Send me your dinged, damaged, and yellowed.
I basically only ride this board when it is average of chest high or better on the smaller sets, so I do not have a ton of sessions on it, but I do very much like it, especially on my backhand. It does not feel like it weighs 15.5 lbs, and when I do ride it, I often am told I am ripping although I do not agree.
It is a lot of board, and when I get some steep open face and can really set the rail and fin and goto town I wish for the knees and quads of my younger self. Getting my back foot over the rail fins is a huge part of getting this board to respond properly, and I think I need to put a traction pad there just as an indicator, rather than for traction. I've never been a traction pad fan.
That sweet spot is very sweet, but not nearly as broad and forgiving as my other HWS's or any previous PU/PE boards in this general size range and shape. This board also pretty much needs the constant input, no standing with a narrower stance and trimming through mushy sections as it just bogs down.
I have found the best fin options for what Fins I own, and my favorite heel side rail fin continues to be the FCS carbon fiber TC Redline with the 6 degree insert, more rearward than center but not all the way back.
The center fin is a very high aspect fairly thick extremely stiff lacewood fin with less than half the surface area of a traditional thruster fin. I like it all the way back in the probox and have ridden it some of the rare sizeable days this winter with no desire for a larger center fin. My toeside rail fin is a very stiff plywood fin I made long ago and more recently reglassed and refoiled. It was based on the TCredline template but grew a little bit with the halo added. It is more of an 80/20 foil with a 5/16" maximum thickness at the base.
I do not really like this fin but it is the best one I have yet used in this board. The TCRedline on my heelside feels much crisper and more responsive. I lost the TCredline toe side rail fin long ago, and I have given up on this board, as a Quad, for now at least. I am also sticking with 6 degree inserts, for now.
I did once ride it as a 5 fin with the rear 3 fairly small fins and it felt very planted, but a bit confused and like it was too much fin. Almost tracky. No doub I could have figured it out with a few more sessions with it as a 5, but really I need to dial this thing in with 3 fins before expolring other setups with the 5 available proboxes.
I am about to foil another fin just for my toe side rail, and am pretty much leaning in the direction of a high aspect ratio fin with less tip area like the one RDM posted in this thread:
The template on the far right is the one I have cut out of a WRcedar sandwich panel I made last year using te 5th plank matched to 4 that comprise the hull panel, and could start foiling right now. The meat of this sandwich is 3 or 4 layers of woven roving, as I did not have enough regular cloth to do a regular panel. The center is 5/32 thick. I expect it will be extremely stiff which is fine as I currently weigh in at 213Lbs and dislike squishy feeling fins which is how flexy fins on a shortboard always felt to me.
The Flat sided fins make little to no sense from a design standpoint, only ease of fabrication, but I find 80/20 or 90/10 or 70/30 foils to be smooth, but they seem to lack crispness and forward projection, and have a slight delay in response that I wish to eliminate. It woud certainly ease the foiling process to make a flat sided fin.
I am aiming for the surface area and depth of a Twin fin, and the template on the right fin is 6 1/8 deep, and sometimes looks way too big and other times looks just right. In the 90's I always liked twinnies with a smaller trailer fin, and my previous HWS, the 6'8" always worked best with thruster side fins and a smaller center fin a bit farther forward than the standard 3.5 inches. But i never tried it with actual twinny sized twin fins.
The thing is Thick right now, prefoiling, close to 3/4 inch. I'd like to have the fin ready by the time Soon to be Hurricane Fabio's swell reaches here in 4 days, but am still unsure if I should pursue the template on the right or redraw something smaller. I've no issue with aysymmetrical fin sizes, my heelside fin will remain the TC redline as It just feels solid and dependable.
The panel and what I have left of it, I can make two more rail size fins and one trailer, but I doubt I can foil and glass all of themall in time, and want to committ to completing just one fin in the next 4 days. If I do not like it, I know my existing toeside rail fin performs acceptably, but Mr Mik's 3d printed fins in my traditional longboard have basically leaning well away from any traditional looking fins with a heavily raked tip, and I am more interested, as far as shortboard fins go, in mimicking the pectoral fins of sharks like the grey reef and silky, as opposed to the dorsal fin of a dolphin.
The black fin on the far left, there for size reference only, is a Rusty template from the early incarnations of FCS plastic fins from 1997 or so. It is fairly large in terms of a thruster fin.
Before I busted out my foiling tools, I decided to place the template I chose into my intended board, not my previous one, and it simply looks abnormally huge from all angles and worse in the photo below.
Yet if I line up the FCS rusty fin leading edge with my drawn template there is very little difference in total surface area.
Late drops under the hook at low speed have me wanting at least the same surface area on a rail fin, if not more, yet it simply looks like too much fin because of the depth and the untraditional shape.
Recent fin experineces in my traditional single fin LB have that line between looking right, and working right, very much blurred.
Wish making fins was not so labor intensive and time and material consuming. Seems so hard to nail it on the first go and not allow one to convince onself it works well, simply because of that effort expended.
Nice writeup WRC.
I took the rouge's gallery and 'finFoiled' the first one and 4th one.
The Rusty template (ws_1) is 15.6 sqin @ 4.5" tall
Bright White (ws_2) is 17.2 sqin @ 5.63" tall
I can totally indentify with the foiling conundrums, as testified by my big box of 1/2 done fins.
Please keep us posted.
Be safe, have fun. -J