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Fanatic Shark

This is a board I have been looking at for a very, very long time.

BAD NEWS - The Shark will be discontinued in 2015 !!!,22169,22173#msg-22173
Perhaps this will drop the price of used Sharks !!!

More bad news - Jeff in  Australia went from a Fanatic StingRay (which he busted) to a Shark 150 and felt Shark did NOT plane up as early/well as the Ray :-( On the other hand, Roni and Rami are loving their Shark 150 LTDs. I will make a point of doing a FULL review on the 150 LTDs next summer - with videos !!! Jeff changed his mind about the board and LOVES it now = his favourite, fastest and best in chop. As for myself in 2017 - purchased an older model (2006) Shark 145 HRS. Will report and film about it !!

I was looking at the Fanatic Viper and Shark when the Viper first came out in 2005. The Viper was of interest because I was coming off an old longboard. The Shark interested me since then because it was a great potential starting shortboard ie no centreboard. Some of my fellow windsurfers seem to consider shortboards as those used in high winds only. That is fine, however, we do live in a light wind area.

I asked our local Fanatic salesman for his wisdom on the Shark. People are always calling it a "beginner" board. his words, font size and colour ....

Most who talk shit, haven’t tried one.

All who love and rave about them, own one.

So tell me, who’s talking shit?

Wisdom enough for ya?


When I finally did purchase my first shortboard {brand new} in 2007, the Shark was a little more money. Perhaps I still should have chosen the Shark at that time due to its HRS cover {high resistance skin}. The AHD FastForward that I purchased did NOT have an extra protective coating and as such easily dented or scratched. This does not affect performance - only looks and resale value.

Here is a Fanatic Video where the Shark and Hawk are discussed and described:
That video has been removed from youtube - will try to find one similiar, butt for now here is one about the shark 2013...
Better one found - Nik Baker speaking about the different Fanatic boards and how they compare...

As you saw, there are LTD versions of the 135 and 150 litre Shark models... These are more sensitive to dings and catapaults and require expertise. For myself, an HRS covering is useful and my skills may not even be up to determining performance differences between the HRS and LTD models. The Hawk is considered to be a free-ride more performance oriented Fanatic board. Once again, are your skills up to knowing the difference ? The Shark is the get up and go board = KISS.
Keep It Simple and Standard.  or as I always say - let it RIP {and NO that is NOT rest in pieces :-) }

What I like about the Shark is it can get you started and then take you really far. There seemed to be some concern when Fanatic changed the volume and dimensions, butt Tinho Dornellas, a master instructor of Calema Florida fame, has put those ideas to rest !!

The Shark has many volumes - from 105 to 165 !! I thought it only went as far as 150. The widths are from 65 to 83 cm. At 83 cm the 165 liter board is cited as being able to handle a 10-oh sail and comes with a 52 cm fin. The more common sizes are the 120 and 135 litre models ... Even the 135 litre board with 73 cm width comes with a 48 cm fin and can handle sails up to 9-oh.

So, these are easy riding boards that can handle quite large sails. This means they are ideal for light wind areas like where I live. Sails that large on flat water with an early planing board like this just blast. How much more performance does one need ??

Two things people worry about are tighter jibes and handling chop. These are critical performance areas as well. Let me see if we can find some magazine reviews for more detailed information ...

The German Windsurf Magazine suggests that the 135 board is able to come out of turns at break neck speeds and even handles laydown jibes very well for its width.
They do suggest a smaller fin for the smaller sails and this makes total sense since the supplied 48 cm fin is more aimed an 8-oh sails and this board can go all the way down to 6-oh where fins are typically under 40 cm !! In terms of performance the magazine is saying the board should satisfy the requirements for an amateur racer as well.

When Tinho evaluated the Shark 130 LTD originally he stated," It swallows the chop. Actually, it flies over it. There is an occasional tip tap on incoming chop just to remind you of how fast you are going, but nothing like any of the bothersome clanker and raucous clatter of the competition.

The jibe is great. Tight arcs, wide arcs, no problem. The standard fin is outstanding, light, proper twist, and perfectly matched to the board's function." This is why he was so concerned when Fanatic announced changes on this board. As seen earlier he raves about the new 135 even more !!

Found an article in the windsurfingmag of May 2006 where they reviewed the Fanatic Shark 145 LTD. They felt the Shark of this size was aimed at middle to heavyweights, planed early, had a steady jibe and went well at slow speeds ie schlogging. Several Experts gave the board a perfect ten rating !!! {It is unfortunate that this magazine is no longer with us - it is already missed dearly !!!}  states The "Shark is a board especially dedicated to freeride lovers. And it is dedicated to both advanced or beginner riders, so that they will both enjoy high quality windsurfing sessions. The Shark is built on the successful pattern of the famous Eagle, but is more forgiving and tackles the waves in a gentle way so it can be used by beginner sailor without any effort or hassle. The shape is compact in features and has balanced rocker lines with a narrower tail which assure enough power for high speeds and extra maneuverability too. "

Let's see if we cannot find some videos :-)

I find it interesting that most of these videos are not of the marketing type. They are regular people going out and having simple fun. These boards are made to go out and have fun and yet still go fast !! The only negative comment I found was on the Auzzie forums where someone claimed it was too tame. From what I have seen and read, it may seem tame, butt it ain't lame :-)

The French Magazine Wind Magazine has a piece on the Shark 150 in FEB 2012. Hope there are no issues posting it here - I give them FULL credit !!! called "Liveliness in its Sweetness". I prefer to call it "lots of life in its soft ride". Soft ride is NOT a bad thing. It reminds me of when I rode in some sportier cars and found them to be too stiff and almost painful to ride. When going over chop, I prefer a softer ride over teeth chattering excitement. I will put some translation after ...

Dating from 2010, the Shark 150 has a compact shape, shorter and wider than average. The board is well made with a fin that requires no tools to mount it. The HRS construction places the Fanatic among the lightest of the group! This board is also available in LTD based on carbon Kevlar.
{Personal Note: I would have thought the HRS made the board heavier. Also, what is interesting is, the HRS boards have NO vent plug !! }

On the Water
Strap inserts straps placed back slightly on the outside of the deck on this Fanatic bring a very appreciable, driving comfort due to ergonomic feet position that perfectly matches the roundness of the rail. Globally stable, good travel speeds are still very accessible. The planing is attained smoothly while remaining very competitive.

Once planing, this board is quick and fun to navigate. It navigates on the fin , very much alive on the water above. Consequently, the Fanatic goes over chop without tapping on it ; it goes over it. One does not feel anything underfoot as the Shark is alive and free, we provide effortless control as we remain in moderate wind conditions for the sail being  used.

When Aeolus panics {Greek god of the winds freaks out} ,there is a tendency to lift in the gusts which may make the ride more technical. These flights mean the pilot needs to know how to control his board in changing conditions.

The jibe excels in  sweetness, is easy to engage and is scalable if one seeks to attack or to tighten the radius of the curve. Its thin rails on the back really helps to cut its curve to turn in place ie tight curves

Highly valued for its feel on the water, its ease of riding and ergonomic comfort, the Shark provides good sensations ie FUNThis is a design evolves continually to give pleasure even to a higher level of rider ie not just for beginners. If the conditions are alive, we may see a smaller range of sail use in strong winds, forcing down a sail size quickly, which can also be an advantage.

It takes some basic skills and to be resourceful to be able to appreciate the true colours of the Shark! Once again, this board is NOT just for beginners and even suggest some skills to appreciate it.
Here is the Wind Magazine summary chart...

here is a piece from WindSport Magazine 2013 gear guide- now realize i may not have listed specs
is where Greogor posted this :-)

Unfortunately in 2015 there will be NO MORE SHARKS :-(

and here we are in SEPT 2014 and this board is for sale @ 2-rad $%^&*
god, i want it , but my boss Roni is looking at it too
will give hime 2 days head start :-)
after that my AHD goes for sale !!

Roni bought the board in 2014, but does NOT use it much. Other windsurf buddy, Rami, also purchased a SHARK 150 LTD:

Unfortunately when he tried to sell it in 2016, I had already invested in the AHD SL2 132. Had I known ... Also had a chance to purchase a Shark 130 LTD for a decent price @ 2-rad. Bruno told me to grap it on-line - MANY people enquired about it. Helmut suggested against it since I already had so many boards. I looked at the 2016 sessions and decided against it due to lack of outings in the 7.0-8.5 range with planing. Would have to sell the AHD, etc , etc.
MUCH better off hoping to do a windsurf trip next year.
For my current skills (or lack thereof) this would have been the board for me
Now I will continue to struggle with the AHD SL2
which is okay too ...

In 2016 EVERYONE keeps telling me that I need an "easier", more user friendly board to get in the straps. Would have loved to do that with a SHARK 150 LTD, but ... So, In early 2017 I put a deposit on a 2006 Shark 145 HRS... Ron has purchased a Gecko 120 to replace it and absolutely LOVES the Gecko. Jeff has complained that it (his Shark 150) does NOT plane up as early as he had hoped. Zokay, I will put an 8.x sail on it and foot straps up front like in the pic... (After some time, it became Jeff's favourite board - fastest and best in chop !!!) Here is my "new board" :

Ron says it is a 2007, but images from the web seem to indicate 2006 max. Internet says the board is 263x75 cm and takes sails from 6-9. On the board it seemed to indicate 5.5-8 m². The 2005 does not seem to have the same graphics nor dimensions (260x69  and 5.5 - 8.5).  The 2007 does NOT have the same graphics as the pic above and as per internet is 263x75 and 6.0 - 9.0 m² sails. So, I will assume the board was the same between 2006 and 2007 with simply a change in graphics ... Went through my archives and found a Fanatic brochure from 2005/2006 and that is the board and the sail range is clearly marked as 6.0 - 9.0 m² and came with a 50 cm freeride fin. Found a used 52 cm fin on windsurfing.qc from bigmike - will see if I can get it for a good price - this brings the price of the board up when trying to sell it 😒 (supposed to have an OFO of 51 cm - reason for 50 cm fin coming with the board - aimed for MAX back in the day)

Some things to note, the board has NO vent screw and quite rounded rails... It is long by today's standards, but that is okay with me !! Based on previous analyses ... I used to say the ideal sail for a board was its width divided by ten, which suggests 7.5 m² for this board and would NOT surprise me in the least. Since the board originally came with a 50 cm fin, I would be inclined to believe the board was slated to handle 9 meter sails. This board came with NO fin. When I sell it, I will need to find a fin to let go with it - easier to sell that way ...

