A 6’4”, 5-4-3 fin experimental board report from the department of redundancy department…(PHOTO HEAVY).

I’m going to try to post this in sections so it’s easier to load. After all, I’m stuck at 28k modem speed out here where I live. Forgive me if I mess this up, it’s the first time I’ve tried posting photos… but some of you asked for it.

(thanks for your help guys)

I took this board to Costa Rica for 2 months and played around with fin combos in several different types of surf. Needless to say I didn’t get all the photos I would have liked to, (and the waves that got away are always the best ones!), but here are my (subjective) observations so far…

First, the Board Stats…

6’4” X 19 1/8” X 2 ½”

Very slight double bump rounded pin 5/4/3 fin experimental combo

Designed for my local break in the shoulder to head and a half+ range

Light single into double concave with slight vee out tail, hard rails back 1/3

6oz bottom, 6+4oz deck, future fin boxes

I was thinking of a 3 fin or a quad… Glen’s a local shaper who’s built 5 fins since before they were cool… and he’s the type who surfs with a backpack full of fins and a fin key just to get things right. I trust him.

This is what we came up with when we put our designs together…

Shaped by Glen McPhee

Glassed by Fatty Glass

My stats…

5’ 11”, 150lbs (sans wetsuit) I ride both short and long boards at a sometimes “advanced” level (but it’s been almost exclusively shortboards for the past 20 yrs).

more coming up…


Small white fins are future SB3 325, black ones are future F3 425, and the two clear fins are unlabeled, made by rainbow fin company.

First thing I noticed about this board is that with all the glass, fins and boxes it seems kind of heavy compared to other boards in this size range. Sorry I don’t own a scale, but it seems to be about 25-30% heavier than my other 6’4”.

if anyone’s interested i can post the fin combos, my subjecting reviews of how it handled, and maybe a couple of photos of me riding it…

any takers?


I am. (!)

yes please

Me too.(!)

Nice to see one of Glen’s boards posted–he’s a great shaper and a cool guy. Now if he would just do something with that ponytail…(not that there’s anything wrong with that).


i’ll get to posting the results tonight since i’m supposed to be working right now…

off to the crawlspace to put in some plumbing.

(damn, wish i could manna-fest a more surf related occupation so i could be out riding waves. anyone need a semi-feral free surf test pilot to ride and review their boards at different breaks around the world?)

it’s good to hear that Glen is known on this site.

and he is a good guy, pony tail and all.

so how do you know him, and where in N.Cal are you from?

until then…


As a 5 fin… After waiting two weeks for it to cure I just had to try it out. The first waves I rode it on were about chest high and mushy, dropping off in size until I finally had to borrow a friend’s 9’6” longboard to stay happy in the water. (I had forgotten how much fun long boarding is… Thanks for the use of your Spencer, Ross!) In little waves it bogged down some, a little too much fin to effectively pump. I was expecting it to be a little slow and tracky, yet I was surprised at how fast it does go. I was amazed really. It was made for bigger waves though, so I stuck with the longboard for awhile. The next break I rode it on was a sucking cement mixer beach break that had me eating sand in the end. It was about head high and the board hauled ass, getting me out of a couple of tubes I didn’t even hope to make. What a rush. I did find it a bit difficult to bring it back around when getting vertical, but with that kind of speed the cut backs felt more like gouges. No tail slide no matter how hard I pushed. Sorry, but no photos from either of those days… here are a couple on a more medium day at Playa Negra…

some more photos…

and more…

(tell me if this is too much!)

Note; I just got to ride it for the first time at the break it was designed for… (sorry, but i’m not ready to tell you where just yet). 6’-10’faces, light crosswind, an annoying amount of chop, and a small cross swell mixing things up. Despite the typical ball shrinking shortboard takeoffs (the only fin in the water on a couple of drops was the back fin) I was amazed at how well it handled. Fast and loose, yet no tail slide even with all the power, and it’s extra weight helped handle the chop that would normally make my other board chatter and skip all over the place. Lighter boards don’t always work in conditions like these. Today helped me appreciate the extra weight, (and the warm waters of Costa Rica… ours was 50 degrees here. It wasn’t the board that was chattering… it was me). Still seems to hang on the vertical more than I would like. Smaller fins for the center boxes? Bigger trailing fin? Hmmmmm…

As a quad;

To be honest, I didn’t have much of a chance to try out this combo. Surfed a river mouth on an incoming tide for about an hour, shoulder high and weak, (again, no photos) and all I can say is that it was slower and more difficult to turn. Could have been the waves. Could have been me. Could have been that the back fins being single foiled therefore lacked drive. Would like to try it again on a bigger day and with double foiled back fins. Anyone have some spares lying around?

(a lunch break posting…)


As a twinzer;

This was a much better choice of fin configuration for the smaller days. Looser and still surprisingly fast, but not as much drive without the center fin. I could slide the tail around a bit if I pushed hard, pump up the speed some, and it seemed to be easier coming back around after hitting the lip. It felt good in the pocket too, can you tell? Still, it felt a bit heavy in the smaller, mushier stuff.

the ride…


pay no attention to the sh!t eating grin…

this might have been the smallest tube ride i’ve ever squeezed myself into.

next up is the 3 fin review.

(and please tell me when you’ve had enough…)


This is all great stuff.

I think I’ve heard that a quad with single foils in the rear can go tracky, depending on their toe probably, but too much of that gets draggy.

aren’t the rear fins on a canard quad often double foiled?

i wonder what it would feel like if the front fins on the twinzer set up were double foiled…

what do you think it would do to the water flow going towards the base of the second, bigger fins?

just wondering!

(damn, no one seems to need another semi-feral-free-surf board tester to support… bummer. imagine what i could learn!)


As a tri-fin;

Got to try this combo out on a bigger day and had a blast. Hard offshore, head to head and a half high. Got more vertical without quite as much trouble bringing it back around, and it handled the size a lot better than I expected. Much closer to the edge of control than the 5 fin on the biggest waves, but quicker response time too. Not as much tail slide as I was expecting, retained good drive, but I wonder if deeper wings instead of bumps would help pivot off the lip more? Is it the shape, the fins, or me? It didn’t seem as fast as the 5-fin combo either. So, can anyone offer a good explanation why?

That’s it so far. It doesn’t look like I’ll have much of a chance getting photos where I am now, but as I try more stuff I’ll post what I find out if anyone is interested.