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Old 2nd June 2007, 04:37 PM   #11
Per
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Default RE: Drake fins, cheap but not chearful

If I want to buy a guitar I can sit down in the shop and play on the different models for three hours or so. If I want to buy a bicycle I can take a trip around the block first, the same with cars, jeans, glasses etc.
If I want to buy a 1300$ windsurfer I have to order it, pay it, cross my fingers and hope for the best... "was I lucky this time?"..
I guess that's a main part of the problem.
My Aero was ordered form Germany to Denmark, so no chance of a "no.. I guess this is not me... can you try to order another one..." conversation with the dealer....

Demos are very rare. If I want to demo two or three different models before deciding I will have to pay or the dealer will have to sell a lot of demo boards with a loss.
On the other hand all dealers might be able to keep a handful of demo fins in their shop. This would help a lot as the fin can actually dramatically change the performance of the board related to the individual rider.
When buying a bicycle you can always choose the standard model from the window, but it's always possible to make other individual options.
If I had had this choice with my Aero none of the standard fins or the footstraps would have been my choice....
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Old 2nd June 2007, 04:40 PM   #12
Ola_H
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Default RE: Drake fins, cheap but not chearful

I have no insight in the costs of adding fin at manufacturer level but some educated guessing tell me that it corresponds to something like a third of the list price of the fin. So why not add a super high Q handmade high class brand fin instead (at a third of retail)? Well, because the same equations would not apply and it would be more expensive and the peoepl that like to choose their own fin would still not be happy.

I have no insight in slalom and race fins really. I'm a pure amateur when it comes to these things. For me the standard fins work excellent and despite being somewhat of a fin freak (when it comes to wave boards), I don't want to pay high dollars for slightly better fins for my slalom boards since I sail them only recreationally. The standard fins are nowadays shapes from the best fin designers in the world, its just the layup and manufacturing that differns. Since - as always - the devil is in the details, I perfectly understand that the mass produced fins will not reach the same level as the hand made stuff, but for me - and probably for most customers - they are excellent products.

When it comes to the current wave fins (Drake Naturals) I have not used anything as good - be it standard or hand made. These things are CNC designed and can easily compete with the best out there. They are Mark Nelson designs btw.

The crossover fins are very nice too (also CNC:ed and based on a sucessful Curtis design).
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Old 3rd June 2007, 06:33 AM   #13
Philip
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Default RE: Drake fins, cheap but not chearful

Been using the stock fins on my HS 111 for several years and they work fine but have supplemented with a range of after market fins. To fine tune the HS you need to find the fin that works best with the sail sizing & type and wind speed. HS is particularly sensitive to fin selection. Pay attention to profile, area, length and tip flex. Get it wrong and the HS is going no where fast. Dial it up and hang on.
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Old 3rd June 2007, 04:56 PM   #14
ThierryP
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Default RE: Drake fins, cheap but not chearful

Hi Ian,

You wrote: "The fin/s supplied with the boards are in general quite a reasonable solution, especially for average use" [/quote]
So, an iSonic is for "average use", and should be used with fins that are a "reasonable" (read: "average") solution? Is that how the SB marketing team are positioning the iSonic range? I am sure that Svein will be thrilled.
Seriously Ian, there have been so many complaints for so long in this forum about the slalom fins! it is difficult to comprehend why SB continue to bury their head in the sand , and disappoint their customers. We slalom sailors love the brand and its fabulous iSonic boards, but we can only wish that we could be as happy with the fins supplied with slalom boards, as the wave sailors are with theirs.
I am not a very technical sailor, and for me a good fin is simply one that does not spin out easily, and on the rare occasions when it does, stops doing so as soon as I take pressure off the back foot. Pretty basic stuff, huh? When my board keeps spinning out with the suppiied fin, and stops doing so as soon as I change for another fin, that's when I call the supplied fin "crap". Some of the fins supplied with the iSonics have been indeed "reasonable solutions", i.e. the performance is decent, and the board may be sailed with them without massive frustration, but too many supplied fins have been crap.
JP have a policy that makes a lot of sense: they sell their slalom boards without a fin, but they have one available (at an extra cost) for those customers who do not have already fins that will fit their new board. Why can't SB listen to its customers, and do the same?
Since we are on the issue of fins: I have only had SB boards for years. Last year, I renewed my quiver of boards; I had to sand down many of my fins, because the fin boxes on all the new SB were smaller than on the older ones. How pleasant!
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Old 3rd June 2007, 05:23 PM   #15
Erik Loots
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Default RE: Drake fins, cheap but not chearful

Drake Slalom Pro is not that bad... But delamination is a problem with some of these fins if you push them at higher speeds (40 knots)

My conclusion is that you need a smaller Drake vin than in same circumstances b.e. Tectonics.

Drake fins are pretty strong for bumping in ground etc. Drake fins are overall very good. gybing/topspeed/long distance/chop/flat/overpowerd/underpowerd/etc

But just for topspeed and 500m I think the Tectonics are faster.