In 2009 the German windsurf magazine did a report on the Shark 145 ...
They marked it as 152 liters and 9.4 kg with same dimensions as the 2006/2007. In their tests they called it the sportiest and yet the longest board of the test. "The board glides very well, is fast and runs freely over the fin..." They say it is less comfortable in chop, which surprises me with the 75 cm narrow width ...

Once I get the board here, on the water,  etc, I will do a separate post ..
For now will continue here ...
This is what Tinho Dornellas of calema sports said about the Shark 145 in 2005

Fanatic Shark 145

This board surprised me the most for how easily it planed. I put a 9.8 sail in light winds when no one was out sailing , everyone waiting for winds to build. With the conditions I had, I was expecting a fair amount of schlogging to the windline, but the minute I was on the off the shore, the board surged, wanting to plane. A smooth pump and the board was off on a plane. Frankly I did not expect this from a board that is fairly short, and having compared to boards of similar size in the Exocet, Starboard  and Tabou line.
Once on the plane, the ride is quick and the board is very maneuverable. The Jibe is OK , predictable and very accommodating to different techniques and rider input, always reliable.
The mast track is quite far back, so be careful to place it well forward of halfway.

The footstraps are placed perfectly for different rider stance and weight, as well as skill level and type of sailing to be done on this board. One thing I really like on these new fanatics is the multiple footstrap positions you are offered. Most European boards feature a footstrap width that is so extremely wide (for booties) that sailing barefoot feels like your feet are dancing around constantly. Not with these boards. You can close or widen the attachment position so your foot is either super snug or comfortably loose.

The overall looks of the board are very appealing with a polished and very harmonious outline. I don't usually pay attention to this (other than wincing at some butt ugly noses on some boards out there..) But the fact that the board behaves so well in rough conditions has me looking closer at what the nice outline is doing.
This is the same I found on the Eagle boards.

The Fin supplied is of very good quality and performance, and very light for its size.

I highly recommend this board for those looking for a board in this category, especially if you deal with choppy or wavy conditions. This board deals with rough conditions with total ease.

Heavier weight guys in the 100 kg category should love this board for its high wind abilities. It has the volume for underpowered sailing and it does not become too big when it blows.
This is also the board for light weights and women that seek that first high performance board to advance their skills such as using footstraps carve jibing, and planing.

Sails 9.8 ? 6.0

For 9.8-8.5 sails:
T= 145 cm
FO4, RO2

Intermediate sailing
T = 145 cm
FI 3
RI 2
Stronger winds, sails 8.0 -7.0
T= 142-140 cm
3/6/06 Lately I have tested the LTD with a Meanline B 46 cm and the board became an excellent jibing board. Nice surprise!!!

i even found a website that says the 2007 Shark 145 was good for 5-10 m² sails :

that is a bit much
with a 50 cm fin coming with the board, 10 m² is for sure the max sail size
would guess it is like my AHD FF 160/79 - best for 6-8 meter sails
Ron used 6.5 @ 135 cm mark in 16-20 winds, but is much lighter
Tinho warned to put bigger sails at 145 cm mark

Here is the sticker from a later year: 6.5 - 9.5 !!

As you can see, my interest in the Fanatic Shark is more/bigger than ever. I am trying to determine the history of the board - when it came about until its retirement from the fleet in 2015....

Somewhere around 1993 there was a Fanatic Ultra Shark 291. I used to have a Fanatic Ultra CAT from around that time and so, imagine that was standard name for the boards of that time. This board, the Ultra Shark seemed to be VERY well liked. It was 125 liters and 291x59 cm with a trim box that took 30-44 cm fins. With those fins and board size/shape, it makes sense that it was slated for sails 5.0 to 7.5 meters...

It seems somewhere around 1995 there was a newer version of only 118 liters (286x55 cm) and was known as the Fanatic Mega Shark 286. It was considered "high strung" compared to the 291.

Somewhere around 2003/2004/2005 there were the square nosed Sharks 129 and 142.  The 129 and 142 were also available in LTD versions... What happened between 1995 and 2003 ?? In 1996 they/Fanatic seemed to have the Snake, BEE, Fly, CAT, Falcon, Hawk and Class-X (NO Shark ??) Also found references to an Ultra Gecko around 1995 ?? So, they brought the name back around 2015??

In 2005/6/7 there were the Sharks 135, 145 and 160 with LTD versions of the 135 and 145. These boards already had the rounded noses...

In 2008 the sizes were changed to 130/145/160 still with the two smaller sizes available in LTD.

In 2010 they must have realized the Shark was a popular freeride board and put some Eagle influence on their shapes and came out with 100/115/125/135/150/165 sizes. It was still the 135 and 150 that were available in LTD.

From 2011 until 2014 Fanatic dropped the number of Sharks down to 105/115/125/135/150/165.

I am very curious to know which was the best seller, most liked, etc ...
On youtube one still sees videos posted of the Shark 291 which was pre-2000 !!
NOT bad for a freeride board
Will the Gecko do as well ??

Have to put a decent Shark 145 video here... Found one - Hatteras with that board and an Ezzy 9.5 !!

In early 2017 I tried to put a hold on a fin @ 2-rad and deal it down from $150. It ended up getting sold  before I could sell my True Ames SB 58 cm weed fin. Was hoping to get $150 for that fin and then purchased the one @ 2-rad. Bruno did NOT warn me and it was sold ... Lesson learned. Instead purchased a Curtis 47 cm slalom fin and had it sent to my brother-out-law in NY. This cost me closer to $100 CDN. Can't wait to try it ... The fin AND the board ... but we just got more snow on 01APR2017...

Early "Planing"

There are currently many discussions on the windsurf forums regarding early planing {and NOT planning :-) }. When one speaks of early planing, we are not referring to which board planes earliest in 16 knots of wind, but rather which boards plane up earliest in winds under 10 knots !! These are obviously LIGHT winds and for someone like myself of 100 kilos/220 lbs, it seems unattainable.

As they said in the July/August 2007 Windsurfing Magazine:

What seems to be happening in the market is, there are these specialized boards like the Starboard Serenity and the Exocet RS D2 making their appearance. They seem to have some similarities to what we have seen in the past and yet ...

Exocet RS D2

As you can see here, these shapes are "longer" and pointed in the front to "cut" the waves. The Serenity has NO footstraps and both have centre boards. They are not really similiar animals except in the objective to get on water in light winds and get good speed. The Serenity has been around a while and the RS D2 is having its first year with only 500 being produced. Thus it is more difficult to compare the RS D2 with current standings. I am sure this will NOT take long to happen :-)

We have already seen and discussed Formula wide boards and long narrow racier longboards. These have been around for quite some time and have been discussed in another post... formula-boards-and-longboards.html  It is known that the wide Formula boards with 100 cm and their long fins have early planing potential due to those two(2) factors - width + fin.

Remi of Starboard has done some tests on planing performance in light winds. He is middle weight to my recollection and not a feather weight of 65 kilos.

In speed only :

In 5 knots : Serenity > Phantom Race > Apollo
In 7 knots : Apollo > Serenity > Phantom Race
In 10 Knots : Apollo > Phantom Race > Serenity 

The Apollo project is basically Formula and as such we see that the Long Raceboard is never number one in speed. I would challenge to say that it may be the most versatile and most comfortable in lower and higher winds...These tests were performed with an 11 square meter sail in 2007. The results are still valid since things have not changed that much for these boards.

Addendum injected here: Does this mean everyone should run out and get a formula board of 100 cm width in order to plane early ? Definitely NOT !! People live in different environments and are different weights. In  the Windsurfing Magazine of June 2004 {now defunct :-( } they say light weights from 100 to 160 pounds should go from 70 to 85 cm wide, middle weights of 160 to 185 pounds 75  to 90 cm and heavyweights of more than 185 pounds - go to 80 to 100 cm wide.
And later here it states someone of my weight should go with a 75 cm fin. I have an 80 cm board and go as high as a 10-oh race sail with a 53 cm pointer fin. I think I will stop there. A new formula board will cost over $2000, fin over $200, mast over $800 and sail over $1000. We are talking about 4 to 5 thousand dollars.

