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Unregistered 13th March 2008 02:49 AM

FIn for f161 high wind

i would like to know what if there is a better fin for formula 161 in higwinds. I've got r19 s-- and r13 hard+. The second one works fine buy would the r13 medium be better.
My weight is 105 kg. The r19 seems to powerful ind highwind.

thanks, Peter

Remi 13th March 2008 01:13 PM

Hi Peter,

I am only 82kg and use the R13 soft rake + 6cm in strong winds.

Hope this can help.

All the best

Ken 13th March 2008 09:37 PM


I know you have said this before, but I am confused. I thought soft fins provided better light wind performance, but were more difficult to control in high winds. Just the opposite with hard fins. What gives?

SeanAUS120 16th March 2008 08:07 PM


I think you will find that statement to have been true about 3-4 seasons ago, but it doesn't apply to the current gear.

Since the 160 (and now 161, 162). The tail-widths of the FW boards have increased dramatically; the same for nearly all board brands, not just Starboards. As a result, with even more power from the tail of the board we can run bigger and more powerful fins than ever before.

Although cutdown fins have been around a long time, they probably weren't as mainstream back in the 147/158 days, but now look at the R19 (as a 76cm cutdown), which is the "standard" foil to come with a 161/162 board.

If you want more power in a fin, generally speaking, you make it bigger (ie, a cutdown) or you make it softer. So now we are seeing more people using soft fins in all conditions, not just lightwinds. And some (myself included), using one fin for nearly all conditions - the lightwind fin that works great in highwinds.

So with the extra control we now have with our wider tail boards and everyone using softer and softer fins, the brands have worked on the nose shapes, making them thinner and more boat-like (specifically on the 162), which has allowed us to control these soft powerful fins downwind, where before it was uncomfortable with such power under your feet.

Another aspect that I suspect that plays a role is the "twist" in these fins. Specifically, in this topic we are talking about an R13-S for highwinds (vs an R13-H). I haven't tried this with a H fin, but with my M fins, there is less twist than in the S fins. Similar tortional stiffness, but less twist the stiffer they are. I suspect this extra twist in the softer fins allows them to depower as they flex when you sail downwind and help with control, whereas a M fin would be trickier downwind and a H fin even trickier again (that's a very basic explanation of how it works, but enough to make a point).

So, my point was.... Yes, an R13 70 S would be best for highwind. I personally use +8cm, but Remi likes +6cm rake. We are both 82kg. And now, because of the board's tail-widths, softer fins are better for highwinds. Maybe not S--, but a S compared to a H at least...

Ken 18th March 2008 12:49 AM


Thanks for the explanation. While I sail my F160 a lot, I only race it 5-6 times a year, so investing in a quiver of fins doesn't make a lot of sense for me. However, I have an
4 year old R13-m (don't know the rake) and use it for all sailing except for high wind (20+ knots is high wind for me). I have an older Curtis 68cm fin, which is stiff and seems to offer better control in the higher winds, but doesn't point well unless I have a lot of board speed, which I normally can't maintain in rough choppy water.

My understand from Remi some time ago was the the Drake fin that came with the F160 was similar to a R13-S. If that is so, wouldn't it be an option for higher winds? I haven't tried is in higher winds, plus I am pretty sure that it doesn't offer any advantage over the R13-m in light to moderate winds.


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