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HOME arrow GEAR INSIGHTS arrow FINSIGHTS: Minimalist 2 + 1 Center Fins
FINSIGHTS: Minimalist 2 + 1 Center Fins PDF Print E-mail
By: Stand Up Paddle Surfing Magazine   
Saturday, 28 June 2008
Looking for a quick way to immediately increase the performance of your stand up paddle surfboard? Try a 5" or 6" center fin along with your current side fin setup; it could be just the thing. The move to a shorter center fin all started with SUPSURFMAG.COM's Bill Ward searching for a way to loosen up his 10'6". He installed the fin and claims the fin has breathed new life into his stand up paddle longboard. Of course after that, we had to experiment with the fin on a shorter board as well. These fins aren't real easy to find, but you could get lucky at a well stocked surf shop and score one for yourself. We ran a 6" center fin with medium rake on a both a 10'6" and a 9'4" in medium small and medium surf, and this is our report.


On a 10'6": The short 6 inch fin was just the thing Bill was looking for to increase the performance on what he calls his stand up paddle surfboard longboard. Coming from a background of shortboard and thruster fin setups, he felt somewhat restrained leaning the ins and outs of a 2+1 setup with a longer center fin. Thinking it could be the board, he was on verge of putting it up for sale, until he came across a shorty center fin at a local surf shop. After he started running the 6 incher, all thoughts of selling that board quickly vanished leaving Bill stoked. 


On a 9'4": Swapping out a longer center fin for the shorter one made this board loose and faster down the line. In the testing we did stalling on min-bottom turns and cutbacks were almost non-existent as the fin allowed the board to carry the speed through the turns. Although we were only able to test the fin in medium sized surf, we are told that the same holds true in the big waves as well. 


Should everyone swap out their 8" fin for a 5 or 6 inch center fin? We don't think so. With a small center fin, both the longboard and shortboard stand up paddleboards would turn and respond more like a traditional shortboard does, making more use of the rails and surfing off the tail, whereas keeping a longer center fin in there causes the boards to respond more like a traditional longboard with fluid and more pivoting. Is one better that the other or is one going to outperform the other in all circumstances? No way. It all depends on what you're accustomed to as well as your style of surfing. Could it be the answer to your search for increased performance? Yes, but there's only one way to find out, screw on it a try it out. Peace.

feed1 Comments
June 30, 2008

Hey Guys:

Nice subject. I love expiramenting with fins and do so alot.

Of course one fin set up never works for all conditions. After a lot of expiramenting on my C4 10-6 this is how I set it up: a)in waves up to shoulder/head high I run a 6 inch center with 4.5 inch Vector II (thruster type) fins and; b)in waves higher than that I run an 8 inch center and small 3.75 pivot side bites.

To me; with the small center fin is awsome in small surf, letting you "slide" the tail but when the surf gets bigger the board "tightens up"-I think mostly because the rails start to overpower the fin. In the bigger surf the bigger center fin feels more positive and I can pump extend down the line a bit better.....Just my 10 cents.

FYI..I found Future Fins makes plenty of shorter (thruster size) center fins if you are looking for them.

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