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Directional thoughts

Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:57 pm
by Runner dude 14
Hey everyone I’m back for some more help!

So I wanted to get some opinions on adding a board o my arsenal. Currently my gear is as follows:

9m,12m and 15m Airrush DNA
132cm slingshot misfit
144x46 underground Stella
5’ 4 Naish Custom

I’m looking at getting a 5'11" Xenon Vidra for $300.

I’m not certain if this would make much of a difference in enjoyment while surf side and flying in those 11-13 mph conditions. What do you all think?

Re: Directional thoughts

Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:35 am
by RadDrDuke
You already have a 5'4" surfboard which is a great size. Bigger board won't really be any better.

If you want to have fun kiting in 11-13mph you need to learn to hydrofoil, which you should do ASAP!

Re: Directional thoughts

Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:40 pm
by Matteo V
Definitely try some different styles of directional. Little things like tail width, fins, fin number, fin placement, rails, and rocker all make huge differences in feel of a board. Feel is the key to loving or hating a board. And as opposed to prone surfing, you can use a wide range of styles of board that you could not make work for prone surfing. So you need to try them and "get outside of the box".

And not to sell more boards, but you need to own a board to really develop a feel for it before you can truly evaluate it. I experienced this with the board that I now exclusively ride - for it's durability, not just feel. My only board that I use now, used to sit on the bottom of my pile of TT's and surfboards. One day it got forced to the top and I also forced myself to ride it. Again, now it is my exclusively only board that I once hated, but now love. So give other boards a chance for MUCH more than one session and see where it takes your riding.

Re: Directional thoughts

Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:18 pm
by matth
All I can say is I just bought a Mako Duke surfboard and love it. Incredibly smooth board, rips up wind and is a blast in our messy, short period waves.

Re: Directional thoughts

Posted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:20 am
by Runner dude 14
Thanks for the input.

It sounds like this could prove for a fun change of things. I would be changing fin size and from 4 to 3 fins. Plus the size and rocker difference. What are your thoughts on paying $350?

Re: Directional thoughts

Posted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:36 pm
by Matteo V
Can't help with pricing.

You may have a hard time with the transition from 4 to 3 fins. My back to back testing of fin config and boards over a few years, gave me more than a "Novel's" worth of info on how 3 vs 4 fin configs. Here is a very brief summary.

1. You can ride a 4-fin with your weight over the top of the board OR hiked out. Hiked out is actually more controllable and the better way to get upwind on a 4-fin, as well as being the best way to maximize performance in the turn. You CAN'T hike out on a 3-fin as the tail will pretty much instantly slide out when sideloaded. So when moving to a 3-fin from a 4-fin, center your stance over the top of the board more and don't side load the fins so much.

2. 4-fin boards travel upwind with fins loaded, but NOT in a direction in-line with the center line of the board. 4-fins "crab" and "track" a bit in the turn if you don't really load up the fins with side pressure (still crab - but that is good for a 4-fin). Crabbing or tracking is typically defined as when you turn the board (point the board in a new direction) but you keep traveling in the same direction as before. This is usually a hurdle to those going from 3-fin to 4-fin, so this may not apply to you. But this principle is important to understanding what you need to change with you approach.

3. On 4-fin boards, you ride the pressure in the fins (sideways AND sideloaded), but you don't need to pay as much attention to where the nose of the board is pointed. Actually, the nose can bounce around as much as you can let it on a 4-fin board without that bouncing (pointing upwind, then downwind) affecting your straight line of travel. On a 3-fin board, you MUST control where the nose is pointed at all times! Think of a 3-fin board as being on rails in line with the center line of the board. If you want to change the direction of the board, you just point the nose in the direction you want to go. And you must do this with your weight over the top (centerline) of the board. Any sideloading from your weight hiked out to one side and you spin out - exactly why it is easier to "break the tail free" of a 3-fin vs a 4-fin.

4. Breaking the tail free on a 3-fin is easy.....too easy, thus you manage to avoid this by standing over the top of the board so that there is less leverage over the fins. When you want a 3-fin to spin out, it happens pretty much instantly with very little effort. Due to the smaller size of the side fins (and only having 2 forward) On a 4-fin, you break the tail free with TONS of pressure. This is because the least hold of a 4-fin is in line with the centerline of the board. As you turn the board (or make it go sideways a few degrees) you INCREASE the push back from the engaged rail's fins. This keeps increasing, especially with speed until you reach a seemingly "upper limit" where it finally "cavitates" one fin, then another for complete spinout. This takes lots of pressure to do instantly, and if you under pressure the fins, they catch and you will not achieve "spin-out" to break the tail free.

To sum it up, approach your upcoming 3-fin experience with a determination to figure out how you need to modify your technique to make that fin configuration work. You will get a benefit from the experience you gain, even if you decide to stick with a quad in the end. Personally I feel that a 3-fin config is overall and all around superior to a 4-fin. But the 4-fin's singular superior ability to instantly change direction without any preplanning means that is all I use now.

Re: Directional thoughts

Posted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:01 pm
by Hugh2
Holy smokes, Matteo, that makes me feel completely incompetent. I can barely tell the difference between my 4-fin Naish Global 6' and my 3-fin Fone Surf 5'11", but they are on different continents, so I don't get to ride them back to back or in similar conditions.

Re: Directional thoughts

Posted: Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:38 pm
by Matteo V
Hugh2 wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:01 pm
Holy smokes, Matteo, that makes me feel completely incompetent. I can barely tell the difference between my 4-fin Naish Global 6' and my 3-fin Fone Surf 5'11"....
Lack of knowledge of the academics in kiting is no reason to feel incompetent. Kiting is mostly based on instinct and feel. Having knowledge of the academics can lead you to a greater experience, but I am sure you are already having fun with where you are at in kiting. Before I looked into these things and did testing and gave up some fun sessions in favor of experimental sessions, I still was having fun kiting and happy with my riding skill. Now I have an understanding of these principles and can better understand the "why" to some things in kitesurfing. Occasionally this knowledge can be of great help, but instinct/feel is more important than the academics. Though the academics can greatly aid in working out how to change an approach to instinct/feel, especially when the problem at hand is counter-intuitive. But honestly, gaining an understanding of the details and academics, did not greatly increase how much fun I am having now. And it only made me slightly better at kitesurfing.

Re: Directional thoughts

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 12:47 am
by TommyDuotone
Good light wind directional: North Nugget or any of the Tomo shapes. In the range you stated, I use a Firewire Sweet Potato with a "Seaworthy" quad set up and a Firewire Nano(tomo) w/ a thruster setup. Both are great light wind shapes but the Nano needs a tad more wind. I also have a Vanguard(kite construction) that works in about the same range as the Nano, however, I prefer the Nano. I also think that an Air Rush Ultra would be a better option in that 11-13 mph range. IMO, 11-13 are marginal conditions with any surfboard/directional. But, as long as the holes don't dip too much below 11mph, it can be fun if you have some waves to play with.