Here is the Serenity in 5 to 7 knots with an 11-oh race sail:

In the same post on the SB forum, Jean-Marc informs us about Pfaffi:

Clique to see clearly in new window

1) for a light weight rider of 65 kg, a fin length of 53 cm should suffice
2) Pfaffi used a Formula HWR board, a 70 cm fin and a Severne Reflex 12 m2 sail to be able to start and sustain the planing as of 7 knots. He weights 92 kg. 
3) If his theory holds true and according to his table, you should be able to do the same with a 75 cm fin for your 100 kg body weight. 
So, what does this mean for an average Joe like myself who happens to be a heavyweight (as per windsurf standards and statistics on average male body weights) living in a light wind area ? Used Serenity or Formula can be purchased for under $1000. My largest sail is a 10-oh. Will NOT spend another $1000 to gain 2 knots. The boards discussed here are all well around the $2000 mark new. Locally a fellow has purchased an Exocet Warp 100 Formula board brand new and hated it - he is now trying to sell it at a very reasonable price of $1500 since it IS new, but not getting any nibbles. Pfaffi suggests a Formula with a 75 cm fin,

My answer is an old Fanatic Ultra CAT which was used to race and considered great fun in the early 90's. The MegaCAT was shown to be faster, but more technical or difficult to use. My biggest issue with light winds is that they are typically NOT stable and as such i need the long hull and stable race sails with cambers.

These boards are all niche boards and NOT common. I found my niche and I hope you find yours :-)

Other boards I have not mentioned here are the JP SLW {JP SuperLightWind}, the SB US {UltraSonic} and Tinho Dornellas of Calema Sports custom boards. These are also early planers and less upwind/downwind oriented than the Formula boards.

So far, it looks like the RSD2 may be a keeper !!! {Another Canadian windsurfer , also named Joe, has both the JPSL and the Serenity and is looking at the RSD2 :-) } Believe that in the end he decided upon a StarBoard Phantom 377 - with the batwings - and loving it !!

Here are some links to the RS D2 discussions:

Tinho blasting on RS D2
In order to get speed or planing in light winds under 10 knots there seem to be two(2)concepts that have been combined in the RSD2. The front of the board is narrow and pointy in order to slice through water with the least resistance. The Serenity has this concept to the extreme and as such seems to be the fastest in really light winds around 5 knots. The other concept is width and volume to generate more flotation and thus less resistance to water. This is applied at the back of the RSD2 and taken to the extreme with the Apollo project or Formula boards. These boards have shown to be the fastest in winds over 7 knots. Now it would be interesting to see a test of Formula and RSD2 together in winds around 10 knots :-)

In order for any of this planing to occur in winds under 10 knots, people are using really large sails over 11 meters squared. I have a 10-oh which I find uncomfortable when I have to carry the load ie wind drops. The 11-oh I tried once was even worse. So, I do not know how people that are not heavy-weights manage these large sails !! Technique wins over brawn I am sure :-)

This discussion would not be complete if one did not mention the hybrids. These are boards that do not specialize in any one thing or form of sailboarding and yet are flexible enough for many facets. These boards would include the Exocet Kona and Tabou Windstyler/SUP. The Kona has already started to be a one-design race class - good for light winds up to 20 knots.

Update: Local windsurfer known as "sailboarder", who goes to BDU on his KONA made a suggestion to read the reviews of the new Starboard with BatWings :-) In the review one sees the author is a Formula fan, butt does find the longboard just a little more "fun" and "comfortable". {thanx sailboarder !!}

2nd update: another aspect of early planing that has not been discussed here is technique. If two people are out on the same day and on the same equipment and yet one planes earlier than the other, it can be technique. Guy Cribb covers this here:
3rd update: since writing this discussion, I have found another option - it is called FreeFormula. It is a wider board over 85 cm and less than 95 cm - as per my definition. Mine is a BIC Techno Formula of 94 cm and 170 liters, butt there are others. For my 100 kilos, this board planes with my TR-4 10-oh in around 10 to 12 knots of wind. My AHD 160 with 80 cm width will start to plane around 12 knots. The BTF schloggs better and planes up a little earlier. It is NOT a race Formula, but instead more of a funboard and planes very smoothly. This has become my most used combo in the light winds. Rather than the Fanatic Ultra CAT with the 10-oh or 8-oh. Planing slowly is an odd concept and needs to be experienced. It means any mere puff and you take off :-)
Just saw an interesting quote in a Windsurfing Magazine - June 2010 pg 50
"Trade-Offs: Top-end  speed and heavy-air control suffer the most when extremely early planing is achieved." Then they went on to say this does not apply to the Fanatic Skate 100 :-) That's funny cuz that board goes out in heavy winds with sails 4 to 6 meters. It better be fast !!

Wider boards will have a smaller wetted area and as such plane earlier than a narrow board of the same volume. To plane earlier one needs the wide board, big fin and big sail. Sailor weight makes a difference too. A lighter sailor can plane with equipment that may not plane at all for a heavyweight. The same equipment can require almost 2 knots less wind if one loses 20 pounds. For someone like myself of 225 pounds this is not entirely unreasonable.I try to start every season at around 210 and by December I am always back to 225. I never quite make it down to 200 :(

So, a person should be able to plane in 10 mph/knots or about 20 kph average winds. NOT everyone lives in windier conditions. Here is a wind blob from Dorval aeroport in Montreal taken from iwindsurf and Dorval tends to be windier than the rest of the area - for some reason ...As one can see, winds are typically from the W & NE and typically under 15 mph.

 Actually it was windalert and there was an important piece of data missing on the left, which showed the numbers per month for the whole year - and yes, winds were from W and NE and under 15mph ALL year long ...

One interesting comment i have been reading lately and pondering ....
To plane earlier - in general - need to keep board trim ie flat and often Guy Cribb and others suggest moving mast track forward and boom up !!!
This feels counter-intuitive to me - get the front out of the water - move mast back, non? NON

Tinho says:
Early planing depends on a board being perfectly trim on the water- front to back and rail to rail. Track too far back kills that
So you have to find the balance between both. Or you can add something into the mix: boom height.
Track forward and higher boom allows early planing and good top end speed. You can also play with things like fin rake, twist and flex, fin profile, sail profile, and draft stability.
The above observations are made for the Formula board-- it is important to recognize that the width of the board itself is another major detail into this early planing/ speed /control equation.

That is the beauty of windsurfing- so many variables you can spend a lifetime perfecting your speed.

Final addendum (i hope :-)
I just re-read this post and interestingly enough, did NOT discuss pumping. I spend more time discussing equipment rather than technique. Most people will suggest that getting on a plane quickly requires technique in terms of setup, stance AND pumping - rather than passively waiting to plane. They call it full body pumping. This gets the board out of the water and over the little wave at the front quickly. Here is a fellow, who I have seen in a better video , showing how he uses pumping to the fullest. Will look for the other video too ...

This is not the same fellow, Fred Mistral, and is called "PUMP IT"

Here is Peter Hart about "early planing" (

and another

In March 2014 on Ozzie windsurf forum flatout said..  

I would say that wide does not equal early planing. I used to have an 80cm slalom board, which I used with an 8m sail. I then bought a 112L 68cm freestyle board and a 6.9m power sail. The planing threshold between the two was equal, if not lower for the freestyle kit. I chose to go the light and small route. But I can still sail in the same winds, although now I am focusing more in manoeuvres instead of speed. 

some people say - all i do is quote from old magazines
another said - stop reading and do some sailing :-)

so, here goes...

in the April 2004 issue of the Windsurfing Magazine {now defunct}
"flat water tends to favour additional width"
"heavyweight sailors may opt for slightly wider sizing"
"gusty winds favour added board width"
"adding width offers stability for rookies, as well as planing and
pointing power for light air specialists"

from the chart in that issue
100 cm wide - max 12.5 sail
90 cm wide - max 11.0 sail
80 cm wide - max 10.0 sail
70 cm wide - max 7.8 sail
60 cm wide - max 6.5 sail

However, some also say "dont go too wide. narrow is key to "the glide"
especially in VERY light winds

Here is some more from Peter Hart on getting planing:

Fast Forward to Fall 2015.
Here Dr. Elch of Germany discusses how he manages to plane in 8 to 12 knots of wind - much to the envy of all the other windsurfers on the water:
What he is using ?? He started with an RRD Lightwind 150 (236 cm x 91) and a 9.6 sail. But he wanted even earlier planing. He found a "2007 np v8 10.6 in average condition. My sailmaker cut the clew and win 10 cm" gained/lost on the outhaul. "Needing some small gust (11-12) knots to accelerate, the board runs and runs even down to 8 knots." CONGRATULATIONS !!

For me I still prefer to start with 12 knot winds when trying to plane with my JP SLW92 (165 liters and 250 cm long) with a MauiSails TR-4 10.0 m² sail. However, I have started to try the combo in 8 to 12 knots in order to practice and hope for planing ...

In early 2016 I asked a couple of questions on the iwindsurf forum that kind of flew back in my face. Asked about using larger sails than my MauiSails TR-4 10 m² sail. In the question I posted a video of myself on the JP SLW. Since I was NOT in the straps and NOT fully planing , this drew criticism. How can I consider anything larger when not even fully planing in the straps. Also asked about overcoming a phobia of getting in the straps. Again that drew criticism. I mentioned technique earlier, but besides being obvious in the videos, did not discuss the importance of the straps. Here I will suggest the importance of straps and plan to show how much they help by my getting in them in 2016, This will need to be my priority in 2016 - NOT just a wish and as such need determination and a plan !!

here's a quote from
"you need more than 10 knots or 12-15mph to get planing on Formula gear. 10knots is longboard weather, and probably still not planing. 
But most people don't windsurf until it's blowing at least 15knots or say 18mph. At which point, with your weight and on your huge board, you'd need an 8m sail. At 70kgs and with lightweight 100litre kit, 18mph gets me planing easily on a bagged out 5.8 metre sail. 
My thresh-hold of planing interest starts at about 15knots or 18mph. 
Below this and I can still have fun but I would not choose an expensive big sail, super-wide board and then expect to plane – but instead I'd rather choose a small sail and make do with the journey on offer."

