I rarely log...maybe 5-10 times a year...but really enjoy the rush now and then of going fast on a 9 foot board. Not interested in nose riding at all...lined up, semi hollow waist - chest high waves, slotted, high line kind of stuff. Since i wont longboard enough to really dial stuff in, i'm interested in how these fin setups might ride. So far the only one ive used is the single squirrel fin and find it really springs you off the bottom and shoots you down the line. board is HP 9' x 22 1/2" X 2 3/4" Setup one- 9" squrrel fin:Setup two- 3.25" side bites, 6.5" cutawaySetup three- 3.25" side bites, 7" takayama off an old single fin egg:
I have a fin similar to the squirrel fin on my 9-0 Bing Trimulux (single fin only) and it is the bee's knees for everything from mushy crap to solid chest + fun surf. Since you have a 2+1 you may also want to try 4.5" sidebites with a 4.5" trailer for a true thruster set-up. I have found large-wave nirvana with this setup on my 9-4 Soul Performance speed log. Nice hold on steep faces and great tight (for a longboard) turns. Of course when we get head to overhead surf, you will probably grab a shortboard and leave the log alone in the garage pining for you to return. . .
The 2+1 has really been a misused setup. Unfortunately, it's been a real magnet for guys that think that want the latest gadget or (never having a single fin) think that a single fin either can't turn or is for geezers. The truth is, with the right shape, 2+1s can enhance performance.
Personally, I think they require a "performance" longboard shape, with a narrower tail and some "V" for transition from rail to rail. I also think that (using it with the right shape) a 2+1 setup is ideal setup in steeper waves (OBX). While some may use 2+1s on a noserider, putting that setup on a wide, flat-tailed & soft railed board is a waste of money. Soft rails provide all the hold you need in steep waves and if you want to crank tight turns, the noserider just isn't the tool for the job.
All that being said, I think, of the three, that the squirrel fin is best for what you plan to do with it. The side bites will induce more drag than benefit for taking the high line and drawing a line down the face of a flatter (i.e. semi-hollow) wave. Personally, I'd put a Greenough 4A and lose the side bites for that. Just my 2 cents.
Oh...and to sorta echo what Mikey said, my 10' Cluster V has 5.5" sidebites and 3" trailer. On steep, juicy waves, that board can pull off some incredible stuff. Tiny tail, though, and good amount of "V".
Mitchell: Sorry to dig this up, but I actually found it via google looking at different squirrel fins. Did you ever try all these setups and if so, where do you stand on the three listed above?
I've mostly stuck with the squirrel fin midway in the box just like the pic. I only enjoy longboarding in fast steep hollow medium sized waves...waist to chest and peeling down the sandbar too fast to really do any turns. Pop/Drop/Slot kind of surf. The single fin seems to be the fastest out of the bottom turn, and holds the high tight line the easiest. Its amazing how much you can load that fin up on a bottom turn and just SHOOT down the line when you release it.
The tri fin setups definitely loosen up the board, reduce the tracky feel. But like I said...not riding the longboard to do a bunch of turns.
I'd stick with the squirrel with no side bites. Sounds like it's working for you. Matt johnson, njsurfer, and lbcrew all basically nailed it. If your looking for something diffrent get your self a fin like the greenogh 4A and ride it and as a single. If you don't want to buy a new fin just stick with what you got with the squirrel as a single. For what your doing and the waves your surfing the LB in, that's your best choice in my opinion. I have a board with almost identical dimensions and ride it as a single with a California classic by tru ames. That board can do anything I want it to but deffinitly excels in the type of conditions/surfing you mention
Dude I prefer the single fin. But I think it's just a matter of preference... You really gotta get out there with the 2+1 on a good clean day with some size to really try it out... I would guess that you would know if you like it or not within the first wave. I have never really liked the 2+1- but that's cause I like the glide and turning of a single...
I would try the last pic that you posted... Or keep single fin. That cutaway would work great in a single fin short board