Topic: fin on a longboard

I have a Kona Surf and it comes with a 38cm long fin. I think this is to long and wonder how long and what shape on the fin suits on a longboard in waves?

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Re: fin on a longboard

I have played a bit with my 12foot No Friends SUP and found it works best with a wide body soft tip 24cm fin.
I tried bigger but the the board doesnt turn, much smaller made it too prone on spining out.

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Re: fin on a longboard

I have become a HUGE fan of the True Ames Surfgrass fins. Indeed, I'm close to selling most of my other fins.

They're fast and slippery, slashy, and their COE is pretty far forward (almost like an elliptical). I use an 11.5" on my Kona One, and am pretty happy with that as a "longboard" fin. In other words, it planes in the straps on a beam/broad reach, but doesn't have enough fin for great upwind performance; it also goes nicely in dagger down upwind beating. And doesn't hang in weeds.

Heckuva combo...

Tell us, how do you like the KS? And what conditions do you use it in? I considered getting one, and have a friend that I think may be an ideal candidate (after she graduates from the K1).


Last edited by Geoff (2009-09-10 17:33:51)

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Re: fin on a longboard

First of all, I have just started to ride longboards, so my experience is limited, however I have tried the KONA ONE for about 3 days and the KONA Surf for about a month.

This is just a rookies thoughts. The KO is good for racing (becource of the kona one racing series) or just riding for fun in conditions without waves. In my opinion, this board is to big for any kind of waveriding. 

The kona surf suits me. It's alright in light wind, just to have as a freeride. I have only ridden the board in waves two times yet, but my impression is that its fun to ride, but really heavy to turn.... that's why I want to try a different fin. But it's easy to catch waves and it' s no work... just soul!

the most fun part is to switch from a big board to a small wave board. My 74 litres feels REALLY small after I'v ridden the longboard....

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Re: fin on a longboard

Few words about my impressions, hope it can help.
In Venice lagoon, with lighter winds, I always use a weed fin, Fanatic 34/48 (depth/lenght) on my old Mistral Echo 298 (yes not a sup, but a long-board). I've seen that works great on that board, good planing, with Stealth 8,5 (this is the setup you can see on my actual avatar). Especially, no excessive pressure on my ankles like using bigger straight fins with a relative narrow tail board like that.
Curiously, the fin doesn't work so well on my small custom flapper, not rare spinouts. Pheraps because of the big rake of the fin that brings its body closer to the already near tail end of board, I don't know. and anyway not good leverage on the wider tail of my Trevisiol.
So it seems (to me) that weed fins are very good for long boards.

Last edited by Nico (2009-11-23 01:23:29)

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Re: fin on a longboard

I generally agree, that I've liked a weed fin on a longboard for general free-riding. Again, I urge you to try a True Ames Surfgrass - a big one, like an 11".

In a race, needing to point high, I think a weed's limitations would become apparent (in clear, non-weedy water).

But for all-around funboarding, weed fins are good and the Surfgrass is the best.

And I agree with Sweden, the KO is not for waves....

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Re: fin on a longboard

OK, Sweden...
By popular demand from the SF / longboard afficionado's...

What's your take on the Kona Surf?

Is it OK as a sail-surfer (schlog sail out, surf it back in)?   My own bias would be 'strapless' other than maybe the back strap in this mode...

Does it seem like it is OK as a "funboard" (in the old-school concept)?

How about as an all-purpose board for smaller sailors?   (kids, women, small guys, etc.)

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Re: fin on a longboard

I've now surfed the kona surf for half season and I will probably have a different view if you ask me in 6 month.

It works really great in waves. At first, I had the sail at the middle of the masttrack. The board was difficult to turn and felt "dead". Then I moved the mast all the way back, and this made the board much easier to turn and much more fun to ride.

I have only ridden the board strapless once or twice, but it was to difficult for me, maybe I'll try that in the future. I don't know, but maybe the deck is to round in the tail, so you can't get pressure on the rail? maybe not, I'm not sure.

The board works well both as a sail-surf (as you describe it), but also when its more windy, with a small sail. I actually like the board the best with my 4,5 in 20-25 knots wind.

I'm sure the board works well as an old-school funboard, I havn't tried.

I don't think this is the best board for learners or kids. I think they can use it, but the best suited board for them would be a short, wide one.

I'm not sure what you mean with "all-purpose board", but in my opinion, today a longboard should be used by a person how are already hooked on windsurfing, and have gone from "beginners-board", "funboard", "sinker", waveboard, freestyle (or what ever) ..... 
If you're not good enough, theres a risk that you get bored with a longboard, and don't appreciate the challenge a longboard brings.

I've not changed the fin, yet... When I moved the mast back, i was pretty pleased with the fin. However, I have now bought a weed fin, but it's to damn cold in sweden, so I haven't tried it yet.

Last edited by Sweden (2010-01-14 12:18:43)

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Re: fin on a longboard

VERY helpful post, Sweden.

Told me what I wanted to know.

To clarify my thinking...

Going 'strapless' is mainly a sail-surfing mode (where you have to walk all over the board). If it's windy enough that one is doing a bit of both - sail surfing and windsurfing, I think expert riders could get by in onshore big lake winds with just a back strap. Probably can't do real wave sailing without the front straps (but I'm not a real wavesailor so that doesn't bother me).

All-purpose board to me is a board that an accomplished sailor might have to use in a huge variety of conditions. I agree that such a board is not good for pure beginners (never-ever on the water before), but OK as a progressor board for folks trying to learn how to get in the straps, use harness lines, plane, etc., but an excellent all-purpose board can also be fun for a highly skilled rider who can maximize all the adjustabililty and maneuverability the board can offer - really push a longboard to it's limits by using all the tools.

As to short wide beginner boards, I think they have extremely limited range. I've taught lots of clinics and beginners, and modern teaching approaches have the average student ready to move beyond these boards in a weekend (conditions permitting).

I think a PERFECT next step for progressors is actually the Kona One, because I've seen how easily they take to it and rapidly progress. But small people (kids, small women) - especially those who have good athleticism - might actually do better with something with less volume than the K1, because the K1 is a lot of board for a small person to control once the wind kicks up. Also, boards that are too floaty or too wide for progressing don't teach good foot position - you can be sloppy with foot placement, get away with it, and learn bad habits that take a lot of effort to un-learn. The thing I'm wondering (since I have a K1), would be if I got a Kona Surf that maybe I could take on such students, see them sail, and put them on the right size for them (I can ride whichever one they don't ride). Plus, if it's a good board for advanced sailors too, then it would be a very nice addition.

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