Wave Fin Flex

Which is right for my wave sailing [Black Ed.] or [FLX]?

This wave fin tuning guide will help you decide how much flex you need in your windsurfing wave fins. We are all different, we ride different boards, sail in different locations and come in a range of weights and heights with varying degrees of skill. This guide aims to explore the differences between our two wave fin constructions. If you have any doubt about which version to get then choose the stiffer G10 [Black Ed.] fins, these are optimized for most people and the added drive will help you on the wave and while punching through surf. If you are a smaller rider (under 75kg) or one who prefers the added feel of more flexible fins then the [FLX] might be for you. While either option will provide you with an improved level of performance over your old fins we are taking here about marginal gain and fine tuning in the search of the perfect ride.

 

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  • [Black Ed.] G10, stiff, powerful & durable | DRIVE 10/10 | SPEED 10/10 | PIVOT 8/10 | FEEL: 8/10
  • [FLX] Increased flex, enhanced feel & reduced weight | DRIVE 8/10 | SPEED 9/10 | PIVOT 9/10 | FEEL: 10/10

 

What influences my choice of construction?

When deciding which of our two constructions to choose there are a number of factors to consider;

  1. Rider weight: riders over 85kg are likely to need the extra drive which the [Black Ed.] fins provide, while riders under 60kg are likely to prefer the [FLX] option. For many of us who fall within these boundaries then there are a number of possibles options. 
  2. Wave size: In small waves the tighter radius and pivotal feel of the [FLX] is likely to be an advantage, as the waves increase in size try changing the front fins for increased drive and security while keeping the [FLX] rears for loose top turns. In bigger waves then a full set of the stiffer [Black Ed.] fins will give you ultimate control and lead to a wider arc in your bottom turn. Wave size is relative to experience, riders with more experience and increased confidence can ride a looser set up in bigger waves.
  3. Board characteristics: Boards with less rocker need more help to turn and have more drive by design, hence they might benefit from the characteristics of the [FLX] fins. Boards with more rocker will need increased drive and hence the [Black Ed.] fins might be preferable.
  4. Wind direction: In onshore conditions riders need more drive however you may also need the force the tail through the turn. In offshore conditions drive is less of an issue and control is the most important. Hence consider other variables and what you want to achieve together with wind direction to help inform your chosen set up. If you are jumping in lighter cross onshore winds then the [Black Ed.] is likely to help you, however if you are fully powered up drive might be less of an issue and the ability to force the tail through the turn might mean that then [FLX] would be advantageous.
  5. Personal preference: Some riders like the added feel of a more flexible fin and hence prefer the [FLX] fins. Those riders who put more weight on their back foot are likely to choose the stiffer [Black Ed.]
  6. Sailing location: Shallow and rocky locations are hard on fins, if you expect that you might be hitting the bottom then we advise that you choose the ultra durable G10 [Black Ed.] fins which will withstand lots of abuse.

 

Chris’ comment: When choosing the right fins for myself and/or when advising riders I consider each of the 6 factors above. There is no one right answer and as stated at the beginning of this discussion the aim is to provide information and support so that we can empower riders to make informed decisions about their own needs as riders. I have been using a mix of fins on a range of boards this past year. In small waves I use all [FLX], in medium waves (most typical) I used [Black Ed.] front fins and [FLX] rear fins, as the waves approach logo high then I ride with all [Black Ed.] fins for ultimate control and speed. I am lucky that I have any fin I want to use and not everyone will have that luxury, hence if you have any questions please do get in touch and we can discuss your unique set of variables and find the perfect ride. The [FLX] provides a more slashy, pivotal feel compared with the speed, control and aggressive rail to rail feel of the [Black Ed.].