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how to choose a freestyle fin for new board
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U2U2U2



Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 3114
Location: Shipsterns Bluff, Tasmania. Colorado

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the Naia , Makani fin. It does what it says on the tin lid. The Koi I have not seen in person, I would consider it more dedicated F/S , small in size , very small. I would consider the weeds similar at Bird Island Corpus Christi or Hatteras sound.

While I like MFC fins the one you posted does not appeal to me as a weed/Freestyle weapon.

Using small fins in Hatteras sound, like 13cm and below on a quad I find that the leading edge still needs to be raked weed , if powered up , doesn't matter much but for marginal or early planing they certainly work better.
I would not count on a wave fin to do what you are looking for.

Andy at Wind NC would be a great resource for your question, his wife as well, and they carry the Makani s

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mewindsurf



Joined: 30 Jun 2000
Posts: 136

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're serious about trying some freestyle, you're much better off purchasing a new freestyle weed over cutting one down. When we used to have to cut the larger fins down, many times the overly thick foil would be worse than dragging the weeds around! So we'd put the cut down weedfin back and deal with the weeds on the normal fin. The tip of a cut down fin will no longer flex causing spinout in an instant, and the overly thick foil will leave you going soooo slow that it will really make air tricks very difficult compared to having a proper foil on the fin. With so little surface area, we already loose a lot of speed and planing ability compared to the same board with a larger fin. So having a properly shaped freestyle fin makes a world of difference.

In reality every little defect in a 15 cm fin will have more of an effect on the performance than the same defects in a 30 cm fin since the defect is taking up twice the real estate on the smaller fin. I can drag around weeds all day on my 38cm slalom fin and keep going straight. One little strand of weed on a 16 cm freestyle fin and it's over!

The 15 cm Koi weed from Makani is the best one on the market right now for dedicated freestyle. I've tried them all! That MFC one you have in the pic is going to work against you more than you realize. Too much rake for a small fin will keep you constantly trying to pinch upwind with little success. Then sliding that thing backwards, I wouldn't even think about!!! The pointy trailing edge will wrap back up on you the second you hit the water fin first. Having a fin easily break free while sliding helps more than anything else when learning your first sliding tricks.

If you do decide to cut one down, there are two main things to keep in mind. Thin out the tip enough so that it can flex a bit. It will give you better traction and better pop. Then make sure the trailing edge isn't sticking out too far backwards. The further back that the bottom trailing edge of the fin is, the less leverage you'll have over it sliding backwards. The major problem you'll be left with is the thickness, which you're not going to be able to fix yourself without screwing up the flow of the foil. Remember, the only reason we used to cut the fins down is because there was no other option!!! I would have killed to have a proper foil on a small weed fin 10 years ago!!

I'm alway happy to give some pointers on learning any of those tricks too if you need help. Glad to have another freestyler among us!!

Happy sailing,

Mike Burns
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U2U2U2



Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 3114
Location: Shipsterns Bluff, Tasmania. Colorado

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Mikes observations.The majority of freestyle moves I make are un- intentional .

I do think you can cut a fin down, but the store bought version will be better, thick leading edge is only 1 of the issues.


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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14635

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

amarie wrote:
I did think about the grinding thing

I'd cut rather than grind, a la U2**3's photo above. Grinding would create a hazardous mess, and you'd be doing enough of that just beveling the cut edges. (Most of the cut-downs I saw were primarily shortened, more than reshaped from top to bottom.) I'm sure you know, too, that Mike Burns is right in the long term; a fin designed from the outset for freestyle will work far better than something homemade. Cutting something down is for cheap experimentation, not long term satisfaction or optimal performance. Besides, FS has been around long enough now that excellent FS fins are hitting the swap meets. I've paid as little as $25 for unused, current year, top brand FS fins. Mike has "tried them all", so surely he has some great fins he'd like to unload.

Mike \m/
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mewindsurf



Joined: 30 Jun 2000
Posts: 136

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

haha!!! I do have lots of extra fins, but I'm keeping them around just for the memories. I attached a pic of a few of the clunkers and prototypes I still have kicking around. The two white Makani freestyle fins are the prototypes that lead to the current production Makani Koi Weed. Notice how they're sitting forward on the box compared to the some of the other models to help the spin-ability and keep the center of effort where it was designed to be under the tail of the board.

This shot brings me back through the evolution from the first cut down weeder I made, similar to the blue Orca/G-sport I have in the shot, to the cut down MFC San Carlos wave/weed, and now all the selections that Makani has to offer. I remember hitting my first spock the same day I cut down my first fin.. a red 21 cm trueames blade weed. Ah the memories......

I know I've got more fins around somewhere but I've given most away over the years to needy beginner freestylers. I also didn't feel like taking the fins I'm using now off the boards for the shot. You can see them on the Makani website!

Now I really want to get out there and use them!!



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mewindsurf



Joined: 30 Jun 2000
Posts: 136

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And yes, iso is right. Cut the edges to get the shape you want, then sand it to thin it out. A grinder will leave all sorts of dings in the fin. But if you can fork over $100.00, there's nothing like a fin shaped specifically for freestyle!
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U2U2U2



Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 3114
Location: Shipsterns Bluff, Tasmania. Colorado

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

15% off till Christmas

http://www.makanifins.com/Default.asp

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flaherty



Joined: 01 May 1997
Posts: 347

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea , that fin seems too big, but the board seems big for you. I weigh 140 lbs
so can somewhat relate. If it was me, before investing even 100 more dollars, I'd somehow try to borrow a smaller fin to try.
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2444

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think, don't be afraid to cut, sand, and refoil a fin.
I often do that in my quiver of 35 fins, and use my cutdown fins to sail with equal level sailors on Tetonics and full slalom boards. I'm always on some old (at least 10 years) freeride board with my cutdown fin.
Speed is determine by how powered you are, and how well you can fly the board.
How many of us can claim we can sail Bringdal speeds when he was sailing in 1991, with ANY kind of windsurfing gear?
Look at Naish in RIP. None of us can match that speed NOWADAZE, with the newest gear.
Cut with a jigsaw, sand. That's it.
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DanWeiss



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Posts: 1979
Location: Connecticut, USA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike and LeeD are correct. Cutting from the bottom leaves much to be desired.

Short of the very technical and often failed re-foiling as LeeD describes, cutting the fin at the root and re-potting often gives the best results. Epoxy and basic handy skills required, nothing more.

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