It is a single fin, a Blue wg2. It has not yet arrived.
The tail rocker of my boards might not be the greatest for the winglets to be effective. The 9'7" has a good amount of tailrocker, the 9'3" has less, but such a bladey pin tail the finbox in the rear was not able to be set to full depth, and i've been using a ~8.25 inch fin in it so the WG2 will likely be larger.
Should still be interesting to try.
First impression was dang the box it came in was super light.
After opening it I was impressed with the nice blue color and the clarity of the polycarbonate.
The Fin plate and screw are different, a much smaller screw head and thread diameter, and the very leading edge of the fin tab is rounded. The roll pin is solid, not hollow.
I noticed the plate would not rest on the flat of the fin. A few seconds with a sharp file fixed that.
The fin was quite loose when pushed all the way aft in my FU box, and could be slid fore and aft with the screw fully tightened. The base of the fin was hovering about 5/64" over the bottom of the box. I first tried to use some aluminum foil tape to build up some layers, but this lesson in futility caused me to rethink the approach. A Zip tie was about the perfect thickness and width, and slid that under the fin, and then the screw would pull the fin tight into the box, no more sliding for and aft, but there was still some side to side wobble, which was mitigated somewhat with the foil tape on the sides of the fin.
The Fin is very flexible, much more so than the fin I have been using in either test vehicle, 9'3" or 9'7". I'll be starting with the 9'3", hopefully tomorrow.
The fin measured just under 1/2 inch thick at the base on my digital calipers, 0.497
First impression of it was when carrying it on my head, fin first, walking down the bluff, it was not getting pushed around as much in the onshore wind moving up the bluff.
It was a pretty low tide, I paddled the first ~25 yards fin first over the shallow inside reef. Much easier to steer, when I got to deeper water and spun the board around under me, it seemed to pivot faster.
I could swear it was paddling faster but could not believe it, put it down to placebo effect. I was especially dubious of the claim that one could feel the difference when paddling.
Waves were knee to perhaps chest high NW wind swell when the longer period southern hemi sets would combo up with the west. About 10Mph onshores. Plenty of texture but it was not destroying the waves and not yet whitecapping and the wind never got stronger.
First wave was a thigh high left diagonal entry with no bottom turn, and The accelleration was smooth as I stepped forward to the 2/3rd trim spot. I easliy made the little section and backpedalled to return to pocket getting higher in the lip than planned, expecting to ruin the turn and lose the wave, but it came around cleanly, quietly and I bounced off the white water, kept going left for a bit and kicked out as it petered out, and swung the nose way back farther than I expected, back to where I came from.
First impression was definitly looser, definitely faster but I am a skeptic and put it to placebo effect.
The more waves I caught the more I liked it. I found I was fading way deeper left before slamming a bottom turn going right cross stepping forward and trimming. This board loves to get hung up in the lip and teter on the edge if one gets too high in it, but that tendency seemed totally gone and twice on one wave I was like OH no I Effed up, yet I was not punished with losing the wave, and kicked out more than a little confused.
I was having a bit harder time learning it on my forehand, the overall speed increase was not as pronounced as it seemed to be on my backhand, but was certainly noticeable. I did a floater over a left coming towards me that I expected to be bucked off from the turbulence, but it just slipped clean through it to the flats with a full feeling of control that totally surprised me. I was NOT expecting to make it and I also entered the maneuver with more speed than I was expecting and kept that speed on the diagonal landing.
On two forehand cutbacks (regular foot) the fin lost contact with the wave and I fell, something this board has always done as it is a very gunny pintail without much template curve in the tail. My inline trailer fin combo tamed this tendency well and is my favorite feature of the inline single twin. I always miss the inline trailer on hard frontside cutbacks.
Overall I surfed for about 90 minutes and got a lot of waves and had an absolute blast in marginal conditions.
HOnestly if It was commanded that I could only ever ride one fin ever again on this board, it would be this fin.
I lied, I'm not shipping it to another swaylockian, I'm keeping it!
Just kidding, but I really would love to keep it.
There is noticeably less drag, and I never felt that there was not enough fin. I usually ride an 8.25 inch fin in this board with the ~3" trailer 2 5/8" behind the trailing edge of lead fin. I bet this fin at an Inch deeper could easily lose an inch of depth and still not feel squirrely or underfinned.
I can really throw my 210+ Lbs into backside bottom turns on this board, and I really threw everything I could into them toward the end of my session to see if I could overpower the fin, and I could not. It held without a hiccup, and The speed increase when stepping forward in trim was very pronounced, and I made sections I simply would have had not made before. Cross stepping forwards is usually kind jittery but the board felt like a solid accellerating platform with this fin. One left was especially special as it just stood up and rocketed and I knew without doubt that I was not going to have to goto the flats and try ans power around it from lack of speed.
