Longboard Fins

Discussion in 'All Discussions' started by headhigh, Jun 26, 2020.

  1. headhigh

    headhigh Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2009
    It's that time of year again. Most sessions are on a log.

    So a few weeks ago I picked up a 9'6 Gary Wilson noserider called a "Butternut". It came with a stock fin, and I want to upgrade to something more geared toward noseriding.

    Any recommendations?
     
  2. Carson

    Carson Well-Known Member

    299
    May 19, 2006

  3. ClemsonSurf

    ClemsonSurf Well-Known Member

    Dec 10, 2007
    Bigger is better for nose riding. The most locked in nose, ridingest boart i've been on was a 9'6" squared off tail with a hatchet fin. Not fun to turn but could set a line and cruise forever.
     
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  4. Peajay4060

    Peajay4060 Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2011
    Liked a velzey nose rider. Not a real full fin. Just upright and stiff.
     
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  5. Mr.Belmar

    Mr.Belmar Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2010
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  6. LBCrew

    LBCrew Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2009
    I think those fin choices are all respectable... very tried and true style fins for noseriding, especially in long, lined up point breaks.

    But... noseriding a beach break is different. You've heard me preach this before... a fin with superior hold for noseriding doesn't do you any good if you can't set your line quickly and get out onto the nose within literally a second or two. My local beachbreaks are fairly punchy, even when small. We don't get those lazy, long period, wrapping waves that give you time to find your line. You've got to pretty much either take off on an angle and run out to the tip, or pull right up into the pocket off your bottom turn and jump up front. So I need a fin that allows me to whip the board around easily, hold on the wave face, and respond to tiny adjustments in trim from the tip.

    For me, that's a longer fin with a springy flex and a medium tip. I ride a 9" Josh Farbarow flex fin. The overall area of the fin and the length provide plenty of hold, and the flex let's me turn with ease.
    https://www.trueames.com/products/farberow-flex-single-fin?variant=20923654468
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
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  7. headhigh

    headhigh Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2009
    Greatly appreciate the input everyone.

    @LBCrew & @Mr.Belmar you guys really got me thinking. I was leaning towards a "D" shape but I just don't get the waves for that type of fin around here.

    I fade into almost every wave on my LB. Can I even do that with a big D shaped fin, considering that I normally ride my LB in punchy thigh high or less surf?

    Man, I wish I could try them all.
     
  8. ClemsonSurf

    ClemsonSurf Well-Known Member

    Dec 10, 2007

    You gotta bring the LB out into some better surf. It's like driving and never getting out of 2nd gear if you stay in thigh high surf.
     
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  9. headhigh

    headhigh Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2009
    "Normally" is the key word in my post. I take my LBs out in everything from ankle slappers to storm swell, but living on the right coast means most of my sessions are in the small stuff.
     
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  10. ClemsonSurf

    ClemsonSurf Well-Known Member

    Dec 10, 2007
    Right on, i gotcha. I've been on thigh high waves for weeks now and want to get a couple walled up sections sometime soon.
     
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  11. steef

    steef Member

    12
    Sep 11, 2019
    I've tried a big pivot fin and just didn't love it. I currently have a 9.75" Greenough 4A on my 9'6" and I'm loving it so far! I find it nose rides just as good as the pivot fin, with the added benefit of being easier to turn and position myself into the sweet spot.

    For me, the trick to getting the hang of nose riding was figuring out where to be on the wave more so than having the proper fin. I see a lot of guys pop up, cruise down the line, get way out ahead of the pocket, then try to walk to the nose. I read somewhere, maybe even on this forum, that you want to be in the "oh shit" section of the wave, and I've found that to really be the case. When you're looking at the wave and it's walled up right next to you, get up there! I'm on the east coast, so take that with a grain of salt.
     
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  12. Peajay4060

    Peajay4060 Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2011
    Couldn't agree more. Especially on east coast beach breaks. Get up there ASAP. It will either work or it won't. The more you do it the more it'll work. It's fun figuring it out.
     
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  13. headhigh

    headhigh Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2009
    Thanks for the advice! I'm going to look for more "oh s***" sections haha.

    I have been riding Longboards for years but never took the time to learn how to noseride correctly until I got this latest log. First thing I did was ditch the leash. Cross-stepping became 50% easier by just doing that. Now I'm trying to sustain my noserides longer, which is where I thought a new fin would help. You and PJ are right though, it's just gonna take practice and finding the right spot on the wave.

