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  • Quad fins with stabilizer fin (some might say knubster)

    This last weekend in Sydney we got a nice little pulse of swell. Which gave me a chance to try my new dominator in some reasonable waves. Friday was about 2-3' and Saturday afternoon was about 5' and Sunday morning before the NE came up we had clean 6' (somewhere south of Sydney) and maybe slightly bigger on the bombs.

    Saturday was a really nice surprise as it was a very light southerly. Southerlies are badness usually but this was just puffing every now and then and the conditions were glassy and only half a dozen of us on the whole beach! Uncrowded waves on a Saturday afternoon - a real delight. The crew had persevered with the morning's 2-3' and gone home and the NE swell built all afternoon. If you're not getting this, it was bloody good! For me especially, as I decided to make a little stabilizer fin for the 5th fin slot on my dominator - if Kelly does it, it must be good, right? So I gave it a try, all those concerns about the dom not having enough drive and pivot and surfing kind of flat were put to rest. It just went insane, on rail turns, vertical in the pocket and more speed it seemed than with just the quads.

    Here was my first attempt, the "slug", a GX cut about 3/4" trailing back down to 1/2"...
    Attachment
    It really made the board go the way I wanted it to. I always felt that quads need a little bit of something down the centre to give them something to pivot off, a double concave gives you a ridge which does the trick and I think the centre vertex (pointy bit) of a bat tail helps too. The dominator being a single concave needed a bit of help and this seemed to work well.

    The next day, Sunday, we had some clean 6' waves early in the morning and I'd decided to go for a more refined looking stabilizer fin more like the knubster shape though only half its height at 1". This one was an MR TX trailer fin which I cut down and foiled. Perhaps just for the aesthetics. Here it is...
    Attachment
    It is hard to say which one works better but I'm thinking the first one despite its cruder looks, either way they both work very well. I have a feeling the first one is a tad looser because it is a little bit lower and the highest point is further forward. One thing's for sure - I'll be keeping the Dominator!
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Slowman; 12-12-2011, 01:57 PM.

  • #2
    Interesting observations.

    I surfed my Dom on saturday in Sydney but there's no way I would surf my Dom 6'4" with me at 90kg on Sunday. It would've been way too floaty. So I surfed the Alternator on Sunday. I say interesting because of discussions in the old forum around board length and volume.

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    • #3
      ...sorry, interrupted by a delicious pasta by my beautiful wife mid post...

      I meant to add that the different preferences in the same conditions reflect on intended use. I don't mean to and I'm sure I won't derail a thread about 5 fins but this kind of difference in intended purpose is (I reckon) important background for people agonising over board size.

      Just on the 5th fin, was there a noticeable increase in drag? Did it surf more like a quad or thruster? Something else?

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      • #4
        that looks cool. good feedback. I'll have to give it a go....

        Buzzy its good to have differing opinions. I have been learning a lot about length, shape and volume since I moved to CA and can surf so frequently and one of the things I have learned in the last few weeks has to do with what you are talking about. Volume definitely is valuable but its paramount to remember length. I did find my optimum volume but did so by sacrificing a bit to much length. I dropped to a 510 Michel bourez as my shortboard.

        Then i did a bit of video and watched myself and realized on my first wave that I was riding too short of a board and was overloading my rail around my front foot too much and bogging. After not riding my Alternator for a couple months I got back on it yesterday and realized that the extra 2-4 over my other boards was exactly what I was missing. While I like having limited length, having the right amount of rail enables you to maintain speed through your turns so much better. A bit of a ramble, but a REALLY big piece for me (obviously this could be different for other folks).

        cheers

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        • #5
          That little stabiliser looks cool. I might try and make up something similar.

          As for rail length Chris, interesting for sure. I haven't ridden a board over 5'8" much at all in the last year. I probably should, because I know exactly what you mean about that length in the rail, but stubby little boards are a lot of fun.
          I guess with the MB it's a little different because it sounds like it's a proper refined shortboard rather than a chunky stubby, so you're surfing it in proper lined up waves where that rail length really earns it's keep. I think the MB is really going to come into it's own for guys like MB and Taj who can ride that refined a board in smaller conditions where you don't want the longer rail, or guys who are bit more weighty but shorter who can get the volume of, say a 6'4", in a 6'0" so they don't have to ride a board that's 8" longer than their height. They are then reducing a massive rail length that would be holding them back a little otherwise.

