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  1. #1

    Single Fin v Thruster? shapers?

    I was reading an article on Josh Kerr and his Bali Single fin and his thoughts on the it vs a thruster...
    I had used my buddies single fin from the late 70's on east coast waves for a few years, ..... a few years ago.. and I remember getting some real good rides on pretty much the variety of wave conditions we get here... sloppy fat conditions and glassy steep waves I usualy could get into position for some good long turns..
    what do you east coast shapers think about the usefulness of the single fin board today? faster speeds to get to the shoulders?
    would it be anymore usefull then having a fish for our sloppy surf?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Central FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by MFitz73 View Post
    I was reading an article on Josh Kerr and his Bali Single fin and his thoughts on the it vs a thruster...
    I had used my buddies single fin from the late 70's on east coast waves for a few years, ..... a few years ago.. and I remember getting some real good rides on pretty much the variety of wave conditions we get here... sloppy fat conditions and glassy steep waves I usualy could get into position for some good long turns..
    what do you east coast shapers think about the usefulness of the single fin board today? faster speeds to get to the shoulders?
    would it be anymore usefull then having a fish for our sloppy surf?
    I was wondering the same thing. I currently have a thruster setup for my 8' 1" McTavish 8 Ball, which for me is a HP LB (i'm 5ft 9"). I recently snapped the tip of my center fin (Walden) and will be in the market for a new one soon. I'm trying to decide if I should stick with the thruster setup or go single fin. That and I also wonder which fin I should get, which i'm sure depends on if I go single or thruster. I want speed and manueverability out of mine. I've gotten some suggestions from a couple people on here but so many options it's crazy.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    its funny how the old and obsolete keep trying to come back. ask Cheyne Horan how the single fin worked.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    A State of Confusion
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    Singles will draw smoother turns and more drawn out turns. They will also track speed better down the line of an open wave. They lack the off the start speed a thruster does and can't go veritcaly as easily. Singles on small eggy boards are very fun on lined up point breaks or anythign with a down the line open face wave. They are not much fun when it is mushy or sectiony. One great set up is a 5 fin ridden as a quad with a tiny pivot fin in the back (yes similar to Slater's set up). In overhead surf it makes it like a single on crack. Warp speed, great hold and pwerful snaps galore!

  5. #5
    Just watched a clip of Horan on youtube.... that man can surf the heck out of a single fin...

    Rcarter, thanks for the summary. I surfed a single fin from the 70's and it had an egg shape with no concave on the bottom. It was very much a hull I would say or at most flat bottom and rounded up into the rails with a soft transition. the board was fast and I often found myself way out on the shoulder with lasting speed....
    I do wonder what might happen if we stuck a big old center fin on our thrusters and took out the 2 outer fins???

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Jacksonville FL
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    460
    As far as single fin retro shorties....
    My brother had a 7'0 Hawaiian style single fin pin WRV circa early 70s (one time the manager at WRV offered a straight up trade for any board in the shop... he should have done it). Every time I borrowed it I wished I was on a thruster busting out more maneuvers and making more sections. Could you ride it? yeah. Was it the best equipment for mushy VB? no. When the waves did have emphf it was just too much board. He offered to let me have it when I was living in Micronesia to put it into some real juice. I know D Malloy did it in Sprout but I passed based on my earlier reasoning. It would work but I'd rather busting out more maneuvers and making more sections than face down death on a dinosaur board or accidentally end it's life however worthless I thought it was for surfing in the modern age. Maybe with modern concaves, rockers, rails and foils single shorties are different but I doubt it. Take in to consideration how much Kerazy can do that we can't on a board. He could probably make anything look good but it doesn't mean its good for the average joe on less than average waves.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Monmouth Beach, NJ
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    2,420
    The only singlefin I have is my log.

    If you're talking about modern performance surfing, forget the singlefin. A thruster or quad is the best. Twin fins, like the MR twin, and retro fish with twin keels have their advantages, but not for modern performance surfing.

    But... it depends on your expectations. If you're after the feel of a singlefin shortboard, then that's the only thing that will scratch that itch. A few years ago I rode a friend's rounded pin single in glassy, head high, barreling surf and was getting some unbelievable tubrides. Just so smooth... like a big old Cadillac. No outrunning the tube. No twitchy adjustments. No Huntington hops. Just effortless, smooth, with-the-wave surfing.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    I've had three single fins

    5-10" Surfboards Australia pig (wide fishy shape) from the 70s. For such a short board it turned like a dog. It was fast going straight. Who wants a 5-10" for going straight.

    6-10" egg 2+1 this board was pretty fun as a thruster in large waves. Taking the side fins out and riding it as a single with a big larger fin turned a decent board into a low performance stiff frustrating mess

    9-0" performance long board. This board is so fun a a single fin. I haven't had the side bites in in years and swear this long board does better turns with more drive as a single fin than either of the short boards.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Atlantic Ocean
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    263
    single fin shortboards do work. Try one on a good day at your local break. Not the best board on a less than perfect day...but lets face it, no board is. I have one and I love it. If its sloppy, I prefer a wide thruster but nothing beats a single fin on a good clean day IMO. I don't care about high performance though.

  10. #10
    I've had several Old single fins over the last 2 decades. I loved the way they looked and loved the idea of them, but in all honesty, I preferred a modern board, and could surf way better on modern equipment in practically all surf conditions. Did I have some good rides on them...sure, but more fun on my standard daily driver. The singles looked cooler than they surfed.

    I sold the last couple about 2 years ago and put the money towards some customs. I had a really hard time selling this one because for some reason I just desperately wanted to click with it...finally came to terns that single fins arent for me. I thinked they were generally phased out for a valid reason.

    They sure look cool though in my opinion. The stubby small wave board i replaced his with is fairly hideous looking, but surfs incredible.