    Any other worldly advise on cross-stepping and noseriding is welcome!
     
  14. steef

    steef Member

    12
    Sep 11, 2019
    Hey man, once you get the hang of it, getting to the nose isn't that hard. Doing it with style is (I'm still working that out myself!) Just keep practicing and don't get discouraged if you blow a few waves. There will be more!

    I use a calf leash in situations where I don't feel comfortable being leashless. It rarely gets in the way, and it's a good safety net in bigger surf and during the summer when lots of people are bathing in the water, even at non-guarded surf beaches. I know, there's a lot of gate keeping around logging with a rope. Eff em!

    Keep at it and stay stoked!
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020
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  15. Carson

    Carson Well-Known Member

    299
    May 19, 2006
    This is so spot on. There was a dude killing it at T-mar today on the LB. When he walked to the nose, he was right there next to the crumble, near the top of the wave. I got to see quite a few good ones from this guy since I was sitting on the inside, feasting on scraps. :D
     
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  16. Peajay4060

    Peajay4060 Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2011

    HH,
    What I'm saying is turn into the wave and walk right up there regardless if it's right or wrong. You'll just start making it happen.

    Watch some video of Alex Knost. Dude just goes for it almost anywhere.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2020
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  17. LBCrew

    LBCrew Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2009
    Depending upon the speed and energy of the wave, you have to adjust your board's angle to the wave face. It's not a HUGE difference, but it's definitely there. And this fits right into that theory of being in the "oh shit" part of the wave.

    On those crumbly ones, your board is less parallel with the wave and more pointing toward the beach. Your tail is under water, being held down by the crumbling water, which counterbalances your weight on the nose. You'll be pretty much in the center of your nose at the tip. You'll find you really can't outrun the wave like this, so you're traveling the same speed as the wave is breaking.

    On a steeper, faster wave, your board's more parallel to the wave face, and using a lot more rail. In this situation, your rail and tail rocker are creating suction, counterbalancing your weight up front. You'll usually be on the inside of your nose at the tip. You'll find you can easily outrun the wave like this, and will often have to step back and stall... pivot... or cutback to get back into the pocket.

    There's a real skill to be able to do both on the same wave. Sometimes the drop will be mushy, so you hop up front and ride from the center of the nose at first, then when the wave starts to wall up, you actually adjust your trim from the tip and pull tighter into the wave face by putting more pressure on the inside nose rail... and pick up speed.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2020
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  18. headhigh

    headhigh Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2009
    Awesome discussion. Thanks for the tips.

    Waves were tiny this weekend but I managed to get some nose time. I was was going for broke on almost every wave. Pearled a lot, but there were some moments of brilliance.

    I was kooking it up and having a blast all weekend, and still had a tourist on a rental board say to the wife and I "you make that look so easy" hahahah. wtf was I doing in the summers before I bought a log?
     
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  19. Peajay4060

    Peajay4060 Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2011
    That's what I'm talking about! You making me want to go surf some sh!t
     
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  20. headhigh

    headhigh Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2009
    Last 2 evenings I had a bit more size to work with. On about half the waves I'm doing a bottom turn, setting a high line and running to the nose. On the other half, I'm popping up way forward on the board, like 2 feet from the tip, and reaching my foot out over the nose for a cheater 5. I'm repeating my noseriding mantra the whole time: "find the oh-s*** section, find the oh-s*** section".

    The last 6 or 8 sessions I have gone no-leashe. It's affecting my surfing in some unexpected ways. I'm paddling for less waves, but higher quality waves. My kickouts are getting super smooth and I'm able to get back out into the lineup faster, which means paddling through less waves. Getting on the tail for a smooth but fast kickout on a 9'6 is a skill all it's own. When I do lose the board, I calmly do the ol' "saftey swim" I learned when I was kid to retrieve it. This might be the most important thing I have learned.

    When I first started surfing it was all about riding the shortest, thinnest board I could. I never had a session where I broke a leash and lost my board until I was in some actual waves of consequence in the Pacific. I remember the moment I felt my leash break and I lost my cool and almost drowned. Looking back, I wish I would have felt the sensation of losing my board in some smaller water, where I could teach myself to stay calm and swim for it. If I ever teach someone how to surf again, learning how to stay calm when you lose your board is going to be one of the first lessons.
     
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