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          • #6
            yeah there care certainly pluses and minuses both ways. I got stuck in the rut of reducing everything BUT volume. Don't get me wrong the michel is a sick board, i just think i like shorter railed board in steeper hollower surf where my maneuvers are more vertical. I like a little more rail obviously when my maneuvers are more wrapped.

            Keep in mind though, Taj is 509ish 160ish and he rides a 511. I am 600ish and 175ish and went from a FFE 602 to a FMB 510. That is a big change and a lot of lost rail. The Michel works great, you just need a bit of punch because with a minimized rail, you shed a lot of speed in your carves because you tend to bury more board. Again not a bad thing just a fact.

            Cheers

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            • #7
              Originally posted by buzzy View Post
              ...

              Just on the 5th fin, was there a noticeable increase in drag? Did it surf more like a quad or thruster? Something else?
              No drag, in fact more speed. Because of that something else - a thruster on steroids/speed?

              On the speed thing, it makes me wonder, as Kelly even said they add more speed, if the unused fin slots are actually creating drag. In the past I've thought about just putting tabs in there to fill them in and create a flush surface to see if there is any noticeable difference.
              Last edited by Slowman; 12-12-2011, 02:06 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Chris View Post
                yeah there care certainly pluses and minuses both ways. I got stuck in the rut of reducing everything BUT volume. Don't get me wrong the michel is a sick board, i just think i like shorter railed board in steeper hollower surf where my maneuvers are more vertical. I like a little more rail obviously when my maneuvers are more wrapped.

                Keep in mind though, Taj is 509ish 160ish and he rides a 511. I am 600ish and 175ish and went from a FFE 602 to a FMB 510. That is a big change and a lot of lost rail. The Michel works great, you just need a bit of punch because with a minimized rail, you shed a lot of speed in your carves because you tend to bury more board. Again not a bad thing just a fact.

                Cheers
                I know what you mean about reducing everything down. I think in a way that's what happened with Slater in that off year he had, when he started riding 5'5"s or whatever. Lots of fun, but if you start doing it in the wrong conditions it's not going to allow you to draw the "best" line on a wave. Hopefully 6'0" is going to be my magic number, but I'll probably still end up on a 5'8" 80% of the time.

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                • #9
                  Just went for a surf in 3' foot onshore slop leftovers after the southerly ripped into it all day yesterday. I swapped the stabilizers around but it was really more of a matter of chance getting a good wave, I definitely got more good waves on the "knubster" than the "slug" but that was purely because I spent more time in the water using it, say 50 minutes vs 20 so the odds were better. Test results are still inconclusive.

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                  • #10
                    i agree with the rail length thing...jumped off 510 onto my 604alt(too big for me now) the other day and as chris noticed, the front foot action comes back...BUT...you no longer fit as freely in the wave as the shortened boards...this is where my love of heavy rockers comes in to play...i was one of the few who really loved the "banana" era...i rode em at 6'6(no front foot woes there chris) and could fit in any tight spots...

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                    • #11
                      here's the original use for that knubster thing...aka cannardAttachment Attachment
                      Attached Files

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                      • #12
                        Rusty hipster?

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                        • #13
                          yup...one mick buttons...6'2...one of the rare few I gel with that are not nev's shapes...you have one too dont you?...

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                          • #14
                            Yeah core that is definitely the solution, or at least a good option. I think what i am figuring out is that I may step up in length a bit with more rockered boards.

                            Going to spend a bit of time again on the 602 Taj and also ride the 600 Michel for comparison with my 510. its weird, 1 day on a longer board and the links between my maneuvers were tighter and faster and I could tell I had a better balance between burying and bogging to the point that it slowed me down....

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                            • #15
                              yeah chris..gotta find that sweet spot between rail length and freedom...rocker does skew the formula tho...eg..the 604 taj rode like a 602 or less and fitted in tight spots compared to a standard 602 shooter..but still has full drive rail line....604 alt feels like my old 6'6s at least..this is generalised tho and not in all situations...usual caveats apply......michels model will be along the lines of what our fearless leader shaped me in the past...full rocker and some chunk...might give it a run i think...

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