Boomerang fin

So talk to me about this. I bought a package-deal of fins a little while back, and this was in the lot. I checked the rainbow catalogue, but it is not currently offered. Not sure exactly what type of board this should be paired with, but I was thinking of shaping up a little 2+1 singlefin with side-bites and doing some experimentation. Anyone have any experience and feedback with this fin? As you can see, it is about 6.5" tall. It is also thicker at the tip than at the base (sorta like the small hatchet-like fin of the future 3/2 vector fins, but the transition from thick-to-thin is not as abrupt)… I’ll try to take a head-on photo if anyone is interested.

Edit: photo imbedding.


I sold you that package (10) of fins. How are you making out with them? I was told that the boomerang was designed to loosen up a board while preventing any slip. Note: the looseness comes from the thin base and center actually directed towards the front of the fin (board)…the hold come from the rake towards the back at the top of the fin. There are followers and non-followers of this theory.

I’m sure Rainbow still sells em - just gotta ask.

glide… the True Ames fin has been killer on my longboard (very classic design, 50/50 rails, heavy but not cumbersome)… made the whole purchase worth it right there. Have not tried the Wayne Rich, and I think my two LB’s would overpower that fin since they are both heavy “classic” shapes. One of my other friends took one of the other fins and is stoked (sharing the stoke!). I’m hanging onto the cutaway protek for later… either to try in my board or for whenever I get my nephew on a board (in a year or so) or my kids (none yet, but soon). Might give away some of the others to friends or just hold onto some of the other fins for future shapes and/or curiousity. Thanks for everything!

I rode the living crap out of this fin, had it on a 15" tail single fin longboard and placed second in the Eastcoast championships behind Billy Curry and he is a beast to be in a heat with.

The only drawback is a weed/kelp break. At first it felt a little loose, but I went for straight rail turns and that solved the problem

Well, Jim, that sounds promising.

So you rode that fin as a single in a LB? Was it the 6.5" version, like that pictured above, or was it a taller version? Seems like a lot of board for such a little 'ol fin to handle.

I loved that fin!

Kind of a transitional fin. If I remember timing right - coming out of the single fin era and going into the tri-fin present. Ideal board was a longer tri-fin board or longboard (rail turning board wide-point still centered or +) glassed on side fins with long center box. Setup - either a smallish regular fin with screw in front of the leading edge and pushed all the way towards the tail to tighten up your board for steep waves, or use the boomerang fin and push the boomerang towards the front of the board almost to the tip of the two front glass-ons. This would loosen up your board for big base waves for either front or backside bottom turns with little loss of speed! Simon Anderson killed it. Watch a video of Bobby Owens surfing with one, or read Jim’s experience above. Not really suitable for a modern tail turning thruster…

Personally, I think Halcyon’s Spinner set-up for a longboard would kick ass on this old boy.

One of the fin companies (Fibre Glas Fin co?) makes a Mark Foo boomerang template. Incidently, it was the same type of fin he was using on his tragic last wave at Mavs. Bobby Owens also made some tiny boomerang sidebites.

It was the little one, the contest was moved from the lighthouse to Salvo and it was half foot to an occasional rare 3 footer. The wave was only breaking about 40 feet off the beach on the sets and would sort of run up the beach at an angle in just a few inches of water. I put the fin in because of the shallowness and in the dumpy crap it was the right choice. I could grab a rail in the shore break and kind of skim board the nose, while the tail was still in enough water not to drag the fin. A start of a new cross over sport- skim/surf

I don’t know about Foo’s thought process… side bites all base, no tip…then tail fin, all tip, no base…

Almost fighting each other. Theory is pivoting sidebites and carving tail fin, but practice is all fins do a little of both.

I like Rich’s fins better, or three booms, fence, or footballs I or II.

Foo was a great surfer!

I have that same fin. It laid around in my shed for years but recently, just to experiment, I installed it in my 7’2" x 21" epoxy roundtail and I really like how it works. I also have 3 1/2’" sidebites. The leading edge if the boomerang fin is in line with the trailing edge of the sidebites. Jimthegenuis described the same characteristics I noticed. It is real drivey when you lay it on a rail, yet when you let up on the gas it becomes loose and pivoty. I have had it in head high waves with good results. Give it a try!

A boomerang fin is extremely speed sensitive. It will turn very sharply at slow speed and as speed increases it will offer more holding power. The reverse angle of the leading edge is problematic in kelp for obvious reasons. With the very full tip area a small version like the one shown will hold nicely on a long board if it’s not surfed too far back in the tail rocker. The fin will not drive well by itself unless the board is going pretty fast so a compliment of rail fins will aid performance measurably. A larger version would be fun on small undemanding conditions on a longboard. Geoff McCoy is making three different gullwing fins that are very similar to this fin. The ones that are more up right are freer the ones with the extended tip offer more drive. Have a look at his website and you see how this design has evolved.

