 3.5" fins. I always have them set to the front of the boxes, Personaly i would'nt surf a H/P boat without fins, kinda defeats the concept. I'm keen to try out a boat with the quad set up maybe next years new toy!!
Matt

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chris-uk
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Post by chris-uk » Sun Mar 16, 2008 7:42 pm

Leme know if you are ever down this way and you can try my Neutron RV or my Shortie, both have quads and rock!!!

Chris

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Post by av.surfer » Sun Mar 16, 2008 7:56 pm

Yeah that would be cool, What size fins do you use with the quad set up?
Does it make the boat any faster, looser feeling and or turn better?

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chris-uk
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Post by chris-uk » Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:04 pm

I have a variety of fins, fom 2.5" up to 4" in 0.5" increments. The beauty of quads is that you can make the boat as tight or loose as you like, but you get the tightness and drive without the risk of making it too stiff and/or getting that sudden release that can make your tail spin out and leave you facing the wave you were just riding!!! I can set the trailing fins well behind the leading fins without any stiffening of the ride, which gives great hold when surfing really steep waves. I think the quads also give you more speed because they maintain drive through every part of a turn, no matter how hard over you get onto the rail; my RV is the fastest boat I have ever surfed.

Chris

yellowboy
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Fins

Post by yellowboy » Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:57 am

You know if your mate is new to surfing a hp kayak then starting off with no fins will let the boat slide and out make it more forgiving, then his next progression would be 1 centre fin to add a littlemore grip and when he is totally comfortable he can/should move up to 3 fins. This is a process he shouldn't rush though as too much grip too early may simply result in him tripping over them and spending his surf sessions on his head! In surf kayaks the fins unfortunately do not add drive or thrust as with a surf board, but purely grip- the more grip you have, the less slide and more direction you will have which will then result in speed! The bigger the fins are, the more grip thus the more speed. So what he's doing by surfin his boat with no fins is ok for the short term while he gets to grips with it but to get the most from his prowler he should eventually get onto 3 fins then try and get them as big as he can(within reason 3.5"-4" is fine). As a rule of thumb, set the thrusters (side fins) in line with your hip, then move your centre fin forwards for smaller and slacker days and further back for those bigger and steeper days! Try out different fin shapes and sizes then try and stick to that set up in all conditions only moving that centre fin when you need to. I used to swap around fins all the time, but I found this usually ends up being more trouble than it's worth- keep it simple! Of course for those truly HUGE days you can always put a longer centre fin in.

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Peter Holgate
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Single Fin on Prowler

Post by Peter Holgate » Mon Mar 17, 2008 10:32 am

I think that a single fin on a prowler might just work as the boats rails cover the whole length of the boat also the twin tip should help to keep it stable. I would think that the fin would need to be 6" plus to have an effect though.

Chris. On your quad fin set up what fin shape are you using ? A left and right on each side or a pair of middle fins on each side? Can you feel the quad fins drive the boat more that a thruster set up?

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chris-uk
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Post by chris-uk » Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:01 pm

There is definately more drive through the turns with the quad set-up. My Shortie has five boxes in, which means you can swap from three to four fins during a session (unfortunately you can't do this with my Neutron as it was purpose built with four boxes). This lets you REALLY feel the difference. Where Nathan was saying about no drive from kayak fins it is because the fins are spread too far apart (due to the width of the boat). With quads you actually have the leading and trailing fins working together on each side of the boat (if they are set-up correctly). I got some great info on this off Bruce McKee, a guy who has done a massive amount with quads on both boards and wave skis.

As for fin types I currently use flat foils all round on my Shortie and centre fin trailers with flat foiled leaders on my Neutron. I use 3" all round on the Neutron because I have more fins in the water at any one time, so I can make them smaller, and 3" leaders with 2.5" trailers in the Shortie.

Chris

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Peter Holgate
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Side fins

Post by Peter Holgate » Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:45 pm

Have you tried the neutron with just side fins (one on each side)? I have it in mind to get a squirt boat with fin boxes and run it with outer fins ... working on the theory that I don't want to cause any further drag but still need something to hold the boat on line.

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micky.early
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Post by micky.early » Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:51 pm

Hi, i surf a prowler and have also tried with just 1 or 2 fins and find that its spends more time sideways and loves to spin. As the prowler spins well anyway, without fins I think that would be all you can do!

On another note has anybody ever tried using some sort of hydrofoil fin set up?

yellowboy
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quads

Post by yellowboy » Mon Mar 17, 2008 4:55 pm

This quad thig is intreguing me, your dead on with the lack of drive coming from the distance that the fins are apart... with the quads I would think that the thrust is created because you're getting around that problem. I imagine that when you're flying across a section the boat would be gripping and excelerating due to the two fins left in the water eaning right over creating this drive.Sounds like you are having a huge amount of drive across a wave.... When you drop down for an agressive bottom turn are you noticing the absence of your centre fin? Have you experimented with fins more simular to the ones found on board quads or are you using standard raked fins?

