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  • Unibrow quad vs. tri/thruster set up

    I know this topic has been discussed on several different threads, but I was hoping to get a consolidated thread on the topic of which fin setup people prefer for their Unibrow in head high to double overhead surf (talking local San Diego beach break kinda surf, not Puerto). I already spent hours scanning threads, and it's hard to get a solid consensus, though it does appear that the preference for the Unibrow seems to be tri setup when the swell comes up a bit.

    As background, I am 6'3" and 220lbs, fit, intermediate/advanced (would say advanced, but at 44 some of the kids out there might disagree), over 30 years surfing, and still surf 3-5 times a week depending on swell and injuries. Until about 6 months ago, I did not get the whole quad thing, that is until I borrowed a Baked Potato from a friend. Since then I have bought 3 Firewires. My favorite boards now are a 5'9" Baked Potato (large FCS H3 Nexus quad setup with nubster trailer) and a 6'4" Spitfire (large FCS SA-2 quad setup with nubster trailer). To complement these two boards I recently purchased a 6'8" Unibrow as a step up to the other two boards. I have ridden it 3 times with a quad setup (Futures AM2 quad setup with nubster), but it just feels like it won't respond. Even bottom turning is a chore (first few closeouts I ended up taking lips right on the head as I dropped in and then attempted to bottom turn and punch through the wave but the board just would not respond and cut into the face).

    Any feedback on experience with fin setups and preferences for the Unibrow would be great!!! Thanks.

  • #2
    I have heard of the unibrows "tracking" with certain quad sets in. I'm running a thruster in mine at the moment (I'm 6'3" and 220lb, so your twin), using JC1 Blackstix (futures), they go well. I haven't tried a quad set yet, but I always used to ride quad on my spitfire until it got big.

    I can't really remember the rear fin placement on the UNI, but as a general rule of thumb if the fins are close to the rail line you should use a flat inside foil on the rear fin, if they are set further in you have a curved edge on both sides of the trailing fin. Hopefully this helps a little.

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    • #3
      Thruster for sure. I use Parko carbon tunes or K3's at around 200lbs. I'd maybe move to GAM's at 220lbs.

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      • #4
        Love the 6'8" Uni with large scarfini quads in small waves and only go thruster at 6foot (OZ size) but more and more prefer quad. Inside foil of rear fins flat. I will say that I found that I was unable to get a 5'9" BP to work and found that Unibrow can be difficult to turn if you don't get feet in the sweet spot. No problems as quad in slop or sucky in fact getting comments that surfing is more alive so it seems to be working but fins are large for me!!!

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        • #5
          Thanks Justo, Buzzy and Jambo for your replies. One thing I have noticed is that my personal preference is for double foiled rear quad fins over flat inside regardless of fin placement relative to stringer.

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          • #6
            i love double foiled fins as well. in anything below PUMMMMMMMPING.....

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            • #7
              After a long hiatus from this forum, I wanted to chime back in. I have ridden my UB mostly frontside (Rights) and almost exclusively as a thruster. The AM tech flex setup works insane on the UB. It gives the board the ability to really get on rail and carve. This summer, I have been surfing our local point break left here and started having issues on the backside. Board felt a little shaky on the rail to rail transitions, especially when the waves had a bit more push. So i decided to experiment with a quad setup and I must say, so far i'm impressed. Have Pancho front fins with matt biolos trailers. The board feels fast and very drivey of the bottom turns. I am around 215 lbs so i do prefer bigger fins. Quads feel great backside, especially on a down the line point break. Hope to get more sessions in on this setup
              Aloha

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              • #8
                I have surfed quads and thrusters for a long time. Things to keep in mind with a quad are as follows. 1. You need to get your back foot back far enough, if it's not you won't be able to turn well. 2. Only use the knubster if the waves have some good push other wise you are just creating to much drag. The knubster quad set up is faster than a thruster but not as fast as a pure quad. In the small stuff that makes a big difference and if you are already having trouble turning the knubster will make it even harder. It's really ment to be something to push against on rail in better surf. 3. Stance stance stance. Keep your back knee pointed towards your front leg. This places your weight on your back foot and makes it so you properly engage the tail and fins. You get so much more drive and speed like this. Look at the pros, they keep there back leg like this 98 percent of the time, even when they are pumping down the line. If both your legs and knees are parallel this lends more fore older designs like fish and long boards and you won't get the most out of any modernish short board. Try it out at home. Just standing up get in a surf stance and point that back knee towards the front leg as you bend your knees. You will notice a lot more pressure through your back foot toes and that is a good thing. It should also open your hips up a little.

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                • #9
                  Just to clarify if you have both legs basically the same bend your back knee a touch more and bingo

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                  • #10
                    Just got back from Bali and on the first day I took out the Uni with AM2's and didn't like it. The setup that works best for me are all-fiberglass quad fins from Tropical Blends, but I think they were actually made for a small SUP. In any case the combo makes tons of drive which was missing on the thruster setup. This is pretty much going to be my set up for 4-6' Hawaiian size where the board turns great with enough face and power. Once Ehukai starts working again I'll bring extra fins and try swapping out again to see if a thruster makes it looser for the smaller days, but there's no reason to mess with a formula that works at the moment.

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