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Stiff or soft fins for kite surfing

The forum for wave kiters.


peppedurso
Rare Poster
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:29 pm
Kiting since: 2001
Local Beach: Sicily / Cape Town
Style: Wave Riding
Gear: Cabrinha Drifters
Appletree Klokhuis & Appleflap noseless
Da Kine C-1
Brand Affiliation: Promoter

Stiff or soft fins for kite surfing

Postby peppedurso » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:24 pm

Hi everyone,

Would like hear your thoughts about fins. Do you prefer hard or soft fins for wave riding? Obviously it depends by wave height, rider's weight, personal preference...
I'm 63kg, using XS Scarfini on an Appletree Klokhuis noseless 5'0x18x2.1" and Small hemp/bamboo Scarfini on the Appletree Appleflap full carbon 5'1x17.75"x2".

BWD
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 3101
Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2003 3:37 am

Re: Stiff or soft fins for kite surfing

Postby BWD » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:54 pm

Solid glass or g10 fins, there is no gain to use foam cores and scraps of carbon or cute looking hemp, bamboo, gold leaf or lollipop colors.

Size them as big as the board/your weight will tolerate.
Ride twin fins instead of 3 or 4 if you can, 3 good for down the line/ in the pocket, not good for speed, upwind, or low end. 4 for max control or max upwind especially in light wind.

In surfing smaller but hollow waves aggressively some may see gains with softer runs -mainly if not using a kite! With the kite you can go so fast and load the board more, soft fins will just be draggy imo.
Riding without a leash your g10 or glass fins will survive washing in to the beach a lot better also.

Bottom line, fins perform in kiting more on the size/shape basis, and ought to be stiff.
Keep in mind this is coming from a guy who rides big surfboards (5'10", 34L) and small kites and doesn't even load fins that hard. Most fancy $$$ surf fins with pretty materials are just jewelry that does an adequate job - for surfing, not kiting.

peppedurso
Rare Poster
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:29 pm
Kiting since: 2001
Local Beach: Sicily / Cape Town
Style: Wave Riding
Gear: Cabrinha Drifters
Appletree Klokhuis & Appleflap noseless
Da Kine C-1
Brand Affiliation: Promoter

Re: Stiff or soft fins for kite surfing

Postby peppedurso » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:27 am

Hi BWD,

Please let me disagree. I found soft fins to have weak performance in upwind ability plus being not very "grippy" on the bottom turn. On the other side big and stiff fins change a lot the radius of turn making the board not snappy enough expecially for small waves.

or6
Medium Poster
Posts: 153
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 3:29 pm
Kiting since: 1997
Local Beach: Wijk aan zee, Zandmotor
Favorite Beaches: Muriwai NZ, El Medano Tenerife, la Ventana México, Hood River, Portland area, Vancouver Island, Wijk aan Zee, Moulay Bouzerktoun
Style: Waveriding, strictly strapless
Gear: RRD Religion, HB Anti 5.0, OR Mako 150 2015
Brand Affiliation: None

Re: Stiff or soft fins for kite surfing

Postby or6 » Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:10 am

Hi Peppedurso,

I recently switched from the original, relatively soft (Medium) fins to (Large) stiff fins, on the advise of a friend. I can feel the difference most in the bottomturns; they can be long or tight now, but with the softer fins I'd spin out or bottom down quite often. So yeah, a big difference, I'm happy.

A fried of mine rides a quad, with four soft fins, and the drag is horrible. I keep telling him to change his fins, but he won't...that would be a good test!

All I can say; hit a surfshop, take their advise, possibly taking a size smaller than the one they advise....we have kites!

Or6

BTW: how do you like your klokhouse? I'm thinking of buying one....

BWD
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 3101
Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2003 3:37 am

Re: Stiff or soft fins for kite surfing

Postby BWD » Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:52 pm

Pepe from my point of view I would wonder if your fins have too much area for your weight or board outline shape, or too much base length, and perhaps you ride a quad?
If you are ok giving up some upwind, try big stiff twins plus small trailer - a loose and snappy feel with less straight line drag kid the wave than a thruster. Or drop to smaller rear fins on a quad.
I would go with smaller yet stiffer fins for lower drag but some hold when riding fast, if your bigger stiff fins are too much.
But. Your experience is your guide, and if your setup works for you, it can't be wrong....

ciscokitesurfer
Medium Poster
Posts: 191
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:40 am
Kiting since: 3
Local Beach: altona
Favorite Beaches: pacasmayo
Style: wave, cruise
Gear: NRG 2014, Ride , REO,
Brand Affiliation: None

Re: Stiff or soft fins for kite surfing

Postby ciscokitesurfer » Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:40 pm

buy both and find your answer. For me i prefer solid glass and different size. Upwind is your friend when kiting on waves.

zerogee_ca
Frequent Poster
Posts: 423
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 6:18 am
Kiting since: 0
Brand Affiliation: None
Location: Winnipeg, Canada

Re: Stiff or soft fins for kite surfing

Postby zerogee_ca » Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:08 am

Has anyone ever used a service like?https://finatic.com/

I have gone through dozens of fins over the years sometimes with unexpected results. Good and bad. If you get a lot of water time a service like this seems like a good option to figure out what fins you like best??

or6
Medium Poster
Posts: 153
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 3:29 pm
Kiting since: 1997
Local Beach: Wijk aan zee, Zandmotor
Favorite Beaches: Muriwai NZ, El Medano Tenerife, la Ventana México, Hood River, Portland area, Vancouver Island, Wijk aan Zee, Moulay Bouzerktoun
Style: Waveriding, strictly strapless
Gear: RRD Religion, HB Anti 5.0, OR Mako 150 2015
Brand Affiliation: None

Re: Stiff or soft fins for kite surfing

Postby or6 » Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:50 am

Never used something like that. Would be a very good option, at least for a year or so....by then you should know what you prefer. I don't get enough time on the water for that. Besides, it's unclear whether they service Europe...I doubt it.

peppedurso
Rare Poster
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:29 pm
Kiting since: 2001
Local Beach: Sicily / Cape Town
Style: Wave Riding
Gear: Cabrinha Drifters
Appletree Klokhuis & Appleflap noseless
Da Kine C-1
Brand Affiliation: Promoter

Re: Stiff or soft fins for kite surfing

Postby peppedurso » Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:02 am

Or6:
I think stiffer fins offer on average better performances for kiting, but it's just my personal opinion, obviously it depends by weight, level, style of surfing of the rider, what kind of wave you ride...

The klokhuis is really a gem. I'm 63kg and I feel the 5'0 is great either for surfing and for freestyle. What I really like is how user friendly and well balanced is, either in the water or in the air.

BWD:
The option of a smaller center fin with two stiff front ones is an interesting set up. Thanks for the hint

By the way next week I should receive a set of small Future Control thruster, I'll let you know.

or6
Medium Poster
Posts: 153
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 3:29 pm
Kiting since: 1997
Local Beach: Wijk aan zee, Zandmotor
Favorite Beaches: Muriwai NZ, El Medano Tenerife, la Ventana México, Hood River, Portland area, Vancouver Island, Wijk aan Zee, Moulay Bouzerktoun
Style: Waveriding, strictly strapless
Gear: RRD Religion, HB Anti 5.0, OR Mako 150 2015
Brand Affiliation: None

Re: Stiff or soft fins for kite surfing

Postby or6 » Sat Aug 19, 2017 11:50 am

Thx peppedurso. I felt the same thing, it's very well balanced, especially noticeable in the air. Haven't tested the board in surfable conditions....but it felt fine, should be allright.


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