Can any board be ridden as a single fin? I have a 8' Stewart Funline 11 I am going to swap in a 9 inch fin instead of the 2+1 fins that came with the board. I also have a matador 9'2 east diamond tail longboard that is sold as a 2+1 board.
Interested in any opinions if any board shape/length can be used with a single fin. I know the answer is likely just try it and see, but i think some board makers advertise some boards 'can be ridden as a single fin' and don't make the same statement for other boards.
Sure... all boards can be ridden as a single... but they might not ride good! I'd say all 2+1s can, though. They're usually designed that way, and by that I mean center box with removable sidebites (smaller rail fins). I rode one HPLB that had glassed on sidebites, but it had the full on banana rocker, and needed them. They were too big, though, so they ended up getting ground down to make them smaller.
Sidebites add drive, and open up the performance window, preventing spinout when you put the board on a rail, or when you're high on the face either trimming or doing a turn, where it's very vertical. They also hold better in the tube, unless you have a full on barrel board with a very narrow tail. So if your style of surfing is smooth and glidey, singles are great. But if you're pushing it hard off the tail and shredding, multifinned boards have the advantage.
Absolutely, dude. I have a single Rainbow Sweep in my 2+1 as we speak. The 9" might be a little too much for your 8' Stewart, so I would be more inclined to put the 9" in your 9'2" instead. It's always nice to have a 2+1 on standby, but if you really want to ride it as a single fin, I would start with 7.5"-8" fin. True Ames' punchy L-Flex fin should be a nice compliment to your 8' Stewart. When surfing bigger waves, go back to the 2+1 for more stability and overall control. Right now, the 2+1 might be holding you back. Enjoy the glide.
LBCrew & dlrouen - thanks for the advice. I am going to do a bit of experimenting, I can't shred (not good enough) and generally i prefer a smoother cruisy style, thanks for the vote of confidence regarding trying the single way on my boards. Probably get the True Ames for the Stewart.
Start with your fin all the way towards the tail of your fin box. This is the most stable fin positioning, but also more challenging to turn. If you want a looser feel, start by moving the fin forward in about 1/2" increments until it feels just right. If you go too far, you are are most likely going to spin out. It's all personal preference, but you should definitely get that cruisy style you're looking for with a single fin.
Hey DawnPatrolSUP, what fin are you riding in your 8'1" Fireball? Any advice for eastcoastticy?
I rode a buddy's WRV 9-0 modern noserider with a True Ames D-fin in it... must have been 8" and I can't remember who's model it is... but it's one of those awesome pro lb-ers signature fin. Previously I've only ridden D-style fins glassed on to classic shapes, so I was a little wary... But dayum if that thing didn't work like a freaking charm--"Ive been missing this the whole time!?!?!" kind of moment. I loved how well it held off the bottom, pivoted mid-face and noseriding. I know what I'll be riding the next time I get a LB....
At one time all boards were single fin. I've got an old 7 0 stinger and a 7 4 Robert August that are both single fin and they ride fine for a smooth arcing, gliding style. I position the fins about 1/4 of the way back from the front of the fin box for better turning ability.
+1 to most everything that has been said already so I'll just share my experience, I have a 8'1" McTavish that came as a 2+1 setup, it was fun, but I ended up snapping off the tip of the center fin. I decided to a get a bigger fin and dropped the side bites and ride it as a single. I went with an 8" FCS Dolphin Hydrofoil and it's been really fun, changed my board for the better, it rides so much better now, more nimble, and turns on a dime, I think a 9" would be too much fin for an 8' board.