RE: EVO XTV 80 2008 vs 2007
I'll cross post my answer from the free forum section:
As usual, everything about eh 08 boards will be revealed on aug 15. But I regarding the 80....I wouldn't expect to many changes...more like none...except for the fin...which is a bit drivier...and one size bigger. Or something like that.
As for the 06/07 fin, it is a favourite of mine and the good thing about it is a HUGE range but the problematic thing (for some) is that you have to choose it bigger if you need a drive feel in a straighline. But these fins really can be sailed very big if you measure them in cetimeters so it does not in fact make much sense to compare to another brands 21cm fin. In fact, I compared the Natural 22 with a MFC 20.5 the other day and the MFC was a lot bigger in area. Add to that that the Drake is also much softer and thinner and you have two effects at work that make the Drake Natural sail small. So, the original 23 Drake natural fin for the E80 pretty much works like a "regular" 21cm fin in drive, but is still looser and more forgiving than any 21cm fin I've used. It's a bit like the "free leach" revolution in sails a decade ago. Bigger overall range but you also need a tad more area for a given bottom end.
But, I agree that the 07 23cm fin was too small for an all round fin for the 80. Good suited to explore the top end of that board but to small for most sailing done on it. Hence the adjustment. But if you are planning a purchase, a smart move may be to get the 07 and complement with a bigger Drake Natural fin. Even the 25 and 26 are great wave fins.