Paddle Fin Trials-Prelim. Results

Tried Halcyons 8.5" custom paddle fin in my 6’4" edge stubby. Usually have a 9.5" deep Liddle G4. Waves ranged from 1-4’ mush to 3-4’ steep walls as the tide dropped. Fin was placed all the way back in the box so the rear of the fin was about 6 inches from the tail block. I could feel it when paddling quickly, definite pull probably from the thicker foil. Fin lacked any traction in turns at slow speeds but would hold a trim. Once the board got to speed though it really started to show. Very powerful fin but not a lot of drive in the setting I used (as Rich predicted). Very sensitive and directional (quick from edge to edge but you have to keep your mind on where you want go) Holds a line well (again you have to keep your mind on it). Would not spin out unless I wanted it to release. Rail turns were remarkable for their LACK of drive. Tail turns, however, were very powerful and thruster-like. It liked weight/unweighting turns and pumping although it didn’t squirt quite like a thruster. The more I surfed it, the more I liked it. It is a fin that is real compatible with vertical surfing. As usual, George is really on to something here. With the right outline and rails, this fin could easily replace thrusters; it is that maneoverable. And this is with a stiff, Stiff, STIFF version. I’m really curious about trying a thinner foil and the correct torsional flex. Right now, I’d say it is NOT a fin for displacement hulls. But put one on an edgier Merrick single or even an eggy outline with boxy rails and a tucked edge it would open your eyes. Easily go an inch shorter than the fin you usually use. In a thruster set up, I’d love to hear someone use smaller versions. I’m thinking without toe-in on the outboard fins they would rip. Rich, don’t give up on this thing. It’s definately got a place. Might be the answer to toe-in drag.

It`s too stiff. The foil needs to be thinned, and taper the upper half paddle area. Grinder time. Think torque, not sideways bend. Push that cleaver all the way forward.

Hi Lee, Thank you for sharing you experiences with the Fat Paddle. My expectations on performance were very close to what happened and so I’d like to make a few comments on things. First, if you take a grinder to it you’ll distroy the fin. It’s made of a composite construction and there is some high density foam in it that was used in an attempt to keep the fin as light as possible. The white color doesn’t go all the way through the fin. It’s purely cosmetic. Chop it up if you like but a something with a different schedule of construction would be a far better solution. I think this fin could be made from an epoxy/fiberglass lamination and thinned out beautifully. I have some of Greg Loerh’s specical flexible resin, which would be the thing to try. Second, I have abandonded the use of thick foils for the most part with the one exception being long board singles, which benefit from the sensitivity they give. Third, I have been using cutaway centers on all my single fin boards and thruster setups as well for sometime to get advantage, sizing them to the conditions. I have found that in many standard thruster setups center can interfere with rail to rail change unless of course you like that sticky feeling and when it’s sized and place properly it turns the board on when some speed is achieved. Another successful approach has been slightly down size the full based center, which gives a different feel and also improves rail fin drive. As we know everyone like something a little different. As a matter of visual reference to what I’m talking aboutThere will be something coming up the Swaylocks reasources soon that will feature both cutaway rails and center. There’s a set in there right now that has full base rails and a cutaway center that I’ve gotten some great reports on. Finally, it has been my experience that the Greenough stage IV fin is hard to beat for pure speed when it’s sized right. I prefer a version of it that’s fairly stiff. It is one of the finest templates ever created IMHO. The Liddle Flex is almost exactly the same template. Since that milestone experimentation with cutaway templates indicates they have a very important place in surfboard performance. As to the paddle fin, though it is new, a Greenough template and the rage at present, it as I expected gutless when it come to working with rails. It’s a rudder that takes considerable speed to develope drive though it can be pumped with some success. Frankly I think there are other cutaway templates that surpass it because they give a better overall performance curve. I’m working on something that I think will give good rail release and power at slower speed in conjuction with the rails at present. The edge is a perfect board to find out what a fin is really doing. One can learn so much about fin performance on a small single fin board with grand lines like this one. When one begins to understand why a given fin does what it does it’s clear the cutaway is often the best way. There are many versions of course and we all to learn because of sharing people like Lee V. what the next best step might be. Thanx mate! Mahalo, Rich

Rich, can you post a pic of this fin?

Sling – If I was smart enough to put a picture in a post I would, but I’m dumb. So anyone who wants to see it just email me at and I’ll send you a photo in an attachment. Mahalo, Rich

Hey Lee i have not had good luck with the paddle fins on smaller boards .The 8’4 gross you rode works great with a 9’’ I have a 8.5 9.0 and 9.5, chuck gave these to me 4or5 years ago and the best boards they worked on were Yaterspoon type longboards,more drive on rail and better nose riding stabilty.The new templates on the paddlefin are different than the old ones i have.Marc will ordered that blank givr me abuzz.KP