Today was the maiden voyage, in some chest high to slightly overhead glassy conditions and I pretty much loved it. I have a prety good longboard hangover, but still managed to get into waves I thought were doubtful.
i drove to the ocean with it as a thruster, With 3 GYU-x carbon fcs fins in it. When I saw the swell was not very powerful I decided to go with it as a quad.
I put the gyu-x center fin in my forehand quad box in the middle with a 4 degree insert.
I moved the GYU-x rail fin to the rear box, also 4 degrees cant in the middle of the probox, and installed a carbon tom carroll FCS fin in the front box with a 6 degree insert, a bit further back in the box.
So I had two flat sided fins on my backhand and a 5050 foiled trailer quad on my forehand.
The fins hummed half way through bottom turns on my forehand, and after letting off a bottom turn on my backhand. The board resonated like a high pitched guitar. Quite loud, When the humming started the crisp feel dulled a bit.
Overall it paddled great, was extremely predictable, I did not struggle with foot placement, and surfed OK for not having surfed a sub 9 foot board but perhaps a dozen times this year. One forehand cutback at speed revealed my right leg is not quite as strong as liked as it buckled under me.
One left( backhand) I got too high in the lip and almost lost the wave. I was surprised at just how fast it turned up the face. I got back on my belly and took two more paddles, as the wave was obviously going to reel for many dozen more yards, and indeed I managed to get 4 solid turns in and was fully rubber kneed with a shit eating grin on my face paddling back out.
Very very happy with how it rode, just need to fine tune the fins. I;d rather have a more drawn out bottom turn on my backhand. When I got out I put the 50/50 FCS TC fin in the backhand quad box, so basically GYUX on the forehand rail and TC template on the backhand. I'd prefer a TC up front on my forehand but that fin is underwater in Maui.
The TC template is what i used when I made my first wood fins. I still have these fins but the tabs are fatigued with too much flex at the base. Since I have proboxes I think I am going to insert some carbon rods into the fin in the space between the tabs to stiffen them up for use in this board.
Wow, what an awesome job. Thanks for documenting the build. I have one question and I apologize in advance, but what did the red wire under the stringer do? You mentioned water will inevitably leak in so you added a red wire under the stringer in the nose. For the life of me, I can't figure out why.
Send me your dinged, damaged, and yellowed.
Thanks for the interest.
The red wire was just to show there was enough room, between the stringers and the hull panel, for water, with the board placed on its nose, to travel across the stringers to reach the nose vent/drain hole. It was kind of a reminder that I had to not let epoxy fill that area, as it would be very difficult to get a tool in there to open up the drainage holes.
I wound up using some cocktail straws sections to prevent closure when I layed small patches of cloth on the interior side of the cedar pieces i used to fill inbetween the stringers. I was later able to remove the cocktail straws when it was unlikely that i would have drips occluding the passages.
Gonna go ride it again right now.
Always fearful of the deck panel trying to flatten or separate from the nose rocker I ran middle and outer stringers off the end of the nose. Instead of using thickened epoxy to firm a fillet I prewetted carbon fiber roving in a cardboard corner, squeezed out the excess resin and used it as the fillet.
All the stringers are held to the hull panel in this overkill method.
With the stringers runnong off the end of the board, I though it would be neat to use a different type of wood to demark where they exit. I could really have done a much better job on this part. it is a bit hard having to build the rails mostly square while trying to imagine how they will look when shaped.
What an awesome job.
Another fun surf on it today, But used the 0 degree inserts in the quad boxes, and changed the toe rail fin to 4 degrees cant, from 6. This felt very weird. I was having issues, especially on my forehand/rights. I blew one really good opportunity on one of the bigger ones. MOving the fins up and back, and it was still very weird in the trough transitioning into and through a bottom turn.
One of those 0 degree quad fins was 50/50 foiled and was on toe side, and eventually got relocated to center probox, and the other quad fin got stuffed in my wetsuit. I keep a fin key on my Ear plug tether and did this in the lineup.
Then I started having a blast. It Felt so positive, familiar. And Fast. But I want a new toe fin. I do not like the GYU-x, never did, do not know why I still have them, They are too small for me. I pushed it fully to the back then fully to the front and left it there.
I am refoiling/ reinforcing some wood fins I made 13 and 16 years ago, and raising my eyebrows at my fin making/foiling abilities back then, and my choice of 80/20 amd 70/30 foils for them.
I am very happy with how it rides, especially as a thruster, and I need to work on my leg strength as my right knee is having issues with the G's I've been trying to pull.
Now to dial in the fins' their location and the cants.
Feels great to be excited to ride a sub 9 foot board again. Nice to have good swell for it too.
Haha you said occluding on a surfboard forum, that was cool. Board looks awesome. And light enough you won't be diaphoresing getting it to the water.
"Everybody is ignorant only on different subjects." - Will Rogers
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