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FIN NERD Prt 1. UNDERSTANDING COMPARISON CHARTS

lachlan leckie

We know buying online can have its limitations. But! There are some things we can do here that are not always on offer in shops; Take these fin comparison charts for instance. 

These charts compare the closest fins in the Salty Merchants current range, helping you understand one performance value compared to another.
All comparisons are scaled to each other for a true representation.
They also offer detailed info and measurement on the fin.

Below these two charts we have explained some of the features in more detail and how to make use of this information.

All comparison charts are based on a main fin. In the above charts we have the DORK 3 (left) and KEYO SICKLE (right). The fin measurements are listed at the top of each, these are key when selecting the fin for specific board. Here's why;

1. Height (not including box tab). This is the "height" or "depth" of the fin, once in your board. It is the universal way fins are measured.

2. Base width (not including box tab). This is the measurement from the front to trailing (back) edge of the fin. Generally speaking the longer this width is the more drive your fin will have and often the stiffer it will be to turn.

3. Box tab length. This is the part of the fin that goes in your board. We offer this measurement to ensure the fin-box in your board is long enough to accommodate the fin. Common box sizes are 6", 8" 10" and occasionally there is 12" and 15".. Although lengths vary, all boxes are built at one of only 2 widths; USA and and Australian standard. Unfortunately the 2 are slightly different by only a hair (thanks to metric vs imperial). With the US base being the more narrow of the 2. Salty merchant fins are made to this smaller width to ensure they fit both - unless otherwise requested.

4. Total width. This is the measurement of the entire fin. Using this measurement you can find out where the fin will be on your board. Generally speaking, you don't want the tip of your fin further back than the tail of your board, or too far forward either. If your fin-box is set a long way back, you might find the total length of a fin may overhang and therefore not work like you want/your shaper intended..

5. Screw position. We place screws at either the front or the back depending on the fin. Some fins, like the D fin for example are designed to be right back on a board, therefore the tab is at the front to allow the back to go as far as possible. 

COMPARING 2 FINS.

The main fin will be compared with 4 other fins on the chart. Usually set at the back, you can see the main fins outline by the dotted line. It will sit over the top allowing you to view the differences. All fins are matched at the back edge of the fin, this is the "zero point" for all fins.

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

Well, it depends on what you want! And for each person, board or fin you will be looking for something different. For example example. 
If you have a driving template like the 10" matte black and your finding your board tracking to much, you might want something that pivots a little easier. So now your looking for something more upright and even a little less base, looking at the comparisons, the DORK 3 would be a good option.  

Hope that helps on your search for the perfect setup. Ans also remember, if the above fails, just write us and ask!