Wednesday, 04 November 2015
Now that the season is starting to wind down here we have some free time to start working on some projects for 2016. With all the hype the "weed wave" fins have gotten the last few years we decided to build one that will actually help you turn better while still being able to shed the grass. Back in the 80's we designed the first real weed fin. The grass has always been in Pamlico sound and as soon as we started windsurfing there we knew regular designed fins just weren't going to work. We spent many of night hand foiling prototypes from True Ames that were over nighted to us to test. We were constantly trying to find the steepest angle possible that would still shed the grass. We finally found that a progressive angle is the only way to get a fin to shed the grass and not be terrible to go up wind, jybe or even just straight line sail. We start with a shallow angle at the base of the board where the worst flow of water is. It is also where you encounter the most grass. Once you get the grass moving you can go to a steeper angle as you have much better water flow to the fin. The steeper the fin the more effecient it is. If you ran the same angle at the tip of the fin all the way to the bottome of the board it would bee too steep and the eel grass we have here would not shed. One blade of grass catching on your fin and it is almost impossible to plane through your jybes. These abgle we came up with years ago are the steepest you can go and still shed the grass. Most of the "Weed Waves" you see either have too steep of angles and dont' shed the grass when its bad so they arent really a weed fin just a bad wave fin. Or some of them have shallow enough angles with a bunch of tip sweep at the tip which puts a big portion of the fin behind the tail of the board. All this does is create drag and move your pivot point further back which makes it harder to turn than a regular weed fin. In either case they don't work. We decided to try and make one that actually sheds grass and will turn better than a regular weed fin. Regular weed fins are going to be faster and more efficient upwind but these should turn a little better and be a bit more forgiving for the "average" sailor in flat water. They will be a great option where you actually have weed in the surf as well. We are still in the process of testing some protypes but we should have something finished and available for spring 2016. Here are pics of the first prototypes. As you can see the tip sweep isn't any further back than our regular cut of weed which has worked for years. The tip of the fin shouldn't be any more that about 4 1/2" inches fromt eh end of a power or tuttle box. Any further than this the tip will be behind the tail of the board doing nothing for you.