One board's journey back into the light - thanks Bill T & Greg G

I built this board a few years without a great deal of thought and not much of a clue.I couldn’t decide if I wanted to make a hull, a stubbie or a fish.

So I sort of made a mixture of all three. 6’5" x 20 1/2", low rocker, soft rails and gently rolled bottom. I included lots of fin options in the hope I could mess around and find a set up that would somehow work.

A recipe for disaster really. Which it mostly was. Tail outline was too straight to work as a Thruster (much too stiff) or Quad (stiff and tracked too much). Didn’t like it as a Twin and it had too much tail area to work as a Single in decent sized waves. Widowmaker setup was as close as I got to really liking it, but it still wasn’t what I had hoped for. Those of you with design experience would be able to see from the “get go” that this was destined to fail. So I put it back in the rack and didn’t surf if for a long time.

Then I stumbled onto a couple of Swaylocks threads that contained Bill T’s and Greg G’s different Tri Fin setups. After trying each one, I ended up combining them and the board has now found its direction in life and I can’t stop surfing it. Long, long projected bottom turns and an ability to hold a high line and down the line speed that is stunning. No spin outs or drift in up to double overhead conditions and abrupt power pivot turns off the rear corners on both backhand and forehand. It doesn’t surf like a high performance Thruster, but has a performance all of its own that is addictive.

Through Swaylocks it has been brought back to life and I just wanted to say thanks to Bill T and Greg G.


Good Golly, Miss Molley!

I can relate bummer to high…

Killer work!

“Well welcome to the Club”

Very good, original approach, using ideas of others for inspiration, then mixing it up in a personal blend.  I don’t see the board as attempted as being problematic (“destined to fail”, “recipe for disaster”) by nature, but very happy to hear the outcome from the new fin arrangement.  There are a lot of complex variables involved in finding that “magic” shape, even the pros can only make an educated guess, and see what happens.  Good on you for trying something different.  Can you tell us about the fins, toe-in, and cant?  Also curious to know if you are now planning to make another with this fin arrangement?  Got a name for it?  Thringle fin? 

Those are indeed a lot of fin options. 

Really like your approach though, nice story. 

Hey Huck. Maybe “recipe for disaster” and “destined to fail” as statements were too strong, but that’s almost how it felt after I’d surfed it in a few different configurations and then sat down to actually think about the relationship between the fins, the rear rocker and outline properly. It was still fun to surf, but I had been hoping for more.

Fin can’t and toe in for the outside fins is pretty much standard. I think it’s around 5 - 6 degrees and 4 -5mm respectively. The wide angle camera lens has exaggerated both in the images.

Along with Bill Thrailkill and Greg Griffin’s different “three in a row” tri fin set ups I have also noticed that Greg Liddle does a similar thing with his Hawaiian hull model.

I have another board with all the same fin set up possibilities but it has a full round McCoy Nugget style tail. It works OK with the same setup as this one, but really shines as a Widowmaker. Simplistically it seems to me that putting the outside fin at the point where the tail planshape (and rocker) inherently wants to turn from seems to be the key for making each board feel its best. You do end end up with very different turning mechanics for each of course though.

Great story man.

Those side fins look pretty thick.  Last year I took a longboard out of storage where it resided for a decade unused, and put a fatter fin into it and very much liked the way it rode.  It was put into storage because I did not like it with a 1/4 inch thick fin with a poor shape and foil.

Amazing how much difference a fin(s) can make. Night and day.

The side fins are about 9mm thick at the base and the main fin is about 18mm. All have very generously shaped foil that the extra thickness allows. All have wooden cores, so they’re fairly light. I’m hooked on these thick fins and the way they feel. I currently have a main fin almost finished that will be around 25mm thick at the base.

I have always wondered how an inverted thruster arrangement would perform.  Maybe with side fins fairly close to the tail’s end.

Seems like it might be well suited to wide tails…