Jaeger Stone, Kode thruster
Hi, early this summer I saw Jaeger Stone in Tenerife, sailing what looked like a Kode thruster. The board looked pretty slim and small too. This question is for Ola H, do you have an idea of what he is using? Would putting some thrusters on a Kode work? If so, how do you think it would improve its performance? Just asking...
It might be a custom board from his father Mark Stone who is a well known surf and windsurf shaper in Western Australia who also has been building thruster boards, for many, many years.
Thrusters in general? With any board, there are some things you can improve with thrusters (at the cost of some other things). For example, you can get better upwind at the price of less speed. Or you can get easier turn initiation at the price of a more tracky feel once int the turn (by making the mid fin smaller and add small thrusters). So compared to a single fin, a 2+1 style tri fin can fine tune the character of the board in certain ways. You might get something a bit looser than single fin, but (contrary to what some say...) you'd still have something very far from a twin or a quad. And according to my experience, when we're talking a full on thruster design (with three similar sized fins), to get a good all round wave board out of it, it seems you need to have a specifically designed shape. In fact, I'd say it's harder to design a thruster that works than a twin or quad that works. It's seems to be very easy to end up with something that is so tracky in the (bottom) turn that it becomes to much work to sail it and that despite some good traits, the overall feel is sort of "heavy". I think there is a reason that the shapes from people that have been doing thruster designs for a long time generally look a bit "different".
Thrusters on a Kode? As indicated, you can fine tune some things by going 2+1 (small front fins and big rear fin but still clearly smaller than your typical single fin, say 2*10+17 to 2*10+20). But in most situations, I think the original single fin setup will in the end prove better. But if you like to experiment a bit and can sacrifice some speed and what to specifically get the upwind ability similar to using a big single fin combined with a turn entry of a really small fin, adding thruster boxes might be worth a try.
I've personally converted a few boards to thrusters and never been completely happy. In fact the feeling I got coincided with rather luke warm test results of some thruster boards on the market. And I'd even say that in many cases you can see on video material that some thruster boards need a lot fo sailor power to work properly which also coincides with my experience. But I learned a lot from my experiments it and really like to implement some ideas I have some time in the future. But right now I just enjoy sailing the quads so much that I haven't been able to find the energy to do it.
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