But if you are a lightweight , you are able to plane much earlier than a heavyweight like myself. Yet the world's fastest windsurfers are tall heavyweights ...
Here is another video of a lightweight planing in light winds ...

2016: So, some of the most effective boards in REALLY light winds are longboard types with pointy noses. Like the SB Serenity, which is no longer manufactured, and the Exocet RSD2. Now it seems there is a new player on the block - out of the Netherlands - the SurfersGroup SG-R 380. Some are saying it beats out the RSD2 completely...

The SurfersGroup 380 is a complete different board than the D2. The 2012 worlds was a bit of a disaster for the Exocet boss who was on site. They promoted the board in Europe using Stephan van de Berg in marketing. But during the event all the riders (without 1, a Dutchman body weight 150 kilo) who raced the D2 gave up after 2 days. Even some passed champions we know who would ride that board didn’t show up I myself actually was in love seeing the first presentation of the D2 during the worlds in 2011. But after I have seen the first trailer of Stephan van den Berg in low wind conditions  I was disappointed as I’m heavy weight 105 kilo and Stephan is still <70 kilo (it glides slower than a Laser) and started to build the proto of the SurfersGroup 380.   

Some major differences: Weight : +/- 5% without dagger and foot straps.  SurfersGroup 380 is 12.5 kilo The D2 is 24 kilo,  We measured 3 different D2 boards at Masters Worlds in 2012.  Width: SurfersGroup 380, 65cm D2, 77cm  Volume: SurfersGroup 380, 290L D2, 428L  Shape: SurfersGroup 380 has an box rails flat tail D2 has an round rails bevel tail  nose: SurfersGroup 380 has a positive nose, it follows the wave. The D2 has a negative nose that points in to the wave. The shape differences make the SurfersGroup glide earlier and box rails will lift the tail as the D2 still is sticky. The buoyancy of the D2 should be a benefit of that board but the shape and the weight are against.   

The SurfersGroup out classes the D2 and the 377L the new Exocet RS 380 in the up wind course The position of the tail foot straps of The SurfersGroup 380 is closer to the rails than Exocet RS 380 and 377L wings and gives a better downwind control it makes the SurfersGroup easier to ride than ten 377L and New RS In 15 to 20 knot wind I hunt and kill slalom boards. ;-)   

There are also major differences in the construction. The SurfersGroup boards are hollow and build like a kayak/ race car using prepreg fibers and vacuum infusion technique. We have a multi fibber layup on the deck /bottom and inside. The core is designed in using different materials and strength. As we do not have an 0,20 x290l= 5,8 kilo EPS core. That weight benefit makes it that we are able to double/triple fibre/layup materials compared to other raceboard manufacturers.  The Production boards like Starboard 377l and Exocet never are the weight of Officials ISAF registration. Simple mathematics show that. The EPS core weight of the D2 428 litre board is 10 kilo the PVC core 2 kilo. Build in, the Fin box, mastrack foot strap inserts, vent, dagger board casket and strips, some kind of coating and non-skid weight close to 5 kilo. Is a total of 17 kilo so if the board registration is 14.5 kilo then there is nothing left for the fibber and epoxy.????   

The weight and construction of Mistral One Design or the older Mistral competition epoxy and the Mistral board you ride now, build some time ago are tougher and lighter than the new raceboards of Starboard and Exocet build now.

Back on Ice n Snow 2012 :-)

Have to bring this post back to the fore-front AGAIN. This is where my head, body and spirit are right now :-) Latest entry is 12MAR12 at the bottom of this post. Finally added some videos of myself at the end. Slush and light winds did NOT help, butt ...
In December I brought the mast bases up to the "country", which is the term we use for the chalet up north. Obviously also brought the masts, boom and sails. Typically use 6-oh and 8-oh and bring the 7-oh just in case. The boards are there from the last winter windsurf season.

Temps were a bit high (just below freezing) and there was about 2 to 3 inches of snow on the frozen lake. We were worried that there would be NO snow for Xmas and no ice on the lake. We lucked out on both counts. Because there was snow and it was sticky due to the temperature, neither board seemed to do well. And on top of it all, there seemed to be NO wind :-(

After I finished putting the mastbases on the two(2) winter windsurf "sleds", I went and checked out the wind again. It was supposed to be 15 kph and reach 25 later. Well, it felt like it was closer to 10 kph from the west. Oh well, let's rig the MS-2 8-oh which is a powerful sail and has 2 cams to hold shape. Tried the snow sled on the snow and went no-where - due to sticky snow and lack of wind. Tried it on the track of ice someone cleared and it went. Not too fast, but much better than the snow...

Okay then , let's try the ice sled - what, with an 8-oh cambered sail ??
If the ice was colder, less snow on the lake and the wind stronger, there is NO way I would put the 8-oh on the ice sled. In this case it went and was speedy a couple of times.

The whole affair was just enough to tease me - and perhaps make me the laughing stock of the lake. Oh yeah, i already am that - so, who cares? :-)

In other words good start to the season !!!
Now, let's hope for some better winds and cooler temperatures...
In the forecast -- winds are up when temps are still close to freezing and colder when there are no winds ...

Here are some pics from earlier posts - forgot to take pics on this first outing ...

Tried again on Wednesday the 28th on the lake - cooler temps, a bit more wind - not steady , butt lots more snow $%^&*( Excellent work-out, but not too much success. Does NOT mean it is time to give up - just wait for better conditions OR make my own track on the lake :-)

Again on Monday 2nd of January. Put the Gaastra 7-oh. Winds were a little better, but not steady enough. Once again temps were too close to freezing. Was absolutely sweating. In deep snow at these temperatures, snow gathers at the front of the snow sled. Perhaps that is why Langis Caron's sled is made of slats !! In other words the ice sled did not work on the ice and the snow sled went, butt not good enough on either $%^&*() Let's hope temps are better back home and ice forms on the rivers.

In the comments "Peconic Puffin" suggests some action photos and/or videos of the ice sled. Will see what i can do :-)

People take ice windsurfing really seriously - especially in Europe -  check these kits in the making !!

I will write more on the subject when I have a few good runs under my belt from the 2012 season ...

Early January brought my "stuff" down from the chalets. As usual forgot something - my boom was under the bed - am not about to use my carbon boom on the ice %^&*( Since people are on the ice and kiting near West Island, i went and got the boom and some other stuff on the 24th - yesterday. Tonight I went to the local river to see what all that rain and freezing had done. There was water around the bridge, butt the sides were solid. Took the ice sled and used it like a skateboard :-) Near the middle of the river, my boots went through the snow into about 3 inches of water. There are usually layers of ice and water on rivers and lakes - so, no worries !!! There was still a smile on my face and it would have been bright enough for a good sail !!!

FINALLY - today on the 29th of January I took a run on the local river. Tested the ice in the morning and it was "acceptable" - did not go in the water nor break top ice. Winds were around 20 to 40 kph from the SW. I had difficulty setting up the Simmer 3 camber 6-oh sail since it has been so long since i have. The helmet and goggles are a blessing. Should have brought the harness. It has been too long and as such my forearms got tired. Went for about an hour and ran into a watery section. Okay, enough for one day then ... All in all it was a very good session - even if short - gave it an 8 out of 10. Need someone to take pics now. Would also love to do this WITH the kiters at AAO / Vaudreuils/ Hudson on Lac de deux Montagnes ...

05FEB2012 - Originally planned to go on Saturday. Ironically ALL the family plans from Saturday went to Sunday. Winds were to be 40 - 60 kph from WSW late in the afternoon !! Brought the 6-oh, 7-oh AND the 8-oh just in case ... Test on the river in the morning showed there was snow with a crust of ice and the snow sled would be the best option.  Winds were light when I arrived and actually stayed light and i was glad i brought and rigged the 8-oh free-race MS-2 sail. There was a winter carnival at Ste-Rose on the other side of the river and bridge . so, there were plenty of observers :-) Since winds stayed light and was on the snow, i decided to try the harness .. I had to leave the coat open - need a waist harness that fits over the coat ! I fell once while hooked in - that would NOT be pleasant on ice ... It felt MUCH better when hooked in , butt had to move the lines back more than 10 cm. Managed to do a straight down-winder by accident, so, maybe jibing is not such an impossibility after all. Gave the session a resounding 9 out of 10 - lost points cuz winds got lighter and dropped - rest was the best ... {Still trying to get someone to come and take action shots and/or video ^&*(). Can't get my movie maker son to do it.. Teenage boys are sooo lazy :-) }

The next day I looked at purchasing a used $50 large/L Dakine waist harness, butt it did NOT fit. Managed to make the seat harness fit over the thin coat after some wrangling :-) Will try this next time !!

11FEB2012 - another 9 outta 10 session on the local river ! Winds were light - around 10 knots from the NE {checked the weather maps - was actually more like 8 knots !!}. It was difficult to find a place. The Rosemere side had wind blocked by the island and bridge, the Ste-Rose site had all kinds of stuff about due to the winter carnival AND there seemed to be wind blockage as well... Was about to give up when I remembered Parc Charbaneau. NOT a good place for summer windsurfing due to the yucky waters, butt in winter I should be able to rig right beside the water. Was about to go when a fellow came and asked about the sled - home made patent ? :-) Discovered that areas with altering materials and really big ice bumps were not so easy and did fall once when going from an icy section to a snowy section. Went for about an hour and was off the ice before 9h00. Was cold today and winds were already dropping. Forgot to put two(2) pairs of socks and my right hand was a little cold as well. Did not use the harness since i was not planning to go for long AND not sure of the surface. Still managed a 9 outta 10 !!
Oh yeah - was obviously on the snow sled with my freerace sail, the MS-2 8-oh ..
After some deliberation, I decided to move the harness lines back to 65 cm for the 8-oh and i moved the mast base up about 5 cm , which ironically seems to coincide with the ice board mast base positioning...

