mid length hull inspired fin advice

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mid length hull inspired fin advice

Postby da ghost » Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:30 pm

Ok, i've got myself a lovely 8'6 shaped by Tim Mason - single fin Hot Generation inspired shape with wide-point set back & a flat wide square tail. I've now had the board out on good waves about a dozen times & i've had some amazing rides when it's all come together - dreamy climb & drop action!

The problem is that i just can't get the consistency & have mucked about with fin placement a fair bit but i'm still getting loads of the tail spinning out & am getting a bit frustrated. I'm honest enough to say there's likely to still be a bit of rider error going on here as i'm used to riding performancy logs & i guess i'm being a bit too aggressive with my turns whilst still getting used to a different style of riding. I've been running a 8.25" PG Nail fin - i'd really appreciate any thoughts or advice on other fin templates to try & fin size.

Thanks in advance.....
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Re: mid length hull inspired fin advice

Postby Jory » Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:08 am

i'd try a gl flex, thats the kind of baseline fin for hulls. Or you could try a small greenough 4a but you wont get as much spring/ flexy drive off the bottom.

i'd also concentrate on getting low with weight forward on your bottom turns, lots of the hold in hulls comes from the rail line being buried rather than just the fin
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Re: mid length hull inspired fin advice

Postby cproctor » Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:28 am

I've got an 8'2 HG - and run a 9.5 flex fin in it . It's a hand foiled one so no "label/model number" for you . However I've had none of the problems as you described . Ill try and whack a pic of it up for u . Maybe a slightly larger fin might help or a slightly stiffer fin , combined with jorys comments might be the way forward ?

If you drop me your email - ill send you a pic of my fin . Speak to mrkmrk (think that's the right spelling) as he owned it before me and rode it with lots more diff fins than I have (it's currently dry docked with a ding)
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Re: mid length hull inspired fin advice

Postby mrkmrk2842 » Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:14 pm

obviously Tim's HGs and the Hilbers HG that Christian has (my old one) are going to be different - so no guarantees that anything I say will help. But - I found that on the Hilbers HG fin placement was key - too far forward and it'd just throw you off on a faster wave - moved back a bit and it worked a treat. I'm not convinced the Hilbers is as hully as Tim's as I found that it really only worked by surfing it from the back half - really didn't feel comfortable on the front half unless you're properly slotted in and ultimately this was why I decided to move it on. It is an amazingly high performance design actually coupled with that inherrent speed which you only get from a hully board - such good fun.
As for fin options I tried a 9" Tudor flex which worked OK but lacked drive compared to the Hilbers hand foiled fin (I think because of the narrow base) and a Greenough 9 3/4" 4a which worked well - very similar to the Hilbers fin in every way except that the Hilbers is narrower and more foiled towards the tip - never found a better option than the one Hilbers foiled for the board. HGs are fantastic boards but I prefer something which is happy to be ridden from further forwards so my next mid length is an 8' beach break friendly LIddle smoothie - be interesting to see how it compares....
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Re: mid length hull inspired fin advice

Postby da ghost » Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:17 pm

Thanks for suggestions so far

cp - have pm'd you with email address for a pic of your fin
jory - any UK stockists of GL flex? - i was wondering if Adam at Trim might have some of these but i think he may be out of the country? Have emailed him in hope!
mrk - the Liddle smoothie sounds sweet - trust you're going to pop up some pics when you get that one!

Bottom line seems to be that a bigger fin will help but i need to adjust technique too - one of the reasons i wanted this board was to mix things up a bit as logging was getting a bit boring so i'm happy with that but you know how it is - instant gratification & all that!!!
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Re: mid length hull inspired fin advice

Postby kayu » Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:56 am

What I do is take the fin out of the box , then lay it flat with the fin-base along the centre line , and slide it through the full length of the box to see if , or how much , the fin tip will overhang your rail............there's no set formula here , but it will make you more aware of the effect of the fin "depth" , in relation to the boards plan shape , and a better overall understanding .....riding style will still be a major factor in fin choice..........Ive seen so many "hull" type boards , that IMO had the fin(or box) too far forward in relation to the tail , and would have far less reaction than they need to get the board working for you........ :arrow:
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Re: mid length hull inspired fin advice

Postby Jory » Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:57 am

i'd email tim mason himself, he will give you good advice and can probably sell you the right fin too!
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Re: mid length hull inspired fin advice

Postby flacky » Wed Oct 31, 2012 6:37 pm

Hi bud. I have a 8.5" Greg Liddle Flex off my 6'10. I'm not using it, happy to post it for a trial if you want...

Let me know, pm me ur addy or whatever.
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Re: mid length hull inspired fin advice

Postby da ghost » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:36 pm

Thanks for responses
Flacky - have pm'd you
Jory - i have just caught up with Tim this evening- he's been moving house recently so bit tricky to get hold of but sounds like he'll be able to work some fin magic for me before too long...
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Re: mid length hull inspired fin advice

Postby mister-griffster » Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:31 pm

Hey Da Ghost - That's a lovely board you have there... my tuppence worth, I got my 7'7 smoothie from Tim yesterday - stunning board, and got a 9" GL flex with it. That's also basically the same fin as Cproctor has (The Gl is hand-foiled by Larry Allison the HG by Hilbers - I believe - Kirk3 should be able to put us right on that).

Get Tim to sort one for you. He makes the perfect fins to fit the boards and can set flex as desired. Lovely and pure fins, the way Greenough intended ;)

As for placement ^^ What Kayu says - it's all about the relational 'depth' of the fin to the rail. From what Philchapman has experienced with his Son of Sam - he says that the rear edge of the base of the fin is perfect at about 7 1/2" from the tail - but that's for a board thats 9'4".

As for fins to try, The GL flex is about the perfect fin - but may be worth trying fins with slightly different characteristics. I run a 9.5" A-Flex in a log and a dagger - and that a lot of fun- more tip and area in general than the GL but with a similar flex pattern. The 4A is a great all round fin, and the extra base and less flex may stiffening it up through the turns. Also worth trying a Skip Frye - less area but a bit more flex than a 4A but less than a GL.

However all that said - I reckon it's mainly rider input. I know many of my waves those first few sessions on a hull will see me merrily skipping along a wave, on my face! It's an adjustment thing. As Jory says, all about using the rail. A bit less drive thru the back foot than with a log (I also figure that an HG / Hull is way more drifty than a performance log - if by that you mean the 3 finned variety then I always found those to be stiffer and trackier by nature).

Get the position right for you first, then get Tim to foil you a secondary fin so you can swap between them. Got my own HG coming soon so be interested to hear you findings chap ;)
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Re: mid length hull inspired fin advice

Postby mrkmrk2842 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:01 pm

Interesting discussion - for many years now hulls have fascinated me... to me my ex Hot Gen and current Andreini Magic Sam are a fair way off being a true hull - yes they are hully and benefit from that inherent speed a hull provides but none have that Liddle hull feel - I can only describe it as a feeling of complete frictionless movement over the water - unpredictable - never felt it on any hull other than a Liddle - ridden many vaqueros and one 6'10 of Tims all of which were great boards. I've now owned 5 Liddles - all but one had that same feel - the one exception was a 6'3" musgo stubby thing which really needed more rider input - not enough foam to work as a true tdh - the rest 6'8 Peachy, 6'10 pointbreaker, 7'6 inbetweener(not so much) and my current 8' Liddle ID all gave me that feel - it's magic. What did they all have in common (other than being Liddles!)? the same fin... and here's my rather longwinded point - each board works amazingly with the GL flex fin - 9" works in them all although the 8'er comes with a 9.5"... Great fin for these boards - just have to put it in the right place - same with the Hot Gen as I said in my previous post - the fin for the Hot Gen works a treat once you've got it in the right place - a good first guess and then ride and adjust - an adjustable fin bolt is a bonus to aid this process and it's actually a really exciting process as you adjust and find out where the board's sweet spot is. It's all very obvious really but requires some patience. Whatever happens I think your Hot Gen fin is going to want to be at least 9" more likely 9.5".
Your fin choice will (obviously!) also depend on the waves you're riding it in - a friend in Ireland rode my 6'10 pointbreaker for a couple of years in good waves on his local reeling Irish points and found a stiffer Greenough 4a or similar far more effective - ride it in a slacker wave and the greater flex is a bonus and gives you more of the what I feel is the real hull feel - personally I wouldn't now choose to ride a hull on a hollow powerful wave - I did it many times in the past when I was completely dedicated to riding and learning about hulls but now it's a choice i make on certain days. As I've said I really love the feel of these boards but for me a full on hull is one part of a quiver.
At the moment I'm really pleased to have found a hull that I can step onto after being on any other board and ride comfortably without having to take a couple of sessions to dial it in again - so at the moment the 8' Liddle ID is my perfect hull - The Magic Sam is a better all round board for me than the Hot Gen - for now these two boards have taken over my quiver - hulls do that...
Apologies for the rambling - just realised I've typed random hully thoughts for the past few minutes - not even going to try to edit them - I think it's a form of therapy :oops: I've probably contradicted myself many times above but increasingly find surfboards do that to me - you just think you know where you are when the next question (and then invariably new board desire) arises - aaagh!! the circle of life of a board addict.....
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Re: mid length hull inspired fin advice

Postby Philchapman » Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:52 pm

Following on from what Kayu said above, I was told to do the same thing by a chap who had ridden Andreini Vaquero's in every length from 6'2" to 11' and said he uses the formula of approx. 1/3 of the fin overhanging the rail. He also said just stick it bang in the middle of the box and make small adjustments from there. A good place to start anyway. 7 1/2" from the tail to the trailing edge of the fin is what works best for me on my 9'4" Sam, but that number is going to be a lot different on a shorter Hull. On my 6'10" Vaquero the trailing edge is 10 1/4" from the tail....bang in the middle of the box. I agree about using a 9 1/2" flex of some kind, and use a more "forward" riding style, engaging as much of the rail as you can when you turn.
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Re: mid length hull inspired fin advice

Postby mrkmrk2842 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:02 pm

agree for hulls 100% but the Hot Gen turns best off the tail....
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Re: mid length hull inspired fin advice

Postby mister-griffster » Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:05 pm

^^ I'm loving this thread, all grand stuff. Surfed Tims smoothie for the first time today - a couple of lovely rides, a lot of pealing, and got bitten on one wave - Lovel it. I'll post more details another time as I really don't have enough waves under the belt to give a decent account... but the potential is there. As mrkmrk says... kinda frictionless.

Was also riding with Cproctor on his HG - both of us using essentially the same fin on slack waves. Again, I can't give decent input but Cproctor says that GL fin works a treat in his hotgen. Weirdly, I though nothing about the fin placement (couldn't too much as there's a small bead of resin on the box that needs to be removed) but looking at it, it's bang in the centre of the box. Good starting point as any ;)

BTW, that kind of hull exposure is outstanding mrkmrk - some lovely shapes there.
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Re: mid length hull inspired fin advice

Postby flacky » Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:25 pm

Philchapman wrote:Following on from what Kayu said above, I was told to do the same thing by a chap who had ridden Andreini Vaquero's in every length from 6'2" to 11' and said he uses the formula of approx. 1/3 of the fin overhanging the rail. He also said just stick it bang in the middle of the box and make small adjustments from there. A good place to start anyway. 7 1/2" from the tail to the trailing edge of the fin is what works best for me on my 9'4" Sam, but that number is going to be a lot different on a shorter Hull. On my 6'10" Vaquero the trailing edge is 10 1/4" from the tail....bang in the middle of the box. I agree about using a 9 1/2" flex of some kind, and use a more "forward" riding style, engaging as much of the rail as you can when you turn.


9" fin on my 6'10 is way easier on the eye than a 8.5" fin. If it looks right, it probably is right.
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Re: mid length hull inspired fin advice

Postby VillageIdiot » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:09 pm

Get 'that friction-less feeling' from my Mason Smoothie when it's in the pocket. Kind of disappears from beneath your feet and you start to feel like Jesus.
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Re: mid length hull inspired fin advice

Postby slipslide » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:13 pm

Just curious mrk is that ears's old board? Or did you pick one up as well? Love the sound of the Andreini that quiver expanding a bit :-)

If you want to have fun with the fins on hulls chuck a set of side bites on it as well adds to it some more confusion :-D.

In my opinion an adjustable fin bolt is a must.
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Re: mid length hull inspired fin advice

Postby mrkmrk2842 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:51 pm

Hey Doug - yes it was his board - I got my 6'10 pointbreaker back a few months back but had forgotten the dedication needed to get that board dialled - the 8' ID has all the feel of a full on Liddle hull but is far more forgiving - much more fun to surf on a whim whenever I fancy in a far wider range of conditions....

da ghost - as requested here's a link to some pics of my smoothie....

http://s199.photobucket.com/albums/aa21 ... ID8003.jpg
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Re: mid length hull inspired fin advice

Postby slipslide » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:56 pm

Sounds good. I'll have to lend you that mp at some point for you to have a try. I spoke to larry the other day (long story and not a cheap one :-D ) he said he's cracking on with them, all good.
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Re: mid length hull inspired fin advice

Postby mrkmrk2842 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:06 pm

excellent news mate - I exchanged a few emails with him when he got back from Scorpion Bay - sounds like he got it good - got my fingers crossed they'll both be ready before xmas!

I'd love to have a go on that m3p - interesting to see how it differs from the ID...
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Re: mid length hull inspired fin advice

Postby da ghost » Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:31 pm

Didn't appreciate what this thread would lead to when i posted - a great read - cheers for all opinions & suggestions.

Just waiting on an interim solution from Mr Mason - he's foiled something that sounds interesting from an 'old fin he had lying around' to tide me over until getting on the case with a long term solution in the form of a HG-design hand foiled number - you can't fault the man's customer service! Just need some swell to coincide with a 'family window' to get the HG wet again & be able to contribute to the fin/hull debate going on here! I thought i was a fin-aholic when i was surfing logs but something tells me the addiction takes on a whole new level when you get your first/second/third hull.....
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Re: mid length hull inspired fin advice

Postby samiad66 » Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:21 pm

I'll give my two pence worth as I just acquired an 8' Acid Drop from Chopps, wider in the tail and nose compared to the ones in DTL Hayle.

The template is much closer to a Putnam-Hilbers hot Generation, Cooperfish C2 speed Hull or a John Wesley Cresentmooner - narrow nose, wide diamond tail with roll to a large vee tail.

I had a old Greenough 4a 9.75" from my log and just waked it straight in there for my first session, it must have been fate as the fin placement was bang on first time and had an absolute blast, tried to move fore and aft since and never got the same feeling, even thinking of going to up to a 10" flex - http://www.trimsurfboards.com/product/4 ... ass-fin-co

They surf more of the tail than hulls but don't be fooled, there is so much potential in these shapes, esp for UK waters the wide diamonds/squares tails helps pick up most of the UK lacklustre waves.

Researching these type of boards it seems that most of the 60's inspired midlengths run large fins say 10-11" flex fins allowing the fins to go forward more, making it loose as a goose but still holding in on turns.- http://www.surfresearch.com.au/00000213.html ,watching friends on there hulls a lot of them seem to under fin their boards and you can see them skipping out or stalling, I'm a fan of large fins perhaps because I like the effort it takes to turn old heavy logs.

Thats my experience anyhoo

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Re: mid length hull inspired fin advice

Postby flacky » Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:37 pm

I have a 6'10 hull and ride a 9.5" flex on it. Looks right, the 8" looked way too small. I always run my fins longer on pretty much everything.
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Re: mid length hull inspired fin advice

Postby VillageIdiot » Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:49 pm

You need to go longer with flex fins to make up for the lack of surface area, not that I'm adverse to a bit of spin out on flatter waves.
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Re: mid length hull inspired fin advice

Postby da ghost » Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:27 pm

Good to see this thread resurrected - my update....

Just had first try of 9.5" GL Flex on the HG - picked fin up off Slipslide in his recent 'clearance' event! Stuck the fin a touch forward of middle of fin box & had an absolute blast on waist high clean stuff - can't believe how much difference fins & placement make on these boards. It all came together today - just the right amount of tail sliding, great drive off the bottom & loads of speed down the line. I still managed to stuff up a fair few cutbacks when i forgot what board i was on but that's pure rider error - i'm finding that, like all surfing, your mindset & confidence count for a lot - if i'm worried that the fin will slip too much on a decent wave at a crowded spot then i'm just not goin to enjoy the session. First few today gave me the confidence to go for everything - stoked :mrgreen:
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Re: mid length hull inspired fin advice

Postby mister-griffster » Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:49 pm

^ Grand stuff Da Ghost - glad you got it working ;)

I've run the GL flex in my Mason Smoothie - around about the same wave size - certainly a fin with a lot of potential - but some of our waves lack a bit of thump, so I switched it out for a 9.75 Skip Frye - stiffer, bit more upright, shade more base and gave the board a bit more drive while still retaining a bit of twang. The GL flex is the natural fin for the boards and will be using it when i get a chance to ride it in some decent waves - but the Frye makes an ideal fin for when the waves / crowds are a bit unpredictable.

Like you, i feel surfing is all in the mind - first time out on the Hull i felt like bamby on ice - not because of the board, just my mindset was such that i was expecting it to be a slippery customer - had a few fun ones but also got bitten by the board for my troubles. After that (apart from one stinker in which it wouldn't have mattered what board i was on - just one of those bad days at the office) i try to treat the hull with a healthy bit of disrespect. Kind of like when there's a super sexy lady in the room, and she knows it, then cast your eyes somewhere else and merely shrug when she ask's you the time- after that, they become putty in your hands - kinda. Or you miss out on getting laid. - Either way, it's all fun ;)

^^ Samiad, I had a go on a mates HG (the perfect shortboard for a longboarder - dunno why everyone plums for a simmons thinking they're a mini-LB when the HG is on offer - super responsive but more in tune with an LBer's sensibilities) - he was running a 4A too - bang in the centre of the box, and the board was so willing. Personally I'd love to try an A-Flex in one as I've been amazed buy that fin on my longboard - it's a revelation! - Like you - I used to run big rudders in my LB's but over the last year or so I've been finding way much more luck with either an A-Flex or a fin with less area - the Velzy noserider is a cracker - I also find the Gene Cooper 10" works great on my more tubby logs - it's all horses for course I know - but personally I think LB'ers are being a bit 'conned' with this retro stuff and there's a lot of fins on the market made purely to fit more 'graphics' on. Basically, if it's got an old guys name on it, then it'll work out great...Greenough,Frye, Velzy, GC, Andreini - all outstanding fins... some of the latest creations are good, but not great.
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Re: mid length hull inspired fin advice

Postby flacky » Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:22 pm

mister-griffster wrote:^ Grand stuff Da Ghost - glad you got it working ;)

I've run the GL flex in my Mason Smoothie - around about the same wave size - certainly a fin with a lot of potential - but some of our waves lack a bit of thump, so I switched it out for a 9.75 Skip Frye - stiffer, bit more upright, shade more base and gave the board a bit more drive while still retaining a bit of twang. The GL flex is the natural fin for the boards and will be using it when i get a chance to ride it in some decent waves - but the Frye makes an ideal fin for when the waves / crowds are a bit unpredictable.


I'm using a Joel Tudor 9.5" V FLex on my 6'10 hull too, stiffer that the GL flex and it feels very good. Bit more predictable going backhand too maybe, but tons of drive out of it.
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