It felt really solid coming around on backside cutbacks and I was able to set a line higher in the face and still bring the board around and make the wave, where I am 99% sure I would not have been able to pull it off with my regular fin set up, or if I could, certainly not as cleanly.
I can duckdive this longboard, and It was easy to tell that I was coming up on the other side quicker and with more momentum, and I was also paddling for smaller waves I would not have before, as it would have been doubtful I could have caught them. My confidence was way higher, not only that I could catch the wave, but also make the wave from deeper.
I have no Idea how this fin design will translate into a multifinned board, but I am willing to state with certainty that on my single fin longboard it is damn impressive, and I truly do not want to get rid of it until I have either one on order or finish making one out of wood for myself.
I guess I will have to get past the Aesthetics of it. It simply looks wrong. But I am totally sold on its performance, in this board which I have been riding a lot in the last 5 years. It turns 20 years old in September.
I'll have to try it in my larger 9'7" too and in this board in bigger waves with more push to see if it now has a fourth gear, or just a few thousand more RPM available in third.
On one thigh high left I was going slow and stalling hard to stay in the pocket, and I felt the board vibrating, but it stopped when I let off the brakes. That was a totally new feeling. I guess the angles of the winglets were just not happy with the angle of water flow when stalling nose high. I never felt this board vibrate like that before.
On one right, there was a 15 yard section about to fold over in front of me. I did the hard bottom turn then the full unweighting, flattening board on the flats hoping to maintain maximum momentum to make it around the section, and it felt weird during this unweighting, like it wanted to continue turning or simply not allow the unweighting, flattening of board on the flats to maintain max momentum instead at that moment.
I was able to get around the section, but there was no wave left.
HOnestly, I am really in a state of disbelief.
I know some might think I am getting a cut for a positive review. Honestly if I had bought this fin myself, I would not want anybody to ever see it, know about it. I'd want to keep it secret, and considered deleting my posts in this thread and just reporting my positive experience to mrMik who purchased the fin and had it sent to me whom I need to thank again, and curse at too, as now I either have to order one, or make one.
At least foiling it should be easier than a traditional raked fin .
Anybody want to buy the 8.25" Zebrawood and Sapele fin with the carbon fiber Halo in the pics above? I made it for this board specifically, and love it, but besides the frontside cutback, with the inline trailer fin, that fin combo just cannot compare to the WG2, which is likely bigger than needed for this board.
The price is a quart and a half kit of system 3 Clearcoat Epoxy, delivered. :) and a self addressed stamped envelope.
Wow, what a detailed and eloquent ride report!
Thanks, much appreciated.
The photo was doing my head in when seen on a mobile phone. The larger version on the computer makes it easier to see what is happening. Nice lense effect lighting up the fin's shadow. Great shot.
Glad you like the fin!
I really am still blown away with how good the fin felt in that board. Looks like the surf has dropped and I should transfer it to my larger 9'7" which in general is faster and turns better than the 9'3".
Thanks again for having this fin shipped to me. I would never have bought it myself and would never believe any positive review of it had I not tried it myself.
I just can't get over how wrong it looks in my finbox. The sunlight passing through it was certainly a neat effect.
well, time to make sure the fin fits Ok in the 9'7", and go surf.
I rode the fin in my bigger longboard in smaller weaker waves. About waist high max and there was more chop towards the end of my session than yesterday. With more tail rocker the winglets were aiming downward, and it was obviously not working quite as well as on my other board.
First wave I felt the fin was just too far back in the box. Other characterictics I noticed yesterday were still there, like the resistance to turbulence, increased trim speed and a faster pivot when kicking out of the wave. The fin neither felt too big or too small, and there perhaps was a loss of sensitivity to input compared to my usual set up in this board.
It really was able to cruise across the flats maintianing speed surprisingly well. Still had a Lot of fun. A very interesting feel. Looking forward to trying it again moved up a bit further in the box.
I did not really get any noseriding opportunities where I got really far forward and any additional nose lift via tail rocker and winglets pulling tail downwards was not noticed. I Also forgot to try and get the board to vibrate again on a hard nose high pocket stall. I did lose a couple waves on the top turn, similar to waves that yesterday i also expected to lose but did not.
I was taking some lefts that I was simply too late on, and pig dogging, not quite letting go of the rail until I had my line firmly set, and was able to blast around sections I did not think I was going to be able to get around. The resistance to whitewater turbulence, i do not know if it the fin shape or the flex or a combo of these two features, but this is a pronounced characteristic. Makes me wonder how it would handle the tube monster on a multifinned board in real surf.
