RE: Drake fins, cheap but not chearful
My experience is somewhat different. I have never had a Drake fin that was defective, delaminating, assymetrical etc.
Prior to 2006 model year however, I agree that the usefulness of the supplied fins was dismal. However, in 2006 and especially with the 2007 model boards, the supplied fins are very much improved and work very well. I use the 23cm wave fin in the 2006 P-Acid 80, the suppliied fins in the 2007 iS122, and the new FreeSlalom Swift fins in the S-Type 93 and 104. All the newer fins work very well and do everything as advertised.
Perhaps the new materials and designers that Starboard are employing have made the difference in the quality of fins. But let's remember, specialized fin makers put a lot more time, efort and testing into one specific product. Wouldn't one expect that those fins would be somewhat superior to the fins supplied by a board company?