Fins - lets share knowledge
on my quest to learn about slalom fins, I realized that very little tests/reviews are available. That is at least weird since the fin is probably the most important part of our windsurfing equipment.
So why not make good use of this forum and have everyone commenting on their experiences with different fins, so that one could always use it as a source of information. My focus is on slalom, but why not comment on other fins as well?!?!
I have very little to add since I have been sailing basically on old equipment and thus old fins. The only more modern fin I have is a G10 Kai Hopf fin 43cm. I use it with an older model of the slalom Mistral SLE 130l and a 8.4 and 7.3m sail freerace sail (Stype from North). With both sails it has lots of spin out tendencies, so it does not allow too much back foot pressure. You have to let the board run by distributing your weight more or less equally between front and back foot.
Hi Unregistered guest,
I would call myself a very keen but uneducated intermediate loser, who knows little about fins. BUT... I was mooching around the WildWinds Shop in Wellington NZ and this guy starts telling me fin stories, about blasting past other guys etc, and basically talked me into buying a new fin. It turned out he was the C3 venom guy and he had a prototype Venom he had finished testing and he sold it to me cheap... I went straight out and hit 30 knots in choppy water on my trusty 2003 carve 122. That never used to happen with the Drake. I am now going for the big 40 as soon as I find some flat water and a decent slalom board... it may take me 10 years or so, but I WILL get there, with my trusty secret weapon one-off prototype wide-tip venom... nyah ha haaaaa....(Evil laughter)
Choosing fins can be quite complicated. There are poor fins and excellent fins, but knowing what to buy, from what company and what type (freeride, slalom, course slalom, formula, freestyle, speed and wave) all gets quite complex.
There are several excellent custom fin companies, all making a wide range of fins that offer a high level of performance for every size board, sail and sailor.
Most beginner, novice and some intermediate sailors won't be able to tell the difference between a poor, average or good fin, so the custom fins are geared toward the advanced and expert sailors, who can appreciate and tell the difference.
The custom fins are quite expensive ranging from $200 to $800 US. There are also lots of less expensive "molded" fins that are quite good for some types of sailing.
For example - Tectonics makes 6 different slalom and course slalom fins, with up to 19 different length choices for their new Talon slalom fin. Figuring out which design of their six slalom fins and what length would best suit a particular need takes some knowledge, research and counseling to get it right. I have no affiliation with this company in any way, but I have one of their fins and think it is excellent.
Personal "feel" also part of the issue, with differing opinions regarding the same fin from comparable experts, so testing will be somewhat subjective much like board and sail tests.
The point is that it is all very complex and it is incumbent upon the sailor to do the research for their particular need. This forum is one good source for information if you search the archives or ask a question.
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