What i dont understand is why i've seen so many people talk about "rail to rail" surfing and on what boards it was good for/bad for.
Now am i wrong to think that most the boards in the discussions would actually be boards that are designed to be good at just that, as they are all usually modern tweaks on 60's-70's designs where rail to rail surfing was at its peak?
Like fishes, bonzers, single fins...these boards all (in my opinion) perform the way they are supposed to when you put them on rail. Now i've been surfing a long enough time to be pretty average in the lineups, however im not a know every maneuver type of guy. I know what a barrel is. But ive always thought a nice round house cutback, was the epitome of rail to rail, as you are taking your turn from one rail around to the other...am i wrong on that?
Figured I'd chime in since I just got my first quad.. For average east coast waves, I dont see myself riding a thruster again anytime soon. This quad is amazing. Fast and maneuverable in small waves and held well in small hollow barrels.
There may be more to the story than the handful of variables that were included in the fin study. Infact, just recently in my biomedical engineering firm, we discovered a product in which user perception contradicted the quantitative data over 80% of the time. The measuring instrumentation said "A" was always better, but almost every person tested said "B" was better. The details as to why got too detailed to get into.
I think I'm just going to stick with boards with 5 fin boxes from here on out and set them up on a case by case basis.
DISCLAIMER: I didn't make a bonzer bashing comment.
When I made the Taylor Know comment, I was just indicating how slow his turns looked. I have seen him surf up close before and followed his career for many years. He is not a big air guy, or anything radical, he is just a strong power surfing rail to rail guy. Yes he has some tricks in his bags, but I am saying on that ONE video that the link was posted, he was surfing a chest high, slow, well formed right hander and you could see the amount of effort and torque he had to use to get that board back around and square while remaining in style. I am not saying there is no application for it... You could just see the fins never releasing on his snapping and turns and you could see that those fins were just digging in the water, not wanting to come out....
The pictures that were just posted of a guy basically laying on a 90 degree angle getting a crazy rail to rail turn is fine. A bonzer would be great in a situation I.E. bigger wave while you don't want that board sliding out on you while you have to make a big powerful bottom turn... Thats great. But that photo also illustrates what I am saying. You wouldn't need to have your as$ planted in the flats and have that much torque to get the board around on a thruster.... Thats the point....
Im not a bonzer guy cause ive never had one. I just made an observation about how a pro's style really changed while watching him ride the board. Same as a quad. I have seen Kelly on a 5 fin bonzer and a quad. It does the same thing to him. He has to surf it differently. There is definitely some lag in his swinging of the tail etc. I think kelly looks more normal on a 5 fin bonzer, just because that pivot fin is there.
Just saying, I think there is an application for all boards, all fin setups. I think most of us from my "era" were exposed to almost nothing but thrusters for so long, it just changed our paradigm. When you develop your style and surfing on a certain board type (modern potato chip shortboard) or fin setup (thruster) your whole life, and then start messing around with other setups, its just different. Alien almost. So, if you surfed a quad your whole like, a thruster would probably be strange to you.
I really want to try a bonzer. I would love to see what was up with it. Next board I get shaped, I proabably want to have FCS or Future plugs put into it, but with 5 slots. So It can be ridden as a 5 fin bonzer, a thurster or a quad, a quad bonzer or even a twin... I think that will be the fun way to TRULY see what makes each setup tick. Taking the same board, and trying the different things on it. I have surfed DIFFERENT boards with different setups, but I have never gotten a chance to try all on one. That seems like the way to go anyway. I dont know why more shapers arent doing that. I understand if its a custom shape, but if you are putting your boards in a shop on the rack, put in 5 plugs and that could let the rider have all kinds of fun with it.