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how to choose a freestyle fin for new board
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amarie



Joined: 25 Aug 2003
Posts: 146

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:27 am    Post subject: how to choose a freestyle fin for new board Reply with quote

I recently upgraded my board to the 85L fanatic freewave. I'm 120lbs and coming from an 80L prior, this board is feeling too big for me. It rides smooth, but sluggish. I really didn't want a Buick. But I did want something floaty for trying new freestyle moves (working on vulcan stuff now) and for lighter wave days. A friend says I should not give up on the board until I try out different fin setups, because the factory fin, 27cm, is probably too big.

So I'll probably actually get two new fins: a pure wave that's maybe around 21 cm, then also a freestyle fin. The area where I do freestyle has seaweed, and they do make a freestyle weed, but do these still work well for freestyle? Also, how do you pick a size? This is the one our local shop offers. http://worldwinds.net/index.php?page=store/item_view.php&pageid=44&item_id=A270

2 fins are expensive, so I wanted to get advice before buying. thank you.
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npiankov



Joined: 14 Oct 2004
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

27 is definitely too long for FS, especially at your weight and board size. Thinking about weed fins, you should get something no longer than 18cm. Here is one other option for you, slightly cheaper: http://www.makanifins.com/Windsurfing_Fins_Weed_Freemove_p/na001.htm
If you are really serious about freestyle, get the 15cm version - will be the right one for your small board. The main benefit of the small fin is really not that it slides better (it does, but it is minor benefit on the Vulcan), but that it forces you to ride much more upright rather than hiked out over the water. This is really the critical part of freestyle - you have to be over the board to make any of the jumpy moves.

But if the Vulcan is really a high priority, you should seriously consider a dedicated freestyle board. The FSW shape is really sub-optimal, especially if you are just learning. Just the curved nose by itself will make the Vulcan much harder. You really want a flatter nose that will catch quickly and make you spin. Also helps to have a fat tail which will not sink easily.

Good luck with it. Hopefully you'll get not just the Vulcan, but Spock too - that move is 10 times more fun.
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boardsurfr



Joined: 23 Aug 2001
Posts: 481

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agree with Nikita. One fin you could try is a 15 cm Kaku. My wife bought one based on a recommendation from Margaret at the Avon Sail House. She sailed it for the first time yesterday on 77 l Goya One, 4.7 m Ice, well powered. She was very happy with it. Her go-to fin up until today was a Makani Naia 18 cm, but she had problems going upwind with this fin the first few times she sailed it.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13265

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:20 pm    Post subject: Re: how to choose a freestyle fin for new board Reply with quote

amarie wrote:
fins are expensive, so I wanted to get advice before buying.

When the freestyle fever surged ahead of the design and availability of dedicated freestyle fins just a few years ago, many recreational and professional freestylers were simply cutting down larger fins. Think about that; if you're cutting down and refinishing a fin anyway, the condition of its edges is largely unimportant, and since top speed is no longer a goal, altered foils are not a big deal. Fins with ragged edges are pretty much free, and we're much more willing to whack away at a free or $5 fin than we are a $125 fin. Thus a first (and second, and third, ad finitum, until ya go too far) approximation is to get an old fin with an appropriate rake, compare it to a new $125 freestyle fin, remove from the old fin whatever doesn't look like the new fin, and smooth/fair/bevel the edges. Keep removing material, primarily length, until it's as loose as you want. Most swap meets include a box of old fins for dirt cheap, if not free.

Mike \m/
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RickCronk



Joined: 08 Jul 2004
Posts: 139

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm new to short board freestyle, but know about dealing with weeds. I've recently been using the Makani Naia in 21cm and 24 cm. These fins have successfully shed any weeds both on our local waters, and on Hatteras. They've also proven themselves to me, to be fast, quick to plane and once powered up, stayed up wind pretty well.
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windsass01



Joined: 09 Jun 2005
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The new Makani Koi weed works great! I have it in 15cm. For spins and slides it's loose, but it has more surface area than regular freestyle fins so it offers more grip in a straight line. Because of this fin, I no longer dread packing my regular Koi's away when the weeds show up.
I have used it to do some light wind wave sailing on my freestyle board and it works, but is not the same as a true wave fin. I would recommend the 18 Naia as well if you're scared of dropping to 15cm, but nothing bigger if you seriously want to learn the Vulcan. Too big a fin is your greatest enemy with that move.
Makani fins are rider developed in real world conditions so if you deal with weeds you can bet they're were tested in weedy conditions (Mike Burns and myself put the Koi weed to the test on the south shore of long island before Makani put it into production)
Good luck!
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amarie



Joined: 25 Aug 2003
Posts: 146

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you! These are all good things to think about. I'll check out your suggestions.
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2142

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, much smaller fin.
16-18 pure wave is plenty for your weight, up to 5.3 sails.
Cutting down a pure wave fin might be one cure, as you can buy them for 10 bucks at swap meets.
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amarie



Joined: 25 Aug 2003
Posts: 146

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zirtaeb--when you say 16-18 pure wave you mean just a regular wave fin, right? Not a weed or freestyle?

I'll have to check the size of my old fin...I've never thought about this much before. Zirtaeb and Isobars--I did think about the grinding thing. I remember grinding down my first fin years ago (A box, it's lasted me forever). The only problem here is that regular power box fins can always be found in the bargain bin, but weed fins are tough to find used. But I'll keep an eye out.
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LeeD



Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 969

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Short wave fins shed weeds very well. It's 20+ that catches the weeds on the base of the leading edge.
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