12FEB2012 - tried to go out SUN afternoon, butt was not nearly as good a session $%^&* Went to the river on the Rosemere side and rigged the 8-oh since winds were up n down. The sail was the right choice, butt the adjustment of the mast foot was NOT a good one AND the seat harness would not go over my coat $%^&* With the mast foot where it was, I had to use sail steering in order for the tail not to swing around. Will definitely move the mast foot back up - perhaps i should keep the wrench in the tool bag ?? Have some pliers for emergencies, but no wrenches. Gave this session a mere 6 outta 10 %T^U*IOP In desperation I tried the ice sled on the crusty snow, but it just does not go - and for the record, I had moved the foot UP and now I moved it BACK... Am now actually considering adding fins to the skis on my snow version. Perhaps I will be able to remove the centre ski and save some weight...

Found a really interesting business article on "The Case of Winter Windsurfing"
There is mention of Freeskates, Hiberna boards, Velliluge and Snowfers. Some obvious names are Jeff Brown of the USofA (maine or Vermont I believe) , Marcel Bradette of Quebec City, Quebec, Canada and Charles Chepregi  of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

"Experts say that winter windsurfers innovate mainly to fulfill their own and their 
fellow sportsmen needs. Most of them are enthusiasts of the sport and as there is not 
much of commercial product manufactured currently and also in the past, they take on 
the innovation process and try to solve problems associated with the equipment and 
make improvements themselves. The needs mainly concern reaching higher speeds and 
the control and manoeuvring of the board. They also do it for fun cause they enjoy the 
process. Also gaining reputation is important for those that take part in competitions and 
try to reach new speed records. "

These are the fins I made with what was laying about - if the next snow session doesn't work, the board is going flat with these babies at the back :-)

This is a video of a sled with skis, but with a "cooler" platform. Same principles...

This one just sold on e-bay for about $230 - "old" Freeskate. I have only used the ice version of my two(2) boards once or twice. Thus this board would need to be a little LE$$ money. However, if there is a market for this, perhaps i should start converting skateboards and selling them on e-bay ?? Obviously I am NOT as equipped as the fellow from the Netherlands in the video further up in this post !!!

SAT 18FEB2012 - It has been fairly warm lately - like as high as 5 degrees Celsius !! When I went to load the van, I found the plastic cap that goes into the top of the ferrule in the snow behind the van - what luck . I've been wanting to get a waist harness and auventfou had an epic XL used for $25. Went to see it, butt there was NO way it was going to fit. Tried a newer one, butt it was almost $200 !!! Was about to forget about it, but mentioned the Dakine seat that is almost a waist harness - the XT. Yes, RenĂ© had one used in the back - tried it and bought it for $40 WITH the bar !!! New ones are about $140 with the bar !!! (Saw the horrible remains of a car accident that me realize how important it is to appreciate, life, wife, family, health et al.) When I got to the local river, there was some water on the ice at the side, butt in general pretty icy with some rough snow patches and lite winds about 10 mph out of the WSW. This meant time for the ice board and no more than the 7-oh. Gave the session a 9.5 outta 10 !! What was missing in order for it have been perfect ? There was some rough crisp patches from snow mobiles and i kept going all the way into the wind shadows. With this harness, it is also time to shorten the lines. Believe this is the harness that Helmut purchased last summer !!! The wife says this board needs to be patented. Domenic always says the same thing !! The ice version could sell in parts of the States and the snow version further north. There still needs to be a version that works in deep snow. Was supposed to call my son to come n take pics, butt he went to bed so late :-( that i decided to forget about it for this time - would LOVE to get someone with a digital movie camera and youtube it. Also, still cannot wait to go to the kiting area :-) During this session I discovered why Marcel has a metal grill near the back of the board. The anti-skid tape is fine to start. When there is water or warmth, ice begins to build up and eventually it is just a sheet of ice near the back of the board - this needs to be re-enforced with steel grill or ???

SUN 19FEB2012 - lighter winds today and sunny. Do I dare ? YES, i did - ran the ice board with the free-race MS-2 8-oh sail in 8 to 10 mph winds !! Again a 9.5 outta 10 - again due to rough ice in the centre and this time fore-arm fatigue. I need to start doing weight exercises on the forearms. It was funtastic - once again Jerry the teenager is too tired !!! Will hafta find someone else to take the photos. Mr. Ed from work did not take the bait when i asked him :-(

People have considered me crazy for some of the things I do and the risks I take. I have met "YVENTE" and he is insane. He informed me that he sails Lake Champlain all year round. Here is an example of his "insanity".
Does his board say GOYA or 666 :-)

Here is another one where Yvan takes a break on a floating block of ice !!

He also does windski on a sled similiar to mine, but as a MUCH better windsurfer, he is able to tack and jibe on ice !!!

SUN 26FEB2012 - weather was warm all week , water spots in the river and wife's birthday. Check ice in the morning and okay with about 4 inches snow on crust. GOOD to GO with the snow version. Man was I bummed in the first 10 minutes. Kept going upwind. OK, time to play. Was able to get the MS-2 8-oh and snow virgin going with either leaning the sail forward {like turning} OR putting back foot on the mast foot and front foot out front. Both were kinda uncomfortable, butt both pointed out that the mast foot needed to be moved forward. Gave it a 7 outta 10 - only cuz i still managed to have fun. Good thing Dom could not come to film or take pictures. Ironically I had been measuring the windsurf boards and discovered the balance point was back of the mast track by about 6 inches. Well, the mast foot on the snow virgin is about 6 inches up from the balance point. Thus moved the mast foot up about 12 cm before I start trying to put fins on. The board needs to feel balanced first. The current placement is close to where the mast foot originally was !!!
Actually just double checked - the original placement was 10 cm back from where i just moved it from. Therefore, if this does not work, next one is 22 cm back !!!

THURS 01MAR0212 - snow storm and about 5 to 10 cm fresh powder. Left work early to miss some traffic. Winds were more than usual and brought the 7-oh and 8-oh, butt ended up rigging the 7-oh. Started out great and went back to get the harness I forgot. Fell when i hit a snow bank and wind was cut once in a while. Still an 8 outta 10. Steering was a little better, but makes me wonder why i changed the original design - will need to go over my notes. In any case, I am ready to try it on bigger "waters" now ie bare it to the public. It will only get better now :-) May remove the centre ski to make it lighter and quicker - as i said, it is going to approach the original design !!!
I also see why Marcel of Quebec split his board up -- had some snow pile up on the board today...

SUN 04MAR2012 - is the season drawing to an end ?? The road signs warn the trucks that the defrost season starts tomorrow on the 5th of March !! Yesterday was crazy weather with winds hitting over 80 kph gusts. It was warm, melting and later snow squalls. Today it was cooler -5 Celsius and less wind {under 20 kph from WNW } Went to Vaudreuils because I wanted to see what it was all about. There were two(2) kite schools and I was lucky to get a parking spot. Chatted with a fellow who was a windsurfer and he informed me winds were better further out. Rigged the MS-2 8-oh and tried the snow sled. I am NOT used to going for such long runs. Did a sudden spinout and fell banging my head - good thing for the helmet. The snow sled is okay, butt not perfect yet... Since it was crusty, tried the ice sled, This was MUCH better. Gave the session a resounding 9 outta 10 just cuz the weather was so great and it was fun chatting !! When I got back, i checked the mast base on the snow version and it was loose. Removed the ski and fixed the mast base to the board. Good thing I had to do that cuz the mast base itself needed tightening. OK, all set for next session ?? Non, i am going to put the fins in the back to stop the spin outs ... Took some pictures of the scene and did not realize until afterwards that the camera was set to B&W/black n white :-) kinda looks spaceage - on the moon. the 2nd one was aito-adjusted using photoshop - something i rarely do !!

SAT 10MAR2012 - checked the local river and it is finished !!
Too many soft spots and can hear sounds :-( of ice and water working ...
Also winds are light today and this weekend not much wind :-(
So, i added fins to my snow version - to stop the spinout !!! Since this will probably be my sled of choice until ice melts from local rivers. And this may be sooner than later !!! Quick test with fins in the backyard and it did seem to stick better (less sliding) and cut through ice without bending.
May remove centre ski, butt leave it for now - one change at a time...

SUN 11MAR2012 - another warm day - guessing around plus 5 Celcius. Winds were light out of the West between 10 and 18 mph and we measured around 20 kph. Dom and his 9 year old son Vinnie came out to check the action. Used the ice sled with the MS-2 8-oh. Due to slushy conditions and light winds, no harness was required. Gloves stayed tucked into the jacket and water splashing up luckily did not soak me too much. Dom n Vinnie were soaked :-( Dom took some pics and videos that i will post. Too bad it was not a better day for that, but it is a first :-) At least even I will get to see my style or lack thereof :-)

Here's some pics and then I will try to inject a video:

As I wrote in the video descriptions: Ice sailboarding at Vaudreuils,Québec in spring conditions with WNW winds at about 10 knots, close to shore filming - even lighter winds - just wanna get a video out

THURS 15MAR2012 - last Sunday should have been the last day. Temps were in double digits Celsius since and some rain as well. I have already given up on the snow sailboarder. The only hope was the ice at Vaudreuils !! It was colder last night - around freezing and winds were ENE over 12 knots. However, since I grew up beside Lake Simcoe, I should have known to put the BIG boots on right away. Oh well, two wet feet later ... The ice was more of a slush with obvious soft spots BUT there were about six kiters zipping back n fro. So, rigged the MS-2 8-oh again with the ice sled. If it was real ice - it would be tooo fast. Fell at a good speed when i hit a soft spot hooked in and went head over heels. After that I learned to put more weight on the back foot and soft spots started to just be like a bump in Montreal roads - okay, NOT that bad :-) Practiced the tacks that seem to only go 3/4 and almost got a longboard gybe twice. Was warm , so, took off the harness and gloves. After about an hour was about to go when I thought Isaw Nat's SUV pull in. So, I gave her a quick demo and hit some larger soft spots that almost stopped - at least gradually. It was a pain getting on the ice and sank further each time back. As usual the sail is a pain down and up the stairs - which this time had to be at the private residence just north of the "car park". Definitely rate this session a resounding 9 outta 10 and was surely the last - sorry, to call you shirley...

