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  1. #1

    Mixing Fins on a Quad setup...

    Hey, so I have been riding pretty much thruster (3fin) setups. One of my boards has a 5 fin setup. I ride it primarily as a thruster. I did ride it as a quad during some decent hurricane leftover surf... maybe chest high, good power. I found it to be very very fast, but the bottom turn, it would squirt out on me. So I went back to the thruster setup.

    Now I would like to try it again as a quad.. but no surf so I cant experiement, leading to my post here... here is what my question is as Im not really a fin expert.
    The fins that came with my board are fcs M7 (all 3) for the thruster setup. along with 2 M3 fins to use as the smaller 2 in the quad set up. I recently got JW-1 fins (for free!) which is a Thruster set(3fins). They have more surface area to them then the M3. I wondering if mixing 2 different types of fins together would be worth trying in the quad setup... the larger M7 that came with the board, and instead of the M3, use the JW-1 fins in place of them in the back. I guess I'd have to just try it to find out... but the M7and M3 are from the same performance range, just for different size surfers and the JW-1s are for different performace characteristics...

    I guess soon enough I'll be able to give it a go... hopefully.

  2. #2
    you know, I had the same issue on bottom turns when I first started riding a quad. I found that I had to adjust my bottom turn a little. Instead of going real hard off the bottom turn, I had to angle myself in to the wave and make a bit less dramatic bottom turn. The trade off for me was that the board seems to hold better on steep, hollow waves, but that I lost the ability to really kill it on bottom turns. My fins are set up waaaay toward the rails (I'm riding a fish) but the board is fast and fun. Not that great for real powerful surf though. Most of the everyday (knee high to head high) that we get down here, works great. I opt for the thruster when it gets more consequential than that.

    I'm sportin' FCS G-6 on the front and G-1000's on the rear. Don't know if that helps or just further con volutes the issue.

    Anyone have any comments on that? Maybe my technique needs work so I don't suffer the same issues as my colleague above?
    Last edited by Kahuna Kai; Jan 31, 2012 at 10:37 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    "Killing it" on the bottom turn... hmm.

    Anyway... keep in mind that THE main difference between a quad and a thruster is speed through turns. The trailing fin on a thruster scrubs off speed. The rear fin on a quad adds leverage and drive. What you're used to is the tail sort of washing out on the turn... scrubbing speed and allowing you to crank into a tighter radius turn. A quad, on the other hand (with the proper fins and fin placement) will conserve speed through the entire turn, opening up the turning radius, but giving you that "squirt" of speed you're not used to.

    Make that extra drive and speed your friend... it adds heaps of knee buckling power to your surfing, especially if you're a bigger guy who can handle the Gs. Ironically, though, you'll throw less spray... if that's the kind of thing you're into. Big buckets of spray mean loss of speed. A quad is more efficient, so it's a lot smoother and faster through the turn.

    As for fins... mix it up. A lot. You'll never know what's right for you without trying a bunch of combinations. There are no rules. Do what feels right for you.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by LBCrew View Post
    As for fins... mix it up. A lot. You'll never know what's right for you without trying a bunch of combinations. There are no rules. Do what feels right for you.
    Ok this is what I was looking to hear. Thanks for the reply LBCrew. Looking forward to giving the quad a go.
    Last edited by MFitz73; Feb 1, 2012 at 03:36 AM.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by LBCrew View Post
    "Killing it" on the bottom turn... hmm.

    Anyway... keep in mind that THE main difference between a quad and a thruster is speed through turns. The trailing fin on a thruster scrubs off speed. The rear fin on a quad adds leverage and drive. What you're used to is the tail sort of washing out on the turn... scrubbing speed and allowing you to crank into a tighter radius turn. A quad, on the other hand (with the proper fins and fin placement) will conserve speed through the entire turn, opening up the turning radius, but giving you that "squirt" of speed you're not used to.

    Make that extra drive and speed your friend... it adds heaps of knee buckling power to your surfing, especially if you're a bigger guy who can handle the Gs. Ironically, though, you'll throw less spray... if that's the kind of thing you're into. Big buckets of spray mean loss of speed. A quad is more efficient, so it's a lot smoother and faster through the turn.

    As for fins... mix it up. A lot. You'll never know what's right for you without trying a bunch of combinations. There are no rules. Do what feels right for you.
    cranking a tighter turning radius is a more articulate way to put it for sure. thanks for the explanation, even if it was while poking a little fun at me for my lingo. only been on the quad a few months.

  6. #6
    That's by far the best description of the difference between quads and thrusters I ever read.

    Kudos to you kind sir, you just won the internetz.

    Quote Originally Posted by LBCrew View Post
    "Killing it" on the bottom turn... hmm.

