As the sport of SUP keeps on growing , it simply gets better and better and better!🎉 And so does the product! As the sport grows, and there is more product to choose from it can be hard to know the good from well the not so good. That’s why you have us😎Christos and I do our best to connecting you to the most current information. We product test everything, agree, disagree and believe it or not, that’s the best! See not all one size fits all. We trial and error, travel, research, simple put, we do our due dillagence. We try to keep it simple, just like the boutique storefront, boards, paddles, leashes, accessories, essentials, the must haves. Our research is endless, at times overwhelming, but its all so exciting because WE LOVE IT❤️. For us A big part of our Stoke is the SUP community. Knowing who to listen to and follow is key. Lots of cowboys out there pushing there own agenda, but hey that’s life right? There’s lessons in all of it🙏🏽 We have reached out to a few of our Trusted friends, colleagues and simply great humans to share with you there take on Finz . We think you are going to dig it 🙌🏽
And yes we are always here to answer all your questions! We love 💕 it! And will continue to do our best to connect you with the most current information and trusted sources.
If you are just getting into the sport of SUP for fun, own a Rec board, maybe purchased your first race board or maybe you have been racing for a while. Wherever you are at, You will definitely take something away from this read. I sure had a great time researching, learning and updating myself more on Finz. I might just even have to add a new one or 2 to my own collection.
(A few of Leah’s Finz)
Some of my colleagues and friends sent in videos, photos and some wrote a few words. Enjoy!
At the end of the day #SupIsForEveryone, this is a new hashtag that caught my eye while fin talking with Jermaine Vaine. Thanks for the awsome hashtag and here is a few of his highlights on fin talk.
“Picking a fin for a standup paddle board is pretty difficult due to all the variables and what each fin design gives you in return. Having the correct fin could be the difference of finishing on the podium or fighting to stay dry. This is why there are multiple fin companies and each company having many different designs and styles. One of the leading innovators and designers is Larry Allison who does great tutorials on fin design and fin placement. With each race fin being between $50 and $100, this makes having multiple fins an added cost to the sport.
Fins are not unique to SUP. In fact, most watercrafts have some version of this. A sailboat for example has a keel, dagger board/center board beneath the boat to help the boat track straight. The wind would push a sailboat sideways if it didn’t have a keel but with one, it converts the sideways motion from the wind into forward motion. This is the very rudimentary aspect of what a keel of a sailboat does. It goes to say if you paddle without a fin, you will quickly find out that you will have to switch sides after each stroke to be able to paddle straight. Once you add the fin to the SUP, the water running along the fin converts the energy out the back of the board.
Each fin has four dimensions and knowing what each does will help you out:
Height will have a direct relation to the surface area. More surface area better tracking and stability.
The base width, just like the height will have a direct relation to the surface area. A wider base will track better and narrower base will pivot easier.
The rake of a fin is how far back does a fin exceed pass the end of the base. This is one of the most critical elements dictating fin performance. More rake will help the performance and turning ability. Having less rake will provide you to pivot easier(buoy turns) and more called a downwind fin. Having less rake may increase drag and the chances of snagging seaweed and other unwanted objects.
The last dimension is area, which is the overall surface area of the fin. If the fin has more surface area then you may see increased stability.
Different fin designs are specific for certain conditions. Some fins are made for flat water, others for downwind or open ocean paddling. Knowing which fin design to pick and for which race might be intimidating. Let’s break it down.
Starting with stability, depending on the size and shape of the fin your board might be more or less stable. A fin helps in what’s called transverse stability. Transverse stability is the left and right rolling of the board. Having more surface area under the water line will increase the transverse stability, which will aid to slow the rolling motion of the board. The fin that best shows this is Triangle Fin from Future Fin. The wide base will keep the board tracking straight, and the height, which acts as a righting arm to help with stability. The wide base and height will have an increase surface area, which means added stability. The downside of having more surface area or a larger fin is the increase in drag and decrease in the ability to maneuver. But the fin shown below is a great all around fin for a paddler. The fin is also available in different heights to fit your paddling abilities
Another fin design is an upright concept or less rake. This design is best for pivoting or paddling in a down winder. This fin shown is called the Hawaii Down Winder by Future Fins. When the fin has less rake, it may be subject to more drag and snagging unwanted floating debris like seaweed. The downwind style fin is a more agile fin, which will help with keeping the tail of the board loose. Having a loose tail will help to adapt to ocean conditions in a downwind situation. While paddling in a downwinder, you will have to change direction to the left and right to be able to catch each bump. But having a fin that is more agile will reduce stability in most cases.
So now take a wide base for tracking purposes, a short height to reduce drag but an increase rake to increase the agility and performance. With that combination you get what Future fins calls a Carbon Keel. You see more experienced paddlers using it due the possible decrease of stability. With a shorter height of the fin, a larger or taller paddler will feel a difference. A tall person has an elevated center of gravity compared to a shorter person. With a higher center of gravity you’ll feel an advantage of having a longer fin. The advantages of this fin is that it allows the water flow be closer to the board which will increase the speed. The increase of speed is from directing the flow of the water out the back of the board more efficiently.
Over the years, the trend in board design is that they are getting narrower and narrower. With a narrow board comes the inherent stability issues but also increases speed. Board and Fin designers are working on how to make a board more stable without sacrificing speed. One popular addition is a forward fin or foil just forward of your standing area. The fin does not have to be large for you to notice a difference. The extra fin will help in tracking and traverse stability of the board. With having a forward fin on a wider board then you can reduce the size of your fin on the tail. The two-fin set up has been popular with the unlimited SUP’s because its helps keeping a 18 foot board straight.
I touched upon three styles of fins, which I hope gives up a general sense of how complex the fin design is. If there were a perfect fin for all conditions, then the pick would be easy. A little about my racing setup- Majority of the 2016 race season I paddled a 24.5 inch wide race board by Speedboard USA. My two fins were the Triangle Fin and the Keel Fin both from future fins. I am not endorsed by future fins but I do like their product. My last race of the season I experimented with a fin forward of the standing area on a 21 inch wide board. I did see increase stability while the forward fin was installed. I am looking forward to what the future of the sport holds and how it will evolve.”
(You know your biting at the bullet right now to go play with some new rigs😊)
Here’s a great clip, sent to me by our Starboard Badass Rep, Tony Weaver.
THANKS TONY, ENJOY:)
Here’s a few words by Cape Cod Sup Girl aka Miclle Currier.
When I head out on the water for SUP training I always make sure I have the right equipment to help improve my paddling and that includes the right fin. For training and racing I have a TIGER v2 Pro Carbon SUP Race Fin. This Fin was designed by the Black Project team located in Maui, Hawaii and headed by founder and owner Chris Freeman. This fin is ideal as it handles all types of water conditions from flat water to crushing it through the surf. The TIGER makes practicing buoying turns with ease and the light weight structure reduces drag when working on increasing speed for racing. For a downwinder and open ocean training, my go to fin for these conditions is the MALIKO v2 Pro Carbon SUP Race Fin, another Fin from the Black Project out of Maui, Hawaii. This fin requires less correcting during a downwinder and provides extra stability during an open session through choppy waters. Both fins perform very well under all water conditions and also look pretty good on my board. I am pretty stoked for the race season as a team rider for Black Project as I will be able to show what these fins can really do. http://www.blackprojectfins.com/
See you on the water