RE: For Ian F: Drake Fins
Hi Mark + 02b,
First disclaimer : the fins we have now in 2007 current release are varied layups from previous years; both fins have been the focus of ongoing test and development. Please be aware that while the general trend/s are similar, the specifics do vary a little for both models according to the layup/s used /generation.
In summary : SR6b = Topend / Slalom Pro = Range.
In general, the SR6b 34 is now a stiffer, more top end oriented slalom fin, and more so with heavier riders than lighter guys - in testing at real top end/fully loaded 34 stuff, the SR6b is more often the big guys favorite in general beam blasting to slalom downwind conditions when the rider is loading solid and locked hard against the fin. The solid ride (feel) of the SR6b is less attractive in rough conditions for lighter riders. SR6b benefits from a stronger, more assertive style to make the most of it; in a straight line, it's easy to keep locked on but if the fin (board) really gets out of control (crossed up etc) it's also more challenging to get back than the S-Pro.
The Drake SlalomPro 34 is a softer fin (exactly how soft really depends on the generation/layup spec - and also the size- in this caase we're discussing 34's and similar); it's a good choice for moderate and light wind 34 slalom conditions (for most mid to big riders) ; in rougher conditions it will "feel" easier to keep hooked up initially, and especially so when the rider is lighter and/or more sensitive to trimming the board surface onto the water (rather than locked) style. but the bigger the rider (or harder the fin is loaded) the more the softer S-Pro layup requires a more sensitive back foot;
Rider style enters into it as well ; the SR6b being typically for riding more off the fin; the S-Pro more about using the board/rail/fin combo.
The SR6b "feels" about half way between the S-Pro 34 and 32 size wise in most conditions, however the SR6b doesn't "perform" a lot smaller; especially when the average board speed is kept high.
Upwind (where overall speeds are lower) the S-Pro does work pretty well in most conditions ; it's more naturally in it's groove and the softer feel can be preferable (unless nuked).
Hope that covers it, let us know if you need more info etc.
Cheers ~ Ian
BTW : as a general discussion point about the production fins :
Starboard Holland team rider Peter van Dyke set a number of personal records in La Franqui
a few days ago - using a stock Sonic 85 / 06 + totally stock Drake SR6b28 / 06.
Peak 2sGPS @ 42.9 kts and 5x10GPS av 41.0kts is not exactly hanging around.
Yes, Pete's a pretty big boy. 186cm97kg B)
You can check the whole session @