If you're looking for some new jive, it may be as simple as the change of a fin. The Merchants share some simple but useful information on the humble surfboard rudder that may expand your mind and liberate your surfing.
Base; gives drive, trim speed and adds power to turns.
Rake; increases drive and projection in and out of turns. More upright fins (shorter rake) have less drive and more pivot.
A blunt edge will better displace water allowing more manoeuvrability.
A sharper front edge will go faster down the line but may track or be harder to turn.
Choose flex according to surf board, surfing style and wave power. Flex is not always needed if there is power in the waves (or your surfing) but will offer assistance in week waves, acting like a spring.
Too much flex can result in a soft, reduced resistance or even a “blow out” when overloaded. Look for a firm flex with good snap back.
The positioning of your rudder is as important as the fin itself. When trying a new
fin, play with its positioning where possible to be sure you are getting
the most from it.
Moving your fin FORWARD will increase pivot but reduce drive.
The tail width of your board can also be a deciding factor. If you have a wide tail board and want to lean it on rail you will need a longer fin so there is always some in the water.
Moving your fin BACK will increase drive but be stiffer to turn.
On a narrow tail board you can get away with a smaller fin. Its also noted that narrow tailed boards naturally have a tighter feel and usually longer rail reducing the slip and increasing drive.
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