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NiklasR 30th November 2006 02:52 PM

Double fins?
Some producers now seem to launch boards with two back fins for as they say ???improved upwind performance??. I don???t know if it works but it would suit me since the large Carve and Formula boards have long fins and when I sail in very shallow waters it sometimes takes time walking out to where I don???t have to be afraid to sail into sandbanks.

Are double fins something that you are looking into?

Best regards,

Niklas, Sweden.

steveC 30th November 2006 11:41 PM

RE: Double fins?
While boards with two fins does allow you to use smaller sized fins, it's important to keep in mind that a fin change will cost you twice as much. If you're buying the best fins, that will be a significant expenditure.

o2bnme 1st December 2006 02:24 AM

RE: Double fins?
Good point Steve... where I sail, that means getting two weed fins for the board right off the bat.

I know of some local sailors with the HiFly that comes with two fins. They seem to like the boards very much. And for shallower waters, the extra expense would be a good deal.

GEM 1st December 2006 09:04 AM

RE: Double fins?
Friend of mine has a HiFly Madd twin fin. He likes it; I don't.

I prefer my C131; just got an Aero 117, which I will have to test ride ASAP and can't comment vs twin fin at this point.

I concede that if you insist on using big sails, in really shallow water, it's probably a decent option. Otherwise, I'm skeptical.

geo 1st December 2006 02:09 PM

RE: Double fins?
Where I sail during Summer there is a large extension of shallow water with mud on the bottom, rocks and sea urchins. I use slalom materials and I am disadvantaged compared to my buddies on frrestyle boards and fins; others on bigger boards or Formula materials are in worse troubles than me.
Last Summer I met a guy using a two fin board with great satisfaction and this made me think. In the end, with such a board you have to buy two fins at a time; but I am not quite sure about real double expenditure, as a longer single fin will more often hit the bottm and get damaged.
In the end, a twin fin board could be a good solution in shallow waters; the real doubt is about performance. Theorically, a single fin with high A/R should be better; but I am not sure this is thoroughly confirmed in practice.

Phill104 1st December 2006 04:25 PM

RE: Double fins?
Performance issues aside, make sure that if you buy two fins that it is from a line where you can get an exact replacement a year on. If you break one fin it could mean you end up having to buy a new pair rather than just one.

NiklasR 1st December 2006 09:06 PM

RE: Double fins?
My thoughts are in the same line as .g.e.o. Where I sail I would prefer a board with two shorter fins and I would not hit the bottom as much as today. Is there a performance advantage or disadvantage?

It would be interesting to hear if Starboard shapers have an opinion and if they have tried a two fin configuration on larger freeride and possibly Formula boards? Could we see Starboard releasing a board with tow fins?

Best regards,


Philip 2nd December 2006 05:48 AM

RE: Double fins?
In the early 1980s there was a lot of experimentation with bottom shapes and what were called 'skegs'. One variant was the 'thruster' consisting of a main fin at the rear and a couple of smaller fins forward. The board turned on the front fins while the rear fin settled the board down. There were even some experiments with four fin boards which did wonders for turns but at the cost of speed especially on flat water. Today there are of course short boards that have short fins. However, as the WS has evolved over the years, may be it is good time for the twin fin to cycle through again; but probably not for those whose first preference is blasting.

GEM 2nd December 2006 07:28 AM

RE: Double fins?

NiklasR wrote:
My thoughts are in the same line as .g.e.o. Where I sail I would prefer a board with two shorter fins and I would not hit the bottom as much as today. Is there a performance advantage or disadvantage?


Based on observations sailing with my buddy...

In B&F sailing, if your option is a single shallow fin or a double shallow fin, in marginal to just powered up conditions, the twin fin is substantially faster (15-20%) and points higher.

When the wind picks up to where the single fin is powered to overpowered, the twin fin is much overpowered and one needs to fin down (reduce fin size). If you don't, the single fin board outperforms the double fin board, but not by 20%, more like 5%.

It's what you would expect, if the twin fin is equivalent to a single but larger fin.

My objections are in other areas; in shallow water performance, light to moderately powered, the twin fin outperforms.

James 2nd December 2006 09:41 PM

RE: Double fins?
Hi Niklas,

I have ridden the Madd 115 and Madd 165 and a lot of people in my area have the Madd 135. They are nice boards with some major advantages, and no serious disadvantages. I think that twins fins are really good for large freeride boards (115 + liters), especially for manoevers, control, and using a wide range of sail sizes. I wish more manufacturers would make them. The main differences in feel from single fin boards is that twin-fin boards don't rail up as much, and favor more inboard footstrap settings. They go upwind well and rarely spinout or tailwalk, and they adapt well to weed fins.

I don't think they're quite as fast as slalom boards or go upwind as well as formula boards, but they're pretty darn good for freeride boards, especially at going upwind.

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