Now it is time to put the ice and snow sailboards away and get the longboard and rest of it down :-)
As the wifey says - there is NO last time :-)
There is always another :-)

My buddy, Helmut is getting anxious to go to Cape Hatteras in mid-May.
It was my idea, but he has more money and more holidays - next year for me !!!!


People have commented on this discussion/post saying it is NOT very technical and it is NOT. Most average Joe windsurfers do NOT concern themselves too much with materials used, softness of the fin, rake/angle, etc. Having said that, some of us do NOT realize the importance of a good fin. People have changed fins and suddenly discovered the board was GREAT and there was NO issue with the board. Used fins are not expensive and can be easily repaired. As such, it is a MUCH cheaper alternative to trying a different board. Typically I have one fin for each board and sail combination for best results on the water. So, this discussion is NOT meant to go too much into the real intricacies of fins, but give a good introduction. ENJOY

Fins also called skegs are the engine under water, boards are the engine on the water and the sail is the engine over the water. Fins are a key element in the entire equation that were ignored in the early days of the longboard. They used to have a U.S. box connection where the placement of the fin was slightly adjustable. Those connections are also called Chinook or A-box. Now most fins go into the tuttle (for larger fins) or power box (for the rest of the fins) one way and one position. Some wave and free-ride still use the Chinook/A-box ...

Here Jim Ballantyne of sailworld walks us through the various fin bases:

Chinook or A box - single bolt from the bottom - max about 30 cm
Power box - single bolt from the top - max about 50 cm
Tuttle box - 2 screws from the top - slalom fins - and freeride
Deep Tuttle box - 2 screws from the top - Tuttle box fit here with longer screws
                               max length about 70 cm - wide boards like Formula
Trimm box - single screw from the top - old fins from BIC and Fanatic - max about 66 cm

In 2015 there was discussion on iwindsurf about a Mistral Competition and its fin. 
It was pointed out that the typical US box fins do NOT fit Mistral boards. The US or Chinook box is sometimes called the A box - for USA ?? The fin box that is similar, but slightly different and called the E box - for Europe ?? Both fin types are typically NOT available with lengths more than 30 cm - fin box cannot support it.

There are giant formula fins like in this image. Rarely have I seen such flex or asymmetry on land...Other fin types are free-ride, slalom/free-race, weed, wave, bump n jump and freestyle. Perhaps I missed some ? What sets types apart ? The obvious factor is length and is often cited as the measuring stick. Fins or foils as I like to call em have MUCH more character than that !! There are factors such as width {top and base}, area, thickness, rake (angle of attack)  and material (carbon, G10, etc) which affects flex and stiffness. Just recently discovered that Fanatic boards use GFK fins. What's that? Craig Gerntenbach of Fanatic informs me these are just "moulded polyester fins, with good twist characteristics". Length and shape together make up the type of fin more than anything quickly visible.

In 2016 was informed by IanK on OZZIE forum that this is NOT about FLEX, but rather angle inside the box. If it is off, there is NO issue. Discussion here seemed to upset him and posted photo on forum smashing his screen - DO IT MAN 

What are the fin "parts" really called ?
The following link WAS good when it worked %^&*()

Oh well - here is my version of the fin parts:

Oh yeah! Fins come in ALL shapes n sizes.

The most bizarre is the hydrofoil.

See in this video, just how much fins actually "flex" while in the water:


And here is another from the infamous Pfaffi who is quoted later on in this post ...
The numbers 10, 20 and 30 represent cm from perpendicular and NOT degrees.
SUGGEST you turn DOWN the volume:

Just as sails have ideal wind ranges, so do fins... In other words it is VERY important to match board, sail and fin for the conditions and the type of sailing one is about to do. I call this aligning the engines :-)

Lately wave sailors have been using boards with two (2) and even four (4) fins. So, once again we are off to new horizons :-) Locally I have NOT seen any dual or quad fin setups and personally know just enuff about the single fin. Suggest you look elsewhere if u r lookin 4 info on dual or quad fins - sorry mate. However, here is an interesting discussion on quad setups by Keith Teboul:   

Last year, 2010, the water was extraordinarily low here and as such, there were many board and fin repairs in the area. My fins took a beating and I like to try n fix my stuff myself. Fin repair happens in the off-season, but this was the first year where a light sanding was NOT enough. After searching the web and writing on a few forums, I tried and like Marine-Tex. Bit of a pain to apply and one must discover the trick of sanding it wet. This makes me wonder, will it be susceptible to damage when wet ? :-) time will tell... so far so good - after one season & NOT more susceptible to scratches ...

Personally have a long 53 straight up race stiff fin for my 10-oh sail. The 47 weed fin does well for the 8.5 and gets used for the 10-oh as well. A 40 cm slalom fin is my ticket to fun with my 7-oh. Fin suppliers now have charts for sailors to choose fins. Nowadays board width is a factor in fin selection as well. My personal fin favorites are Select Fins - they are known to whistle at high speeds - just sand one side of the back edge of the fin. Custom Fins exist that are very specialized -- like the Black Projects Fins which has specs like 40, 45 or 50 knots !!!! Wolfgang Lessacher makes world renowned fins and will ship. Check Unfortunately molds were sold to StarBoard, some madame ran the show and now it seems decrepit.

In the past people changed sails to change things up. Now people are realizing the fin is just as important. Personally have one fin for each sail. Cannot be bothered having more than one weed fin, but this may become a factor when I get into the smaller sail sizes...  
Here's a picture from the WindSurf Magazine of July 2002 giving a fin overview. As you can see, there are lots of shapes and sizes, all with their special purpose and special function(s)...  

Believe the following chart was taken from the Select Hydrofoils website showing relationship between board width, fin sizes and sail sizes:

For some reason people are saying the fin cannot be longer than the width of the board one foot forward or off - this is called OFO. Personally have NOT determined the why on this one, butt do stick to this "ruling" just the same. Will see if i cannot find a reason more physics based... Further down here Roger Jackson discusses how a fin should NOT be less than half of the OFO diameter ... Here they are saying max fin length is OFO + 3 cm and use formula listed below of fin length = 5 * sail size +3 : and then a race/slalom forum suggested 2 cm LESS than OFO max fin length.

For my 80 cm wide board the following formula seems to work for me to get fin sizing -- 
Fin Length = 8 times the sail size minus 16 :)
examples: for an 8 square meter sail -> fin size = 8 * 8 -16 = 64 - 16 = 48 cm :-)
for a 7 square meter sail -> 8 * 7 -16 = 56 - 16 = 40 cm :-)
for a 10 square meter sail -> 8 * 10 - 16 = 80 - 16 = 64 {this seems a bit high - was using 53 cm}
however on my BIC Techno Formula I do use a 66 cm race fin
how about smaller sails ?
for a 6.3 square meter sail -> 8 * 6.3 -16 = 50.4 - 16 = 34.4 cm
let's see if i can corroborate this figure ... James Douglass calculator gives 34 cm for 6.3 sail also :-)
his formula seems to be 5 * sail size +3 -> for 8-oh gives 43 which i find a bit low 
In early 2013 i DID purchase a Fanatic Hawk 34 cm fin which fits the board and was rated to be good for 5.0 to 8.0 on the 2006 Hawk 110. 6.5 is in the middle and thus the fin should be great on the BEE with 6.3 and perhaps even with the 7-oh !!!

 Here's a couple of pics showing the "rake" on the fins, straight up n down 53 cm race vs 47 cm weed vs 40 cm slalom:

Surprisingly the 7 or 8 degree angle or rake on the race 53 and the slalom 40 do not seem that different !! The weed fin seems to have a rake of about 40 degrees. Some are advertised at 45 degrees for extreme weeds.

In 2010 I lost the 47 cm Select weed fin in the local river $%^&*()_ Can only blame myself and perhaps the local river in terms of rocks $%^&* Early 2011 i purchased a Makani Hahalua 43 cm weed fin to replace the lost one.

This 43 cm weed fin is supposed to be good for sails from 7.0 m² to 8-oh. Helmut has a True Ames weed fin of 43 cm which is good for 6-oh to 7-oh. The Makani fin has a larger chord than the True Ames. I also call this the width since we measure the depth at 90 degrees to the base/board. The Makani is actually of a longer chord/wider than the lost longer Select weed fin by half a cm !!! The rake or angle looks about the same between those two(2) weed fins.

The longer Select weed fin was purchased to cover sails from 8-oh to 10-oh on the 79 cm wide short board. With time I have decided to use the Fanatic Ultra CAT in lighter winds with 8-oh and 10-oh. The 79 cm board will only be used with 7-oh to 8-oh. 

Even though it is winter, I HAD to try the fin on my 160 liter / 79 cm AHD FastForward short board:

With the BEE 124 and AHD 160 my fin quiver was:
40 cm Select Slalom fin with sails 7-oh and down,
43 cm Makani Hahalua weed fin for 7-oh and 8-oh,
48 cm Select Freeblade fin for 8-oh and
53 cm Select SuperFast race fin for the 79 cm board and 10-oh race sail.

