alamos_kiter wrote: ↑
Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:42 pm
I'm listening. Define thrusters if you please.
Yup, I did leave that out. Thanks for the catch.
In my testing, I found that thrusters (3 fin) had almost exactly the same control input/feedback as 5 fin configurations. Or rather, any multiple fin configuration with a significant center fin would feel like the traditional 3 fin setup commonly referred to as a thruster. And in my experimentation, I kept going down in center fin size to loose the thruster feel. It was only successful on my main testing platform when I got down to a fin less than 1.5" of a wake board TT style as no surf fins are available in that size.
I do remember a prone surfer experimenting with a 5 fin setup where a tiny fin, refereed to as a "guitar pick" was used for the center fin. I did not believe that one would need that small of a fin to balance out the feel between a quad and a thruster. After testing, I began to understand why so small a fin was needed in the center.
So to put it simply, a center fin of 1.5" or more would dominate the feel of a 3 or 5 fin system. Thus a "significant center fin" turned out to be any fin over 1.5" on my main testing platform. Prior to testing, I was most excited about a 5 fin configuration. After testing, I had abandoned the idea of any usefullness of a 5 fin system all together. And now I see why there is almost zero popular use of a 5 fin (all in at the same time) system in surfing or kitesurfing. It seems that the 5 fin configuration brings the worst of both worlds to the table, not the best, as I had hoped.
So you have certainly caught me being unclear. And I should have known better. This "5 fin is the same as a 3" is something I never conceived of before the testing, but now I just accept it and fail to explain that which would not be obvious to someone without this experience.
The simple definition of a thruster as referred to by prone surfers is a 3 fin configuration with a larger double foiled center fin and smaller toed in side fins with flat to 60/40 foiled side fins. Many other variations exist, but the larger center denotes the standard design.