    Anyway... keep in mind that THE main difference between a quad and a thruster is speed through turns. The trailing fin on a thruster scrubs off speed. The rear fin on a quad adds leverage and drive. What you're used to is the tail sort of washing out on the turn... scrubbing speed and allowing you to crank into a tighter radius turn. A quad, on the other hand (with the proper fins and fin placement) will conserve speed through the entire turn, opening up the turning radius, but giving you that "squirt" of speed you're not used to.

    Make that extra drive and speed your friend... it adds heaps of knee buckling power to your surfing, especially if you're a bigger guy who can handle the Gs. Ironically, though, you'll throw less spray... if that's the kind of thing you're into. Big buckets of spray mean loss of speed. A quad is more efficient, so it's a lot smoother and faster through the turn.

    As for fins... mix it up. A lot. You'll never know what's right for you without trying a bunch of combinations. There are no rules. Do what feels right for you.

  7. #7
    Awh man for sure give every fin you have a try! There aint no rules in having fun. I have a 5 fin convert board and I'll try huge fronts with tiny trailers, or all 4 same size, or all smalls, or large on one side and small on thd backside. You gotta keep it fresh and fun bro. Try 50/50 s or 80/20 s or flats on thd fronts and rears. You are the only one who decides what works for you. If you dont believe that, then i got this sick Channel islands that will for sure make you surf just as good as slater, I'll even throw in a little center fin for $10000000.

  8. #8
    just a quick follow up here... I got to surf yesterday in LI and tried the quad w M7s in the front and JW-1s in the back. Waves not great but a couple good ones to really feel the difference.
    Im regular foot, my frontside I was able to get a super fast and tight turn into the face of the wave. Almost felt like turning on a skateboards back to 2 wheels.
    My backside turns however were very embarrassing. After dropping down the wave, I would go into my lean to turn down the line and several times my body would be leaning to the left and the board would just continue straight.... the only way I was able to easily fix this was to turn my board down the line while paddling into the wave.... are there any suggestions on where my emphasis should be when bottom turning backside on a quad? When I use the thruster setup I have no problems....
    thanks!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MFitz73 View Post
    just a quick follow up here... I got to surf yesterday in LI and tried the quad w M7s in the front and JW-1s in the back. Waves not great but a couple good ones to really feel the difference.
    Im regular foot, my frontside I was able to get a super fast and tight turn into the face of the wave. Almost felt like turning on a skateboards back to 2 wheels.
    My backside turns however were very embarrassing. After dropping down the wave, I would go into my lean to turn down the line and several times my body would be leaning to the left and the board would just continue straight.... the only way I was able to easily fix this was to turn my board down the line while paddling into the wave.... are there any suggestions on where my emphasis should be when bottom turning backside on a quad? When I use the thruster setup I have no problems....
    thanks!

    Did you have the same problem when you had the M3s in the rear???? Could be the JW's in the rear.The JW's have a similar base, depth and area as a front fin in a quad set. Most rears in a quad are much smaller and dont have a flat foil like the JW's. The squirt you referenced before comes from the rear fins. To eliminate the squirt try different fins in the rear. If you go to the FCS website they will give you all the info on what different size and shape rears do for your board. They give illustrations on drive, turning radius and so on when you change rear fins. A rear with an 80/20 or 70/30 foil will result in a loose rear so if you dont like the squirt you can tighten it up with a 50/50 foil rear. If you are riding 7's which is alot of fin(Usually designated for a heavier guy) try 5's instead with the 3's. I run 205 to 210lbs and have a set of 7's paired with 50/50 foil GX's in the rear but only use them on big days for a little more control. Any other day I run 5's in the front and vary the rear set from time to time. I personally like to run Q1's in the rear because I ride heavy volume boards and they, in addition to board design, give me great pivot in turns. You most likely wouldnt use them cause they have the squirt that you were refering to. Best thing is to go to the site and check the guides to see what you think will work best for you otherwise you'll end up buying a crapload of fins with half of them that you dont really like.


    http://surffcs.com/us/products/fins/Quads.aspx
    Last edited by wave1rider65; Feb 2, 2012 at 05:07 PM.

  10. #10
    Hey Rider65, yeah to all of the above on checking the fcs site out. I did ride the quad setup with m3's a few summers ago during some leftover hurricane swell. I found, at the time it was too unstable for me. So my logic was to put bigger fins in thier place... its not an exact 50/50 setup I would guess more 60/40 or so. I do need more time to try out backside bottom turns before I can write them off. some of the waves I took backside I was getting a cut going but the waves were too mushy to carry me. Im on the bigger size of surfer... 6'2" 210lbs at the moment...
    Last edited by MFitz73; Feb 2, 2012 at 07:25 PM. Reason: math lol