Since I am NOT planning to use the 10-oh on the short boards, perhaps I should sell this fin ?? Will try! SOLD it in 2012 after I purchased a BIC Techno Formula with which I use a True Ames Santa Barbara/SB 58 cm weed fin and a Select Race 66 cm fin with the MS-2 8-oh and TR-4 10-oh respectively.

The weed fin was selected based on the 79 cm wide AHD. Also plan to use it on the 63 cm wide Fanatic BEE 124. Ideally that combo should be with a 38 or even 33 cm weed fin. However, since I do not need the weed fin all summer longer, hardly ever sail the BEE and have NO $$$, this setup will do :-)

Forgot to analyze the MFC 42 cm fin that came with the Fanatic BEE. I exchanged it for the 48 cm Select Freeblade before even trying the MFC. The other fellow {MAX} purchased a Hawk and was used to a more powerful MFC fin - I am used to Select fins ... Here I put the 40 cm on top of the 48 cm and what I found interesting is: the TE/trailing edge is the same and NOT the LE/leading edge. See the photo:

{tail end is at the left :-) }
 With the BEE 124/60 ,AHD 160/79 and FreeFormula 170/94 my fin quiver is:
34 cm Fanatic Hawk fin for 6.3 and 7-oh perhaps,
40 cm Select Slalom fin with sails 7-oh and down,
43 cm Makani Hahalua weed fin for 7-oh and 8-oh,
48 cm Select Freeblade fin for 8-oh and
58 cm Trimm box True Ames SB weed fin for BTF using 8.x and 10-oh
66 cm  Select Ultra Race fin for 10-oh on BTF

Just found an article in the July 2006 Windsurf Magazine with Gonzalo Costa Hoevel. He calls choosing fins a 3 step system. Step one is about board analysis. Ironically he says to put planing fins on the faster boards and faster fins on the early planing boards. He says the early planers have straighter outlines and need fast fins with some rake, small tip area and less flex or more stiff. The faster boards are "rounder" and he suggests power fins or early planers. These fins have less rake/angle (more straight up n down), more area in the tip and softer flex. The video of the fin above and the formula bent fin for me seem to exhibit a lot of flex.

Step two for Gonzalo is assessing your goal and step three is knowing your fins. He says the softer fin gives more "kick" or "lift". Upright means planing AND upwind control - like a keel. The profile or thickness plays a factor as well. He states "A fin with a thicker foil gives you more power, upwind angle, but sacrifices top speed. A thinner foil gives you better top speed, butt in lighter winds you lose early planing and upwind angle. A fin that has the thickest point of its foil forward creates a smoother, more controlled riding sensation. Moving the foil back gives you more speed, but it's a more technical-riding fin - especially when going upwind." He also mentions that people overlook area of a fin and compares this to only analyzing sails based on luff length !!

Here is a video that covers some areas regarding windsurf fin physics. They actually are saying that at over 40 knots pressures cause water to boil at room temperature !!

 Fins are usually made with hi-tech components and are precise pieces of equipment. As such, they do NOT give them away. I have about one fin per sail and they are about $200 each. Some people also have overlap since they may require weed fin(s). Used fins are closer to $100 each and can easily be repaired with Marine-Tex. Just remember to sand wet.  Here's a good link with everything you wanted to know about fins, butt were afraid 2 ask: 
and for "slalom tuning tips":

Wrote to Roger Jackson of Starboard about under sizing fins and this is what he said:
Hi Joe,
You are underfinned if when you reach top speed and "push" laterally  across the top of the fin it lets go and spins out.
My personal "rule of thumb" for fin length is the fin has to be greater  than 1/2 the board width or OFO width.
The wider the board and the greater the footstrap off set, the more the  1/2 board width applies.

On a Futura or other freeride board with inboard and outboard footstrap  positions, you can generally  run a smaller fin (perhaps < 1/2  the OFO width) with the footstraps  in the closer to centered positions.
The smaller fin (or underfinned) also depends a lot on sail size and  overall board speed.
I have really tiny (< 25 cm) speed fins that are great if you can head  off wind and get them up to > 25 knots board speed.
At 30 knots + board speed they are solid as a rock, but if you have  conditions where you can't get them up to speed, you can push them loose  any time you like if your speed is less than what it takes for these tiny  fins to "hook up" and stay hooked up.
Hope this helps,

What are F4 fins?
FINS DEVELOPED BY RACERS FOR RACERS"F4 Fins was started by avid formula windsurfing racers in the San Francisco Bay because good racing fins had become either too expensive or unobtainable. The wind and water conditions, as well as the experienced racing fleet in the San Francisco Bay, provide the ideal proving grounds for developing the next generation racing fins. With help from Boogie of C3 on the design and manufacturing, combined with daily testing in the Bay waters, refinements can be quickly incorporated, resulting in an improved and constantly evolving product. After nearly a three years of effort, F4 fins are proving to be the winner's choice.

Our goal is to make the worlds best fins for racing and ensure that they are available at reasonable cost and in a reasonable time frame. Its important to us to encourage new and junior racers to participate in formula and slalom racing.

Check Waterhound for the latest news on the success of the BB and other F4 Fins in the San Francisco Racing Fleet

We are racers just like you who simply want the best fins at a reasonable price in a reasonable time. The key to our success is the local racers who are sailing and testing EVERY day during our season, from early March to late October. This allows us to deliver a fin that is build with&nbsp; the combined knowledge and feedback from one of the most competitive fleets in the world.


An F4 Fin utilizes an advanced composite layup that provides a softer feel, enabling greater control in a wider range of conditions. Our advanced composite design produces a consistent, responsive and longer-lasting fin with soft lateral and stiff torsional flex as compared to other formula fins. We have found that this softer feel, combined with a bullet-proof layup, gives you a fin with the optimal speed and control which makes the rest of your kit work more effortlessly. Call us prejudiced, but we've seen it all too often: racers spend too much on boards and sails, and treat the fin as an afterthought, when the fin can be the single most important component in a racer's arsenal. It's why some professional racers hold onto and baby "special" fins even as they move from one board or sail sponsor to another.


Our goal is to make the worlds best fins for racing and ensure that they are available at reasonable cost and in a reasonable time frame. We believe that this is important for the the sport and for the enjoyment of all competitors. One of our primary goals to to support junior racers. We believe that making the right fins and equipment available to juniors will help toincrease the total level of participation and overall interest in our sport. "

Still confused ? Check Rik's tricks :-)


Somewhere around 2010 slot boxes showed up on wave boards. Similiar to US/A-box , butt without the tab , they weigh less and have 2 side screw holding fin into place. Believe this photo is from the Tabou website ..Was designed by Fabien Vollenweider??

------------------------Now I will do a brief discussion on how I repair my fins...---------------------------

This was a repair I had NOT anticipated. 

I am getting more and more upset with this supposed high grade race fin from Select. First it was more money than I had hoped to pay AND it fit poorly into the Trimm box. I took it out a few times and was satisfied with the performance - once I had adjusted it's fit into the box $%^&*( I took it out in the cold one day {-1 Celsius} and water levels were slightly different. It sounded like the fin grazed over some rocks and was actually a bit loose when I got off.

When I checked the fin, there was more damage than I anticipated and I did NOT dare go out with this fin until repaired ...

As you can see here, the leading edge was slightly scraped, butt the bottom got chewed out.

So, I got out the MarineTex and splashed some on ...


Once sanded it was NOT looking so bad :-)

Sometimes I put on black Sharpie ink in order to make it look half decent.  

This repair did NOT take long and the fin is almost as good as new. I did NOT do as good a job as I usually do since I anticipated going out ONE MORE TIME this season. The hope was for today, butt temps are up and winds are not :-(

Guess it is time to start the jogging and prepare for the ice board sailing season, which is just around the corner ...

Okay, once it WAS time to ensure it was a good job ....

I asked some fin suppliers and windsurf retailers about final finishing. All said NON to waxing and polishing. All said YES to wet-sanding. Most said that a grade 400 was more than enough and some suggested going as high as 600. I purchased 180 and 400 grit paper and re-sanded the same area without adding any more epoxy. It looked and felt really good. Here is a shot:

As usual , I am NEVER satisfied and SO put another layer of MarineTex on the repair !!!

Since board width is a factor in fin selection, I should mark that down as well when I am discussing my fins: {BTF was replaced with a JP SLW92 in 2014}

34 cm Fanatic Hawk fin for 6.3 and 7-oh perhaps, 63 cm wide BEE board
40 cm Select Slalom fin with sails 7-oh and down, ideally 70 cm wide board - now 63 and 79
43 cm Makani Hahalua weed fin for 7-oh and 8-oh, mostly 79 cm wide AHD
48 cm Select Freeblade fin for 8-oh , on the AHD which is 79 cm wide
57 cm Curtis CR-16 deep tuttle on JP SLW92 using 8-oh - obviously 92 cm wide
66 cm  Select Ultra Race fin for 10-oh on JP SLW92

How often does one need to make adjustments to make the fin fit the box??

The worst case for me was a Makani weed fin with powerbox top/base. Ironically it did fit the Fanatic BEE, but not the AHD for which it was meant. Gentle sanding took quite some time. The next worst was a trimm fin for the BIC Techno Formula. This was less of an issue, but took some time to fit.

On the Auzzie seabreeze forum Mr.Love comments:

The tuttle has parallel sides so no taper, it is the front and rear edges that control how far it disappears into the box. So you need to either add tape, mono film shims or epoxy filler to tune it perfectly. Unfortunately the tuttle is sensitive to small production tolerances either in the box or the fin head so you often have to tune it to a particular board. Yep, frustrating.