The fin fit a bit better in this FU box. Without the ziptie underneath the fin, the fin could not be slipped fore and aft with screw fully tightened, but there was still some movement and I returned the zip tie under it and likely compressed it via the screw. I think if this fin were mine and I were to keep it for this board, i Would get it to sit even more upright via the roll pin and shaving some off the underside of the fin tab, so the winglets matched the same angle they had on the board i rode it in yesterday.
Looking at the angle of the winglets on this board it simply looks like they are trying to dig, pulling th tail downwards. Despite this the board was faster. It paddled faster but not quite so much when actually paddling for a muchburger from a bit too far outside.
There were a few times I seemed to catch the wave earlier than planned and the nose was trying to pearl. I still really liked the overall feel, and hope moving the fin forward makes it feel even better. I'll be bringng a phillips head screwdriver for sure as that was my first impressionm the fin was too far back, as this picture makes pretty obvious.
Thanks again, wrcsixeight!
I really have to go for a surf with one of these fins myself.
And I have to try to print one with bumps instead of winglets. And with quick release fin base for 'hot-swapping' in the water.
You can see where this is going: Wanderfalke morphing into Wavegrinder in that fabulous finFoil software:
BLEF or Tubercles look a lot more sexy than winglets, to my eye.
But I don't know it they work just as well a winglets.
I'm sure there is a mathematical formula to determine the optimal size of the tubercles, relative to the fin. But I'm not much of a mathematician and prefer to use visual approximation instead of an exact formula. That's why the picture shown is imperfect. I'm still tweaking it, but it has taken a few hours to get this far. Improving it further is tedious. Law of diminishing returns or something like that.
Tinker with it yourself at: http://finfoil.io/s/3D/4p1bn9k7igbxipo4khn4yc5jpdn9fh7f
The BlEF would be interesting to try too.
The winglets certainly have a range of tail/bottom rocker/ fin box angle that needs to be accounted for. I had not really given the fin a good viewing after installation in the bigger LB before surfing it. Post surf, when i noticed just how the winglets were just pointing at an angle downward relative to hull, I was surprsed it did not feel like it was dragging, as it was still a faster fin than my usual set up, it just did not have the same increase in mojo as it had on my other longboard, which honestly I found a bit mind blowing.
I think wavegrinder should just sell a single center thruster fin if they want to get HPSB riders to give it a go, or maybe 4 guys could split the cost of a set of quad fins and see if they like the feel. I think we've all experienced just how much looser a slightly smaller thruster fin feels in a shortboard. If this fin does translate into a HPSB, then a smaller looser fin with equal or more drive could certainly open some doors under the right feet.
As wrong as these fins look, they work, at least in my longboards and I would certainly love to give them a go in a multifin shortboard.
What I would be interested in is the ideal angle, and the working range of angles, of the winglets in relation to the rest of the bottom rocker of the board. If the winglets are 'digging' there is more drag, but as much drag as a conventional template? They were digging on my big longboard, but there was still obviously a decrease in overall fin drag compared to my usual set up. A few times on lefts, there was a right coming at me, which I wanted to hit, but it was a ways off and not really coming at me as fast as expected, but I waited and tried to maintain speed, until I got there, and it maintained the speed across a very mushy section allowing me to hit it, swing the nose around and then have about 10 yards of going right, before rebounding off that section too. I highly doubt my regular fin set up would have complied with my desires in the same scenario.
Also the single foil as rail fins are a hard pill to swallow for me and likely harder for others. I however never expected what I felt on either board, and I did like it, and it has me questioning many aspects of widely accepted design.
The flex is something I am also rethinking. The blue WG2 fin is by far the flexiest fin I've ever used and I thought it was too flexy and would feel squishy. Hard to describe the feel as there is some lack of input from the fin. Perhaps an analogy would be using a higher profile tire that rides softer over bumps, but has more grip, and better lubed bearings.
Floaters over a section, well they were buttery smooth, and riding through frothy water from the previous wave was also a very different feel, as if one only had to worry about the rail disengaging, not the fin, the fin did not seem to care about turbulence and shrugs it off.
Honestly i do NOT want to give up this fin for others to test. I would like to try an 8.25 inch version for my smaller LB as perhaps even less drag and adequate lift could blow my mind even further, and on my bigger LB, I'd like the winglets to achieve the same relative angle to the hull as it did on my smaller LB.
I need to try it with it moved farther forward in the box. Perhaps today, but surfing on weekends around these parts can cause my contempt for humanity to rise to undesirable levels, but this is mitigated somewhat by all the firm eye candy sauntering around.
I also have one of these wavegrinder single fins but only surfed it once or twice a few years ago before putting it away and being distracted by my own fin creations. it might be time to revisit it again and give it a fair run in the right board and right waves.
If someone wants to buy a 5.7" thruster FCS set I will happily pay 1/3 of the cost to get one of the fins. Or I'm happy to buy the full set myself if there are two others who will take a fin off me for 1/3 of the cost each.