I have had:

Drake Slalom Pro 28
Drake Slalom Pro 30
Drake Slalom Pro 32
Drake Slalom Pro 34
Drake RACE 34 (hypersonic 105)
Drake Slalom Pro 38
Drake SRB6 40
Drake Slalom Pro 44
Drake RACE 44 (hypersonic 105)

Other brands:

Tectonics Falcon F1 24
Tectonics Falcon F1 26
Tectonics Falcon F1 28
Tectonics Falcon F1 30
Select Lightning Speed 30
Select Lightning Speed 32
Tectonics Goldwing 36

Here are my best 500m speeds in kmh and knots (not all same spot/wind/board/sail etc)

1 Tectonics Falcon F1---30 ---34.88knots
2 Tectonics Falcon F1---28---34.72knots
3 Drake slalom pro-----28---32.61knots
4 Drake slalom pro-----30---31.64knots
5 Tectonics Goldwing---36---30.02knots
6 Drake slalom pro-----32---29.37knots
7 Drake slalom pro-----34---27.97knots

By the way, at the moment I just have 4 drake fins left of the collection, and these will be sold soon. Because my bro (we share equipment) doesnt like isonics (we have iS105 iS135) because they are short. And Isonic need to be driven very powerfull.
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Old 3rd June 2007, 08:03 PM   #16
o2bnme
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Default RE: Drake fins, cheap but not chearful

"Average use" and "average solution" ... hmm... I would say this equates to "recreational use"

For me, my iSonic 105 isn't primarily for racing or high speed. It is for recreational use... this seems pretty average to me. Yes, I do use it for racing members of my club. Yes, I do use it to try to attain the fastest speed in my club.

Would I have purchased an iSonic if it had a more expensive fin? That would have increased the cost, and with me being so much lighter than many sailors out there, I wouldn't trust it would be a good fin option for me. That extra cost would have been an inhibitor to the sale, not an asset. I prefer to get a low-cost fin for starters, learn the board and how I ultimately will use it, then I am willing to go out and purchase a better quality fin.

So far, for the iSonic 105, I've been pretty happy with the stock fins. I've just about broken 30 knots in less than ideal conditions. Yes, I know I would probably go faster with a more exact fin. I've been using my iS105 for over a year now, and I'm thinking it is time to shell out the money for a new fin.

What I would like to see is a list of recommended high-quality fins and the general use characteristics. This sort of matrix that broken things down by sailor weight as well as sail size and water conditions would be a useful piece of information. I imagine people who are more competitive than me would like to benefit from the experiences of the people who tested the iSonics during development and thereafter. Of course, nothing beats testing a combination yourself, but at least it would give people a starting point. Then, they could be more competitive earlier in the season by going out and buying fins that will help the board really take off.

Erik, I assume your 34.88 knots was with the iSonic 105? I haven't had much reason to use my 30cm Goldwing yet with my 105. What sail range do you use your Falcon with?
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Old 4th June 2007, 01:47 AM   #17
steveC
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Default RE: Drake fins, cheap but not chearful

If you're a person like me that has been sailing for a long time, you've got a ton of fins. While I haven't counted them, I probably have at least 30 fins in my quiver. As a result, I would be one of those folks that would focus in on the finless option. What kind of difference in price would exist between the finless option and the complete package? I doubt that it would be much more than 50 USD, if that. Also, in my neck of the woods, there would be almost an 8% tax savings too. Not a huge difference, but still a savings worth considering.

Like I emphasized earlier, the customer would benefit from having a choice (one way or the other), particularly if they're ordering a product in advance of its manufacture. Of course, if they are buying off the rack, they're more or less obligated to accept what's there, or pursue negotiations with the retailer for possible alternatives.

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Old 4th June 2007, 03:13 AM   #18
Phill104
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Default RE: Drake fins, cheap but not chearful

I am quite happy with the Drake fins supplied with my iSonic. I do have some more performance fins for when at Weymouth, WK or The Ray buy when sailing a 220acre pit where there are tons of bricks on the bottom near the edge then the drake fins get used.

I'm not going to be hitting 40kts in the lake so getting 2 fins that are reasonably good is a bargain IMHO.

In the UK the price of a new iSonic is £999 supplied with 2 fins in most of the range.

Compare that to the £1100 that JP are asking for their slalom board supplied with no fin. I'm happy.
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Old 4th June 2007, 04:05 AM   #19
Erik Loots
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Default RE: Drake fins, cheap but not chearful

@ o2bnme

Sorry but the 500m record (for me) is set on a Carbon Art Speed 50 board.

I have not used the Isonic 105 in the latest competitions but I have tested:

Tectonics Goldwing 36 Very nice combination! A bit slippery but very fast when well tuned. I do not use the Drake 34 anymore. I use this fin in 12-18knots wind with 6,9 or 7,5 sail.
Tectonics Falcon F1 30 Very Fast!!!!!!!!!!! It surpriced me. I really like the combination. I have only used it once and I hitted a peak speed of 40 knots. Long distance was no option on that surfspot. I would use this fin from 16-30knots wind with 6.3 or 5.7 sail

There is a video for some impression ( o2bnme you have seen it )

http://youtube.com/watch?v=UwwQ8npl0HA

These fins have raised my speeds, in every course (upwind/downwind/crosswind)
(((I am not sponsord by tectonics or anything else)))
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Old 4th June 2007, 05:44 AM   #20
ThierryP
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Default RE: Drake fins, cheap but not chearful

It's funny, everybody says that the Drakes are decent fins, but no one makes any comments about the Deboichet Designs. I agree that the Drakes are quite often OK fins (with the notable exception of the infamous 34 and 44 supplied with the original HyperSonics), and I will use them occasionally. However if I use the Deboichet Design supplied with the iSonic 105, the board keeps spinning out. That fin does a disservice to this great board; why do not SB stick to the Drake design?
O2bnme, I use my 105 with a 6.6 race sail and a 34 cm Tectonics Goldwing, it's a perfect combination for my 78 kgs, it allows me to really load the fin. However I once mistakenly put my 28 cm Goldwing on the board (still with my 6.6), and the board was still going very nicely (I only had a couple of spinouts during that session); so depending on your weight, sail size and sailing style, your 30 cm Goldwing might work very well on your 105.
Steve, I think that the savings of a "no fins" option would more likely amount to $50 PER FIN, i.e. $100 for 2 fins.
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