  In May 2015 for the first time I had cracks in the head portion of a Select PB 48 cm fin. I put some waterproof glue in the cracks and it seems okay, but need to test it on the water. Will NOT be using it in gusty conditions and may stay close to shore... Luckily have a weed fin that will do the job... Fin was fine and sold with my AHD 160/79.

In 2015 I made a chart with wind speed + sail size versus board + fin...

Specialized fins and companies making them are showing up - Black Projects, Choco, Flying Objects, MOO, MXR, Tribal and Zulu - amongst others ... Here is an enthusiast video from the Zulu magician:

This fellow decided that not only did he want to be able to sail in light winds using a Formula board, but also in shallow waters. He added two(2) fin boxes and ran the board with three(3) 26 cm weedies:

End of 2015 I purchased a Unifiber Lessacher 42 cm fin. As mentioned Lessacher worked out of Holland and made world-renowned fins. This fin is supposed to be be much shorter than other weedies for the same setup and also has a very different asymmetrical side profile. It is practically ribbed. Since it now winter, I will not get to try it until 2016. Others have used it with success on a JP SLW, which is where I hope to use it as well. It was either that or the project with three(3) fins :-)

As usual, the fin does NOT fit right away.  I do remember a time when I purchased fins and they FIT !! The fin went in about 80 % and then jammed all the way across. First I measured it with my trusty compass because I don;t have a calliper to gauge the thickness ...

I sanded it somewhat and put some McLube on. I was able to get it in the JP SLW92: The front was fine and was able to force the back with the screw... If this fin  works well, it means I will be using a 42 cm weed fin rather than a Curtis 58 or Select 66 !!

When I  tried it on the SB iSonic 177L/wide it did the same thing and so rather than forcing it, I did a little more sanding and it went in like butter. This was NOT nearly the sanding I have had to do in the past. When I purchase from a shop, I should bring my board to ensure it goes in well. The one time I did, they thought I was nuts and it went in well %^&* Anyway, here is the SB iS with the fin .

This board is already using "shorter" fins - like around 46 cm. However, sometimes there are weeds and an angled fin actually helps when you hit a sandbar. It is not quite as abrupt !!!

Here is another fin I repaired - it came with a Mistral SLE 303 slalom board. Fixed with MarineTex , sanded and put some primer on ...

In 2016 there was a discussion on an Australian windsurf forum about stiffness of fins and one of the extraordinary fins I have ever seen was discussed:

In the "gear review" section of the same forum, they discuss using softer fins for slalom. 
So, does one use soft fins on slalom  and Formula until conditions get "hairy"/over ? It seems to come down to "stiff fins for heavyweights". This makes sense since the F=ma is much more for someone with more mass/weight. 

For me , the same thing applies when one speaks about masts. Lighter sailors seem to like "softer masts" even going up over 7 m² sails. Heavier sailors can easily handle 75% SDM since they are exerting more force against the mast bend.

I read a bit on the link to the forum and they all have pretty accurate accounts. Bigger guys in general should have stiffer fins than lighter sailors. But still all fins should have some give relative to the sailors weight. The better the sailor you are, the more you will begin to understand how flex can help in all aspects of sailing. For intermediate sailors it is not that big of an issue because you are learning how all of your equipment comes into play and works together. The most important thing is to have all parts of your rig work together and properly balanced! Then you can fine tune with fin flex or not!! Yes George Greenough did have a super flexible VERY HIGH aspect fin!! BUT #1: he is an incredibly good and efficient sailor and (he could Pump onto a plane like nobody else!) #2: he weighs in at 135lb (61.5kg).

Chuck Ames
 True Ames Fins
Summer of 2016, I found this:
have copied the material here:


Since you love windsurfing as much as us we thought you might appreciate some insight and theory into fin dynamics. There's a lot of hype and jargon spoken about fins, so we hope you find this theoretical information useful when making choices about what fins to buy.   There's a lot to cover, so we're going to send this to you in a series of short episodes, starting with a common misconception … THINNER PROFILES ARE FASTER  Indeed thinner profiles are faster - BUT only when used for speed sailing at very high speeds. For 'normal' speeds, thinner profiles in most constructions simply don't deliver enough LIFT.

There are a lot of influences on generating lift: Surface area, profile (thickness)Profile form (wing shape or camber - the shape of the fin in plan shape or cross section if you like), Chord (the front-to-back width)Depth top to bottom Profile ratio (chord length in mm. ÷ thickness in mm. expressed as %)Stiffness-Flex-Twist … and more, that all play their part.  Any one fin that's built without taking into account fine tuning of all of the above for specific purpose is selling you short in control, speed and lift.

Both the profile form and profile ratio are normally optimised for the use and intended speed range. A higher % profile will, in principle, generate more lift compared to a lower % profile at a given speed - but with a higher resistance. For speed, the amount of lift generated should be high, while the resistance must be as low as possible. Profile efficiency (lift ÷ drag ratio) has a relation to the required speed range and type of profile. Profile forms and outlines are a real scientific area. E.g., the realms of NASA, Boeing, Airbus, Shipbuilders etc. who, for as long as aerodynamics has existed, have spent infinite amounts of money to find 'the ideal profile'.
At higher speeds thinner profiles normally show a higher efficiency. Hence thinner profiles are better suited at higher speeds - but not necessarily for reaching them. There's a cut-off point at around 9% (of chord ÷ thickness). Below 9% would typically be used for speed. 9% or higher for slalom use. It could be a good idea to develop fins with >12% ratios specifically for very low speeds, like first time use etc . The result will be a high-lift fin at very low speed. Ideal to learn windsurfing on … The amount of lift generated by a fin depends on a number of variables. If speed doubles, lift will increase by a factor of 4!Angle of attack (lift increases linearly with the angle).Profile form and ratio (the higher the ratio the more lift per a given area).Rake angle also influences the lift figure considerably (a weed fin with 45-deg. delivers considerably less lift compared to a slalom fin with 12 deg.    

Welcome back to episode 2 of our series on windsuring fins - where we're busting a few myths and giving you the facts on fin technology.  Last time we got really scientific. This time we're going to use that theory and examine a few more preconceptions.  YES OR NO - THE MORE SURFACE AREA MY FIN HAS THE MORE LIFT IT WILL GENERATE  Maybe yes - but only when all other parameters like twist / flex / rake angle and profile are the same. These parameters all influence the amount of lift a fin generates. It's easy to construct fins with equal amounts of lift - but that differ 30% in surface area. As explained in episode 1, using a thin (e.g., 8%) profile ratio compared to a thick (e.g., 11%) profile ratio, the amount of lift per given area differs by a fair amount.


A real misconception! So … for a given board type and sail size AND the type of sailing (e.g., speed or upwind sailing) only one size of fin will give the optimal amount of lift. If your fin's too short it won't lift the board enough and therefore you'll have more wetted surface area and be significantly slower than if you used a longer fin

If your fin's too long it'll deliver too much lift and as a result your board will be difficult to control with errative behaviour such as spontaneous tail walks. Next time we'll look at profile, how construction methods influence handling characteristics and price factors such as custom fins versus production models.
Some people vary the the thickness to chord ratio as discussed in same post:

"Slowie varies his profiles thicknesses. Whilst he has always had slight variances to optimise for cavitation inception etc the thickness variation of the current Tribal Sym Speed is very obvious in this regard.

It is about 11.5% for the first 10cm then quickly changes over the next 2cm to 9% then continues that to the tip which may be a bit thinner still. Looks weird from the front. "

In August 2016 in a fin discussion on iwindsurf U2U2U2 posted this picture:

I suggested that it actually looked like a foil AND like nothing I have seen before !!

In early 2017 I purchased a Makani fin to replace a 34 cm fin lost after hitting a rock @ La CrĂȘte, OKA Parc. The fin ordered was to be 34 cm and after paying was told no more in stock and okayed the 32 cm one... When the fin did not fit in the fin box and screw hole was misaligned, I was informed they were having manufacturing issues and were going to CNC. I wrote about this on the OZ forum and was not going to mention the manufacturer. When it all worked out and i did post a pic, local windsurfer forceten piped in and called me a whiner. When  benwindy complained about Makani apparently forceten was not happy then either...

Since this is my forum to express myself... I can honestly say i did NOT feel I was whining and was semi-satisfied in  the end. Just because a company is just down the road does not mean i support them no matter what - that sounds too much like Trump mentality. I will continue to buy Makani, but will be sure to implicate them when there are issues - AND report those issues on windsurf forums.

Makani have been known to make fins liked by many.  and the price is right ...

Was wondering if I wrote about fin length. When a fin is too short, it is fairly obvious, We speak about "spin-out". May also not plane up early enough for our satisfaction. A bigger question is: what if a fin is too long and how do you know ?? OFO means width of the board "one foot off" or 30 cm up from the tail. People say that fin should NOT be more than that width and ideally 3/4 of that width. What happens if the fin is too long or more than the OFO. For US boxes, people say the box is not strong enough to handle more than ~30 cm anyway. What about the others ? Yes, one can put a longer or too long fin and what happens ?? People talk about "tail walking" where the whole front of the board wants to lift from the water, and also talk about "rail to rail flopping". Basically seems to mean the fin has too much lift and rider will have issues controlling it. It seems the idea is to maximise the shorter fin used... Then again, some foil masts are as long as one meter !!

2017 and just when you thought you had seen and heard it all ....
Apparently there was a board brand called Real Winds and they made their own fin base called "meritex". Looks like a tuttle, but has ONLY one screw in the middle like a PB/powerbox: