Take it away boys…
James: Ok Andy, give me your background info.
Andy: The twin fins set up really allows you to maintain speed through your turns.
When sailing the twin fin Quatro 76 you notice that the board sails flatter with more of the board in contact to the water than a single fin, hence it feels more like a surfboard. This doesn't seem to slow the board but it does give you a lot more of a lively feel. The board still tracks upwind well but you have to engage more windward rail as opposed to pushing off the fins.
Once on the wave it is easier to generate speed on the twin fin board because the board is simply easier and quicker to manoeuvre on the wave face. You can work it up and down the wave like a surf board to generate speed, riding a lot more of your front foot, relying less on the wind in your sail. Once you have generated enough board speed you can then snap the board quickly through a tight turn to hit the lip even in small wave conditions. It is easy to maintain speed through turns as you get no interfering lift or uncontrolled spin out from the fins. You can literally turn wherever you like on the wave. You no longer need to fear turning on or over white water sections as the lottery of uncontrolled single fin spin out is no more. As the twin fin isn't solely reliant on the fins for grip you can comfortably loose the back end for a few seconds because it is easy to pull it back in and to recover the board's tail from a slide.
James: Ok, ok. Something you’ve said there has got me excited. At Milford On Sea that day, I noticed that difference of not just relying on the fins for grip. Like you do in every session I had the opportunity to control some spin out but this time with the Twin Fin. I noticed that rather than adjusting back foot pressure to pull the tail back in. I simply had to engage a bit more of the rail by distributing a more even pressure between my feet, suggesting that control of the board is centred more around the board as a whole instead of just the fin at the back.
|Andy: So on the wave, when you recover the slide there is no sudden buildup of fin lift like you get on a single fin board so instead of fighting this bucking tail syndrome you can simply manoeuvre the board back into the pocket of the wave and set up for another turn. The fact that you can loose the unpredictable fin behaviour of the single fin setup allows you to do turns and manoeuvres in far more critical sections of the wave.
Kauli showed to good effect in Cape Verde - that it really allows you to wave sail in a revolutionary way.
James: With the shift from rail to rail far smoother and quicker, makings things look smoother.
Andy: Plus this would have helped him take the board into vertical wall sections of waves.
James: [Now on the subject of surfing.] So if you surf using a short board or watch someone surfing a shortboard, you can see those fluid turns – constant arcs; no straight lines. This makes me think the Twin Fin is similar to the shortboard surf board in a number of ways. Like you said, it requires that you distribute your weight more evenly between your feet so you have more control over the board and you can put pressure on your front foot to get speed up down the face. Because the board is already more connected with the wave before you initiate the turns and the fins are closer to the rails, the board rail can switch from rail to rail more fluidly with more grip.
And perhaps that helps maintain the speed. On the small waves, I really noticed the speed was maintained all the way from initiation to exit. That is what turns me on the most.
Ok, going back to the previous point - it seems to make sense to me that a board with fins further out to the rail is going to grip better in the more vertical part of the wave. On a near vertical face, you have the added grip of the outer fin as well as the rail.
Andy: [Changing the subject] Sure but a single fin ridden well can perform top to bottom manoeuvres.
James: Agreed it can, but what does top to bottom mean? Bottom turning out of the front of the wave and coming back in top turning, then back out of the front of the wave etc.... sure that looks good, but isn't that a different style? The riding looks vertical but you are spending less time on the wave face. When you are surfing in slop or windsurfing in small waves it’s often necessary to generate speed from the wave, which is something we as windsurfers get lazy at because we have the sail.
James: Perhaps the next question we need to ask is how does it perform in the small waves of the South Coast.
The more on the wave face you turn the more energy you are transferring from the wave to make the whole process more efficient. Also, that day at Milford on Sea, you had to do quick turns because it was all over in a second (unlike your waves in Cornwall), so the twin fin seems to suit well because it feels very reactive. It was on and off the plane in the gusty conditions catching waves just fine. i.e. it will work for people that don’t live in Cornwall like you.
Also what I noticed that day. On my single fin Quatro, I tend to catch a gust, lean back and go (in the typical way us windsurfers do) - applying quite a lot of weight outboard. On the twin fin it felt more natural to catch the gust and stay more over the board rather than leaning out. That way you are more crouched over the board, just as comfortable but more upright and more in control.
What do you think about that?
Andy: No, all correct.
Andy: Sorry, just on phone to Jez from Knoxy’s place, he has the Quatro Twin Fin 64 l. I was going to say that a single fin will work ok at top to bottom but doesn’t work well in a more surfing style of staying in the pocket and coming out and smacking sections when the wave allows. Top to bottom doesn’t work in small waves anyways.
Jez likes his. He said it has really improved his wave riding quickly. He says he doesn't have to use the rig as much.
James: That is exactly the effect I found….
Andy: So it kind of removes that element from the equation. Less for him to think about and less for him to get wrong...
James: You keep the sail more static and use you feet more instead - again like you would on a surfboard.
Andy: Yeah he said he controls it all with his feet and toes...
James: Which means if you are going to use a twin fin - you need to get your feet well in your straps.
Andy: The lay down bottom turns etc… are all based on pivoting round this big driving single fin!! Driving through this big fast drawn out bottom turn. That’s not so necessary on twin fin.
James: Plus if you think about it, if you stay closer to the wave, which we are suggesting you should, then you won't be able to lay your sail down, because you'll already be going back up the face.
Andy: The more time you spend out in front of the wave, the less time you have to pull turns and moves. So way better in small... fast breaking waves. Which is why the twin fin will revolutionise sailing.
James: In those pics of Milford on Sea the shore break was tiny….
Andy: … and the waves on which u can sail and sail well. No more groove riding along the face!
James: Sure, sure pumpkin …. Anyway, you can ride the waves fine getting dug in and making the most of the white water and small faces, but it would be ridiculous doing a lay down bottom turn in front.
Andy: So, quick tight bottom turns and aggressive slidey lip hits… quicker recoveries straight into quicker tight bottom turns.
James: One thing I would say is that, if you are doing slidey lip hits. You need to keep over the board. More crouched.
Crouching tiger hidden dragon.
Andy: But if you don’t it is still easier to recover the tail than it would be on the single fin! Because you are not using the rig so much you are more likely to be over the board more anyways.
Good for wallow and ride, good for small waves, good for fast sucky waves, good for slower mushy waves. Ok for big waves if you take a less traditional approach. Surfers still like top to bottom style too, but the twin fin gives you the ability to do both. Really allows the sailor to stay tighter to the waves pocket. Allows them to hit or get over sections that they couldn’t on a single fin.
Imagine the twin fin at the Bench…
So you would recommend a twin fin as a high wind board?
James: Well that day at Gwithian with Wemsy, it worked just fine.
Andy: Top end range is a little less than a single fin.
James: Maybe you are the better to say on that point, 'I was busy riding waves instead of slalom sailing'.
Andy: Swimming you were Jedi master, with your wetsuit zip down!... " I knew I should have brought my buoyancy aid…" Anyways are we done yet?
James: Well, I guess the next question is, how am I going to tell Lucy I'm getting another board?!!.