Note: Watch a gull in the last stages of landing sometime. As the bird decends and prepares to land it will reconfigure it’s wing into this type of shape. The reverse leading edge is used for stalling and quick direction change at low speeds. IMHO it works under a surfboard much the same way.

It just happens a lot faster in air. In the water the whole effect can be disguised buy all the other surfaces at work underwater.

One evening at work I watched some bats feeding. Their ability to maneuver was amazing. The are able to change direction instantaneously. I though well here’s the ultimate fin for spinning 360’s so I made a set of fins similar to their wings and they sure looked cool but it turned out that they just didn’t have any punch. They were too vertical. Since then I’ve outlined another template with a reverse angle leading edge but haven’t persued it because I didn’t feel it was practical.

Good Surfin’, Rich

Good convo we have here, makes me pretty interested in trying it out… now just have to get a board suitable for it!

Thanks for jogging my memory about Foo… I do recall seeing the broken board (3 pieces) with the boomerang fin in the box. I don’t doubt his use of it since he was one of the premier big-wave hellmen of that time- the fin must have did something he liked in big surf.

I just bought a Greeenough Stage VI “paddle fin”.

I have used it twice now, in a big, heavy, old school longboard. It also feels very speed sensitive - whipping left-go-right 180 deg. take off turns like a tri-fin board half its weight…but then holding a very nice line at speed. Lots of drive off the paddle, but step back and it pivots around like a shorty. Amazing, what it did for the board.

The board is not a noserider - too much nose rocker & really wide hips that push the fin & tail too far away from a walled-up wave - and I doubt the fin would be much for noseriding anyway. But I have other boards (and fins) for that. The board has very soft, slightly eggy rails throughout, even off the tail. Not a hard edge anywhere. This is the best fin I’ve ever used with a board like this.

Thanks, Halcyon, for the excellent description of the bomerang fin characteristics. The post about the stage VI paddle fin seems to describe the same performance characteristics as the boomerang fin. Since they both have a narrow base and a wide tip I wonder if the forward sweep of the boomerang fin is the less important aspect of the fin’s performance. Also I would like to know if you think sidebites would enhance the performance of the paddle fin. I had considered trying a paddle fin but if I am getting the same handling from the boomerang fin it may not be worth it.

When you compare the performance of two fins the only constant you have is surface area. So in order to put the Boomerang up against the Stag VI that’s where you ahve to start.

With this said I would think that the Stage VI will offer more drive at high speed and the boomerange would then to be somewhat twitchy in critical condition and thus be better served by rail fins. I don’t think the boomerang will offer as much stability as the paddle. Please keep in mind that this is conjecture on my part because I haven’t surfed either one of them.

How fins work has everything to do with the board they’re on and the conditions it’s in. In addition remember that a great surfer can make a bad set-up look awfully good.

Mahalo, Rich

I wouldn’t put sidebites with the paddle. It seemed to do what a 2+1 board does already - not only looseness when you want it and drive out of the second half of a turn - but also increases speed when going straight down the line like a big single or a pivot does. I think when you load up the paddle, it generates a lot of force to complete the turn as you unweight it and it springs back (like Blakestah’s system, from what I understand about that). But if you’re going straight, it’s not flexing, and then you’re getting the forward thrust of the wave acting against the side of it like a big keel.

All that said, I used it with a board with very soft rails. I have no idea what it will be like on a downrail board or a round pintail.

Bumpity due to hmmmm a thought—how might a GG VI work in a smallish size as twins on a fish? Any thoughts on this appreciated. Anyone tried this? I’m thinking between 6 and 7 inches deep and set so trailing edge of “paddle” is where trail edge of keel would be. (Could make from glass panel and after rough foiling, flatten the “post” part some and rebuild w/ carbon roving to make the right kind flex pattern. Easier I would think than making a mold and driving a car on top etc…)

can’t answer that question , Dr, sorry , as I haven’t seen or used the fin you mentioned .

Just on boomerang / ?footy fins? , here is one Erle [the jet bottom man] Pedersen made in the early 1980s…[my brother’s]…

I rode those for about a year on my bigger boards, sometimes in conjunction with bonzer bottoms. Keep it moved up, like the pictures show. More for carving rail turns rather than turning off the tail. Taro Pascual used to make me custom ones so I could try different variations. Bobby Owens used to draw the most incredible lines on his Rawson bonzer/boomerangs at Sunset. He was way ahead of just about everyone then, partially due to the boards. They ride the barrel great, too. I used to take my 7’ Rawsons out to sizeable Backdoor/OTW, before it got so crowded and make some simply insane waves using a boomerang. All in all, however, I settled back on conventional thruster sets after a while.