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chris-uk
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Post by chris-uk » Mon Mar 17, 2008 5:46 pm

I'm using Vince Shay flex fins, from Murky Waters. They have a good template, not too much flex, and they are very sturdy. They are much closer to a standard board fin template and have considerably less rake than the standard Mega fins.

The two big differences I have noticed when using quads instead of thrusters are, and this is all in my Shortie ('cos the RV doesn't have a centre box), 1) tighter turning arc, 2) more speed through the turn. I remember the first time I surfed with a friend of mine after installing the quad boxes on my Shortie, his comment was "I've never seen a boat turn so fast."

As far as missing my centre fin? I have yet to have an accidental spin in one of my quad boats, and I have surfed them in most wave sizes up to head-and-a-half (and steep to go with the size). I wouldn't say that I have the set-up spot on quite yet though, but time and money will tell as to wether I can improve on what I have got so far...

Chris

yellowboy
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quads

Post by yellowboy » Mon Mar 17, 2008 6:44 pm

Cool, thanks for answering me on those points... it's definatley got me thinking all day, I be there's loads of mileage in this quad thing, fin size, tow in angle, and where they're set in the boxes. I'll keep an eye out for you when I'm down your way next!

Nathan
www.dbxclusive.co.uk

yellowboy
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an interesting centre fin!

Post by yellowboy » Mon Mar 17, 2008 7:04 pm

I know your sold on the quads chris, but for any one else out there still experimenting with fin systems you should deffinately give this carbon centre fin a blast! The thought behind it is that during a bottom turn when you're cranked right over there is only the tip of the centre fin left in the water. Usually the tip of a fin has a small surface area so grip and therefore speed is lost through the turn- with this fin the larger area is at the tip so you can hold more speed through the bottom turn and get up to the lip with more punch- they're made in carbon so a bit pricey for the set, but dave will sell the centre fin individually too!
(the fins at the bottom of the page)
www.dbxclusive.co.uk/surf_accessories.htm

yb

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chris-uk
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Post by chris-uk » Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:32 am

If I still had a centre box I'd buy one!!! Great concept, good to see some innovation outside the boat :-)

Chris

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Post by mcattack » Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:46 pm

chris-uk wrote:If I still had a centre box I'd buy one!!! Great concept, good to see some innovation outside the boat :-)

Chris

Hi Chris i surf a Prowler with mostly two x 2.5" fins outside and one 3.5"
Reasearch & Motion centre, it sticks most situations. I do go for three 2.5" in smaller days when its 3ft.

Anyways i am itching to try the R.V is there any chance? Sorry if i seem a bit cheeky but i surf Bantham most weeks! Based in Paignton.

Thanks.

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Post by bigd942 » Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:35 pm

I rode my Fusion for about a month last year in twin fin setup, broke a fin and with no spare's it was the only option. Have to say those sessions were some of the most fun I had, had waves from 6ft+ down to 2ft. First few waves it felt like the tail was just sliding out too much, I changed my technique a little and lifted my beach side leg a little and it semed to sort that, dug the rail in a bit more basically. Seemed a little faster but hard to quantify, turns on the wave felt good the more used to it I got. Think I only realised the centre fin missing when I was out one day and the waves were closing out quite quickly, I was just missing that millisecond or two when I turned to the beach to escape getting dumped on and just didn't make it. Would recommend everyone try the twin setup for a few sessions. Anyone try the Bonzer setup, smaller side fins with a large centre fin, now sure how easyit'd be getting off the beach with that.

Dom

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Post by ChrisBainbridge » Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:42 pm

Hi, I am after new fins for my boat but have had real trouble finding small fins in the right fitting. You can get 6" longboard fins but 3" are impossible to come by. Any pointers to stockists would be much appreciated.

Thanks
Chris
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Post by younggun » Wed Mar 19, 2008 8:15 am

ChrisBainbridge wrote:Hi, I am after new fins for my boat but have had real trouble finding small fins in the right fitting. You can get 6" longboard fins but 3" are impossible to come by. Any pointers to stockists would be much appreciated.

Thanks
Chris
You can get some decent fins from here - http://www.ccak.co.uk/ but not cheap at £45-55 a set. Very nice though. Also try wild things - http://www.wildthings-canoes.co.uk/wave ... ipment.htm

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chris-uk
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Post by chris-uk » Wed Mar 19, 2008 8:36 am

Try Murky Waters, most durable fins I've ever had, great service too.

Chris

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chris-uk
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Post by chris-uk » Wed Mar 19, 2008 8:39 am

BigD: If you like the feeling of a twin set-up you should try quads. It's the best of both worlds!!!

Chris

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Post by yellowboy » Wed Mar 19, 2008 8:50 pm

And try Dave on dave@dbxclusive.co.uk he stocks carbon and plastic fins-he's based in Chester so you can expect a super fast delivery as well as his good mannered costumer service. You can email him but best to ring him for a good chatt on 01244881400 he'l sort you out!

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