5. Do you think all of these fin configurations will continue to be offered or do you think that with time it will narrow down to one or two styles? If so, which ones?
Seb W – I think we will continue to see a variety of fin setups. Look at surfing… you can find a lot of different setups… why should we only choose one. Wavesailing is more about personal style and feel. With different fin setups, every windsurfer can find the right board that suits his style of wave sailing and the conditions he sails in.
Keith T - For the moment all the fin configurations will be offered, but for me I see the twin slowly leaving our line. It is still a very good board so we keep working with it.
Dany B - It would be amazing if we could find a board shape, with a fin setup, that can substitute all existing options and that would still work in all kind of conditions. I reckon to have the option to choose what to ride, where and when, is something that right now we need. Wave sailing is getting more and more specialised. Moves are getting harder and harder and the rides more intense than ever, and to be up there, you have to have the right gear for the right conditions. Yes, you could have one board that does it all, but it will do it all in an average way. To stand out, you need to have the right weapon!
Scotty M - A large variety of fin types will always be offered.
Cisco G - I believe quad, twins and thrusters are clearly distinctive and are here to stay.
Werner G - I believe each setup has its place. We will develop wave boards for a certain range of use, and tune them to the performance we are looking for. I cannot tell now which concept will work for the upcoming boards, but we certainly will keep working with all of them.
Ola H - Looking back, there’s clearly been some main yearly trends in the number of fins. I think we will in fact see more variation in the future and that both sailors and shapers will chose fin style that fits the best for what they want to board to do. The “problem” with fins is that they can be counted and hence that it so easy to talk about them. This leads to a bit of prejudice on what each style can offer. But to me, fin setups are just one aspect of the board as a whole and each setup offers particular things in particular hull shapes. Just like every type of rocker does. I don’t see myself limiting my options any time soon. It would be like only working with one rocker curve.
6. Some brands are now producing boards with 5 boxes to give the rider ultimate choice of fin configuration, whereas other brands believe a board needs to be designed around its fin configuration, so offer only one option. What are your thoughts on this?
Seb W - My first thought on this is “heavy”. We decided not to offer five boxes on our boards, as we feel that the quad works best as a quad, and the tri fin works best as a thruster or single fin.
Keith T - I think ultimately keeping one configuration is important, as each design does have design characteristics put into it. Though I think single fins can benefit from a thruster option, and quads and thruster boards can be designed to work together. I think though, you are always compromising if you add too many options. The other constraint is that boards get heavier with so many boxes in the board. Also, I think it confuses the customer. If you really want to get the best out of your multi-boxed board, you need to spend time figuring out where the fins go, and where you want to stand and where the mast track goes. This takes time, and most people want to just plug their fins in and go windsurfing because their time is limited.
Dany B - As I said before, I do not believe that the bottom shape for one board with a single fin setup or a twin, will work the same for a quad and a thruster. It’s a good commercial for the customer who wants to have only one board in his quiver, but it’s hard to believe that the same board will work with the same precision in all fin set-ups. The bottom shape directs the water flow under the board, and depending how you send it to the back of the board (the fins) the better result you will have. As I said, you can have an average good board for all conditions, but never the outstanding one.
Scotty M - I would say we used to think that you could offer a variety of fin options, but in time, have realised that you compromise one over the other when you do offer options. We’ve tried exact outlines with different bottom shapes, and one prefers a quad and one prefers a thruster. Each of their evolutions is now taking a separate path.
Cisco G - What I see is that people either prefer Thrusters or Quads, so the benefit of the five boxes is that it helps the rider make that initial choice. The negative is that then they have to carry the added weight and drag. Also, Quad boards have a bit more of a wave focus, and thrusters work also as good with faster rocker lines in all around conditions. So therefore yes, a different shape favours different fin setups.
I believe within the thruster and quad options you have enough variances already. We have been riding our quads as twins on the lightest, smaller or more onshore days, as it makes the board accelerate faster and is more fun and unpredictable, spicing up the conditions. The One line (thruster/single) can also get the same playful feeling when you increase the side fins size and reduce the centre fin size; the same board becomes more slippery and surfy.
Werner G - It depends on the range of use the board has to offer. More specialised boards are designed around a fin configuration. All around concepts can have more options.
Ola H - We use five boxes in all current boards and have been working on getting our hull shapes to work with a wide variety of fin setups and respond to changes. There are some particular things that can make a given hull not work with a given fin setup. Too thin rails in the mid part of the board might not work well with a twin setup and too little rocker under the mast foot might not work with tri fins.
But with such things under control, you can do amazing things in terms of tuning the feel and performance of a given hull by changing fin setups. The difference can actually be as big as when changing hulls but you have the advantage of still being on the volume distribution etc that you’re use to. And fins are cheaper than boards too, and easier to transport. This is not to say you have to fiddle around with your fins. The range of the boards with most setups are still huge. But you can make the range even bigger for you by finding a fin combo that suits your preferences. With the slot boxes we use, the weight penalty is also not a problem.