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Soft formula fin for less than a bazillion dollars?
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2403

PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kashy fins are used by most of the 25 Formula guys I see at the CalCup races. They can command a high price.
I suspect, just for recreational sailing, you don't need a high end Formula racing fin just to plane up early. Depending on a 11 or 12 meter sail, and preferences, pumping skills, size of rider, most any 70 is sufficient for the job, since you don't need top end control, as you can just downsize the sail when the winds hit 18.
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KevinDo



Joined: 02 Jul 2012
Posts: 422
Location: Cabrillo Inside

PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zirtaeb wrote:
Kashy fins are used by most of the 25 Formula guys I see at the CalCup races. They can command a high price.
I suspect, just for recreational sailing, you don't need a high end Formula racing fin just to plane up early. Depending on a 11 or 12 meter sail, and preferences, pumping skills, size of rider, most any 70 is sufficient for the job, since you don't need top end control, as you can just downsize the sail when the winds hit 18.


If I was tight on a budget or just a rec sailor the true ames formula for $176** at windance definitely catches my attention. $176 for a 70cm fin...damn!

-Kevin

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konajoe



Joined: 28 Feb 2010
Posts: 177

PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone want to try to give an explanation of why one would want a flexy fin when pumping or when marginally powered? Seems like you would want the opposite. Wouldn't a flexed fin generate less lift?
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't.
I'd want a stiffer fin for underpowered or pumping myself.
Our Deb R-14 is very stiff.
Our F-4 seems very soft, and recommended by most everyone for our winds of 15-25 mph.
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KevinDo



Joined: 02 Jul 2012
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Location: Cabrillo Inside

PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It has been discussed a lot on seabreeze and many consider it to be a "myth" that a softer fin generates more lift. I myself personally am not a formula sailor so I have no clue when it comes to fins larger than 37cm....I myself though personally prefer stiffer fins for higher winds.
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Sailboarder



Joined: 10 Apr 2011
Posts: 443

PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My personal theory is that a soft fin is not more efficient, but is easier to pump.

When correctly powered I regularly initiate planing on my Kona with one strong pump. I let the board roll a bit to leeward, push hard on the board to force it to a windward roll. I then clearly feel a "springy" response that pops the board up and into a plane. The feeling is similar to a trampoline giving back the stored energy. This happens with the stock 46 fin, and I cannot do it with my stiffer (alas also different) weed fin. Although I cannot prove it, my senses tell me that the flexible fin is responsible for this.

When marginally powered, I'm still unable to pump the fin to initiate early planing. But I guess the popping described above can be put to good use.
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d0uglass



Joined: 28 May 2004
Posts: 1084
Location: Bonita Springs, Florida

PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm... that's a darn good price on the True Ames. Looks like an older design and less fancy material so probably won't be streaking ahead of the competition on it, but it might fit the bill of being more lifty / early planing than the 85 -15 Curtis carbon fin I'm using.

"This design is an all around offering. It is best suited for mid to light wind ranges, starting at 7 or 8 kts. Manufactured in G-10 carbon, it does have some give so it's best for medium to light weight sailors who require some flex in their fins."

Anyone used a True Ames formula fin before? Impressions?

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bred2shred



Joined: 02 May 2000
Posts: 660
Location: Jersey Shore

PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

d0uglass wrote:
Anyone used a True Ames formula fin before? Impressions?


I have one sitting in my basement from ten years ago. It's probably the same as what they offer today. To be honest, I only used it a handfull of times, but as I recall, it was way off pace from the other brand formula fins at the time. I bought a pair of Select fins that were much better but were still not as good as Dave's (Kashy) fins. I did a little testing with his fins back when he was first starting to develop formula fins and the performance was substanitally better - essentially pointed about five degrees higher but at the same speed as my Selects.

The fun part of formula sailing (for me) is sailing with the board lit up. The only way you're going to get that is with a fin that has some drive. The true ames will probably be OK if you want to putz around, but if you want to get really wound up, I don't think it will do the trick. They are machined fiberglass fins (the two strips of carbon are too close to the centerline of the fin to add much stiffness) that just don't have a lot of drive.

sm
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d0uglass



Joined: 28 May 2004
Posts: 1084
Location: Bonita Springs, Florida

PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I lived in Virginia from 2002-2008 and sometimes sailed with Dave Kashy.

At first the difference between his homemade fins and everybody else' fins wasn't obvious. If you really strained you could almost keep up with him for a little while with your basic Curtis or True Ames fin or whatever.

But then there was some point where he seemed to have a fin-making breakthrough, and after that his speed and angle were leaps and bounds better than you could even dream of with normal fins. I remember sailing with him in the York River one day, using my starboard F158 with the stock Drake fin. I was totally dialed in and powered up (or so I thought), but he mowed right past me, seeming to be going 10 mph faster and 10 degrees higher.

So I'm pretty convinced that the formula fin advances of the last 10 years are real and substantial. And I probably won't get the True Ames if it's really just the 10 year old design.

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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2403

PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Handicapping yourself with a Curtis fin and FreeFormula is a good way to go 2mph and 5 degrees slower/lower.
OP's basic fin is plenty good for early planing, if he makes it thinner on the trailing edge with some angle grinder, orbital, and hand sanding.
Getting a TA, Rainbow, or Finworks is a little less draggy.
A top end Formula fin needs perfect power (11 meters in 16mph winds), good early planing technique, and no shallow rocky bottoms.
You make your choices, pay your dollars, and get what you get.
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