Next time I see a Narwhal on a bodyboard I’ll ask him.
Next time I see a Narwhal on a bodyboard I’ll ask him.
Are you saying because a fish does not have a board its fin shape differs and does not have to deal with "side spill" ?
I have seen guys surfing with a fin stuffed in their shorts, usually on bigger days. It's not a practical way to do it. I used to wear reef walkers and walk out on the reef at low tide. Once I got out into the water I'd stuff them in the backside of my shorts because I didn't like the way they felt riding my board. One bad wipeout and their gone, or one is gone.
When I was growing up my family had beach front lots where we all learned about the ocean. We used to ride waves with anything we could think of. One time used large heavy duty trash bags once to catch waves. You just swim out with the bag deflated, then fill the bag up some and twist it closed making sure you have a good grip on the twisted end to keep the air in. It was a poor man's air matress, and worked until the bag popped. We used fins for better propulsion, but if the bag was filled up enough, the wave would catch you.
I found some silicone pockets that fit my foot and with a little add ons, it can become a soft fin that I can fold up enough to put in my pocket while I surf. I've thought about something that I could wear while surfing, but I think it would be hard to get used to. Truth is that if I just got my swimming back to where I could catch waves easily, I wouldn't need anything, but I don't think that is going to happen, I'm too lazy.
At the end of this interview with Charlie Schuster is some stills of Al Santos surfing a bag: http://mypaipoboards.org/interviews/CharlieSchuster/Charlie_2012_0911.shtml
Cool shots. One thing about using alternative wavecraft is often there's very little control, but that was how things were back then. It was all about the fun, the thrill of sliding along. It's a drug, catch a wave and it feels so good you have to get another, and another, until you have that bad wipeout.
Looking at the peak of fin design over the years, Churchill’s, UDT, Vipers and DaFin they all have a stiff blade and are made for fit riders, that’s where the drive comes from. And irrespective of the fins performance, the fit and, comfort seems to be even more important. A generous foot pocket especially across the toes and a robust heel strap, as Krusher said the DaFins are a bit thin.
I think there’s room for a collapsible, inflatable, folding fin Sharkcountry,
These are the paipo boards I've made in the last 2 months. The first one I did was copied from a wooden paipo I saw at Inter-island Surfboards. It has the old paipo nui outline, but the nose is fairly flat and the tail has small turned down rails. It is 25 inches at the widest part, 40 inches long and about a half inch thick. I rode it only once and had a hard time carrying it down the cliffs to get to the beach because of the width.
The blue bottom board was made next. I used an EPS blank of an alaia I had made years ago. I cut of 40 inches of that and kept the bottom contours that are based on what Tom Wegener was doing with alaias. This board is only 16.5 inches wide, about 3/4 of an inch thick, and I used square rails. I used a morey boogie to get the rocker. I used that one only once and even though I had a lot of fun, I thought it was just a bit too narrow.
The last one has the funky colored bottom. This has the same rocker but it is about 20 inches wide, and maybe a little over an inch in the back half. I gave it a rolled entry and then square rails, with a totally flat bottom. I also cut the back like a sting to see if it would add a little bite when I'm on rail. I haven't tried using it yet, I went back to riding my regular boards.
If I ever get around to making the little swim fins I'll post it.
Nice work Sharkcountry, there so much you can learn from making your own boards, even if you only speculate as to why the design changes the performance, it’s a joy to ride your own craft.
For my latest fin design, I’ve had the CAD guy working on the drawings to get some prototypes made.
I’ve taken a leaf out of everyone’s design and added my own concepts.
ive taken a generous foot pocket from the DMC silicone swim fin because a cramped foot pocket is hell.
It’s got the flat blade top like an Mike Stewart Viper because it just makes sense to have a smooth flow across the blade without the foot pocket poking up.
It has the raised angled side strake of a DaFin but gonig fulllength like the LeBlon because the angled side create a firmer blade for thrust and also better hydrodynamics to keep the flow heading down the fin and not off to the sides.
My original idea is to distribute more of the blade area higher up on the fin and closer to the foot, thats where the power comes from in a kick. It means a quick, short kick will have more power like kicking a football rather than waiting for the water to get to the far end of the fin.
It’s obvoiusly not going to end there with plenty of prototypes coming. I’ve got a plan to make a single design that fits both feet, plenty of drainage, a robust heel strap, test different strake angles along the rails, always looking for the single goal of making it the most comfortable fin to wear and use.
Sharkcountry - thanks for the board photos and ride reports. It takes a while to work out the nuances of these boards and when conditions are most suited to them. Sometimes a paipo board is the best choice and sometimes it isn't. I was sent photos of Barry's paipo boards. Thanks for the tip off.
I've been thinking about getting something like these training fins as an intermediate step to get my legs used to fins again, but I'm not sure. I'm concerned about the closed foot pocket versus an open heel type made for surfers. These Finis fins are interesting. My problem is that I surf places that break a good distance from the shore, and at low tides are too shallow to swim out.
Looking forward to seeing where all your work ends up.
Sharkcountry, I haven’t found a real difference between;the full foot pocket and the heel strap design. But the heel strap does use the sole to hold it in place.
Fins seem to fall into several categories,
there’s the very long bladed scuba fin...the shorter scuba fin like the UDT...the surf fin like Da Fin, Duck Feet...Then there’s the fun fin for snorkelling...and the very short blade training swim fin. See Pic.
A shorter or softer blade has less resistance so less drive. The stiffer blades have more effective drive but are harder to push.
The longer the blade the slower the cadence or stroke rate but you can still kick at the pace and force that suits you. I’d rather have an effective fin at any pace so I prefer Vipers, Da Fins, Duck Feet but each one isn’t perfect for me.
I think that the best fin for anyone is the one they like, so that’s why the advertising science exists. But its only when you try lots of fins that the science doesn’t matter, it’s how the fin performs.