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juan1 29th October 2008 05:46 PM

DRAKE fins
hello all
ive read a lot around the conveniance of buying a better fin to upgrade your board, like vectors or deboichets or selects etc.
my isonic 101 came whith a 36 and 42 DRAKEs .
I understand starboard consider this fins really good for thir boards because will be of no sense to sell the board whith a fin that will cut down the performace of the board.
so how must I understand this???
is really a huge difference betwen fins
will really a "good " fin inprove the performace of my board?
will I notice the "good" fin?
regards juan1

Ola_H 29th October 2008 06:26 PM

The Starboard fins are designed by the best of the best and in that sense fully competitive. A lot of work has been put into the manufacturing too. But in the end, when it comes to small margins and extreme fine tuning, I think most serious racers will say a hand made top of the line product like Deboichet give a certain edge.

Personally I only sail slalom recreationally and for me the original fins works very well. I would probably be able to feel a slight difference in some situations with a genuine Deb fin, but prefer to spend time working on my technique and trim than to worry about it. As always, there is lots of psychology in this. If you beleive there is "something wrong" with your fin, it wil no doubt have an effect on your sailing. I did choose to get some more sizes of the Drake fins instead and I think this will help me delevelop my understanding of my own sailing and about board/sail trim better than to shell out for one single top of the line fin.

I think Ian can say more on this. He's both a better slalom sailor and involved in fin testing and design.

juan1 30th October 2008 12:12 AM

is good to read your opinion, and will save me a lot of money
this is what common sense was telling me
regards juan1

geo 30th October 2008 03:16 PM

That was what common sense was telling me too. Then I sailed my Sonic95 with stock fin once or twice. After that I cancelled order for more sizes in Drake fins and ordered Deboichets. I am not a racer, but difference was very clearly there, not psychology. I understand that was '06, now we are talking about '09 season and Drake fins are said to have evolved a lot, so maybe now those are really up to top fins or close to. Also, maybe lightweight Ola does not stress his slalom fins that much when sailing.
In the end my suggestion is: sail, test different fins, and buy only what you find you really need. Maybe (maybe) stock fins are not the perfect solution, but maybe those are good enough, and most of all are by sure a very good starting point.

sylvain_poulou 30th October 2008 11:33 PM

Hi everybody,

best thing to do is borrowing one from your friend, and testing it on the water (talking about deboichet, vectors, gasoil... Though deb is my choice)

I was quite intrigued by these products at first, but then I tried the sl2 38 on my 110lts board and then...

Incredible, power, gliding ability, control, pointing, even the jibe felt better and faster. I never thought it would be that obvious. So the best thing to do is try...

In general, I would say that you will get 10 to 20% more performance, and 20 to 30% of more polyvalent use. I explain this, 1 deboichet sl2 38 is better than 2 stock fins 40 and 36. But that's my opinion, just try!

On the other hand, I heard people improved their stock fins by sanding the profile, which gave them more lift and more glide...

juan1 31st October 2008 02:47 PM

now im more confused than in the begining, well perhaps more curious than anything
the idea to try different thing is good of course,but I have to admit that I find it difficult .
how can you distinguish the angle of attack upwind and the speed??
regards juan

geo 31st October 2008 09:35 PM

OK let's put it another way. I understand 100% your point of view: to test materials, you have to have them available, and to have the will to swap and test instead than just blazing around and have fun...
When I sailed my Sonic95 the first time, I immediately realized that there was something wrong with the fin, specifically it gave a bad feeling at speed like if it was constantly on the verge of spinout. Bad feedback. I sensed it, and that's why I decided to order something different.
If '09 Drake fins were just like '06, my suggestion would be: those are dogs, don't even try to sail them and order immediately some good ones. But it seems things have changed quite a bit (by the way, I don't see why any correctly machined or moulded epoxy fin should be that worse than any other one of the same kind). So put those fins under your board, go sailing, and, when and if you understand there is something wrong, and only then, start looking for replacements. It might well be that '09 Drakes are well above your needs, or their defects (if any) well below your sensibility threshold. After all, those are the fins Starboard decided to supply with their boards, so are supposed to provide adequate performances.

juan1 1st November 2008 12:17 AM

ive been in fuerteventura on summer while they (PWA)compete in slalom 42 an take a look in every aspect I can see opf their equipment.
the truth is all of them use hitech fins like deb,vect,etc but I was thinking perhaps thi is because they get paid for it?
if a fin is so determinant to a board and we are buying state of the art racing boards at 1800 I will not care paying 200 more to be sure im on the best and at the same time any brand shoud try that their customers had the best fin to be competitive whith other boards brans.
ex: get a starboard an a bad fin and race to fanatic good fin, the result is fanatic 1st because of the fin, the starboard sailor will chage his board...
this sounds ilogical but isn it a big risk for anybrand not to be sure their fin is the best????
regards juan1

geo 1st November 2008 03:19 PM

Another issue is about how a fin model works with a given board; or in other terms fin/board compatibility. From this point of view, a board manufacturer may well desire to provide his boards with suitable fins. More refined sailors will know what to do anyhow; less experienced ones will at least have fins that work well, even if not best, with their new board.

Ola_H 1st November 2008 05:22 PM

Juan1: It would be very, very expensive for manufacturers to provide handmade, expensive top of the line fins and even then you would not be sure that the fins provided would to the taste of a particular customer (who fx may prefer Vector over Deb). Then it would be better just to not include a fin, and I think some manufacturers do this.

But Starboard take a lot of time developing fins and as mentioned use designs from the top guys like Curtis, Deboichet etc. From there mass production manufacturing is tuned and developed all the time to make the fins delivered with the board better and better. As I said in my first post, I think they are VERY good now, a lot has happened since 06. And if you look at test results, iSonics do very well with their original fins.

BUT, when it comes to the last few to % of performance, an original fin from some of the top designers will still be better. Some of that will be "pure performance" and some will be that when you buy an aftermarket fin you can also choose a style that suits your particular sailing style. That is why the pros use these fins.

So, in summary, you can be sure the fin(s) delivered with the board will make it justice. As Geo says, the original fins are also developed to suit the boards but also be very all round, ie fit many sailors not just a particular style. When you're tuned in on the board and confident in your sailing you can maybe try to borrow some aftermarket fins and see what you think yourself.

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