"paging 'Pandanus' "....(re: "widowmaker" fin setup)

hi John !

I was just wondering if you had any photos yet of your “widowmaker” setup on your [I think it was a 7’er, from memory ?] single fin , please ?

… I’ve had a couple of people ask me about them , and figured you were the one to show, and tell, how that setup goes ?

cheers mate !


p.s. - Anyone else with photos of this setup too, I’d love to see them… thanks !

Hey Ben!

I have a similar setup to the “Widowmaker” but my brother-in-law is using it in Costa Rica right now. I’ll post pics after he returns next Thursday. Assuming that the board survived the journey, of course! :slight_smile:

thanks S.P ! that would be great ! What size is the board ?


howzit ben,

here’s a 6’8" my friend and i made. brown tint with yellow pinline. his board of choice this winter…when do i get a turn?

hi kealoha, nice board … is that a widow maker tell me how it compares to a thruster … im really interested in that setup.



howzit ben,

here’s a 6’8" my friend and i made. brown tint with yellow pinline. his board of choice this winter…when do i get a turn?

thanks Kealoha !

nice board …what are the side boxes …fins unlimited ?

…endless options . Great to see !

Now, if you can surf it like your famous namesake [Dane] …I’d DEFINATELY like to see photos of THAT !!

cheers mate !


okay , just to let people know …

Today I tried the 5’11 “prawn” fish as a widowmaker setup.

I used the small blue tinted side fins [in this shot] …

They were set in the front side plugs [13 1/2" up ] , and a 7" single fin set at the back of the 10" finbox [4" up from tail] .

Unfortunately , the surf was a very northerly wind affected chest high . But … I did manage to get one rideable righthander all the way to shore [my wave in !]

On that , the board felt drivey off the bottom , accelerated off the lip , and held in NICELY on the cutback .

We have three days of howling onshores forecast now , so further R and R will be on hold for a little while …


I am yet to try a widow maker set on my thruster. I would go this way

With 3" sideys and a 6’ backfin.

I keep saying to myself ‘nah it wont work’ in comparisson to a thruster. but you’ve definatly got me thinking now.

Anyone know what I can expect with a widow maker fin setup on a modern thruster?


Well guy’s when I get another digital camera I’ll post a photo. but I found the board loose fast and drivey. It has a double concave tt side fins (ofishl ) and a 7& 1/4 back fin . the board is 7x20 x 2&3/4. floats me well and is more fun than the single set up that it was . However If I had a biggerer back fin as a single it may have been betterer.

I would say two words Josh …try it !

It’s the best way to find out .


p.s. - I think you might need to file down the bottom of the fcs tabs slightly on those white sideys , to get them sitting flush in the plugs .

Out of curiosity / “I want one” where did you get the clear back fin? Ive never seen one before so i’m guessing you made it / had someone make it. If you made it please divulge how it is so clear, mine are cloudy. if you bought it please say where.

hi Scott !

well , I’m not Josh , but …

here’s another example by George “plusoneshaper” , which may have started something …


…enjoy !


My inspiration to do the conversion on a 6’3" fin plug exploder to a ‘Widowmaker’ setup was the movie Glass Love. In it Neal Purchase Jnr rides some of the film makers boards, which are (app.?) Dave Parmenter shapes. In it Neal and his dad have a good look at them with a ruler.

I’d really like to now what a good fin placement would be for this type of board, as I’m leaning towards glass-on, at least for the back fin…thinking a 7" Single. I’d like to go more like 2 1/2" side biters. If they’re not glassed in and although I’ve had problems with them, I’ll use Fin Solution plugs. How far off the tail would be ideal so it could still be used as Single, if I use plugs on the side?

The guys at my Fibreglass wholesaler need some schooling on plug installation. Like the best/correct Resin to use…and simple things like not using hot coat to install plugs. They’ve given me a sample of “GP”? Resin to try for plugs, apparently less wax again than Lam resin?


GP is General Purpose and usually cures brown or yellow. Lam resin is fine. Drill/Router your holes to close tolerance so you’re not putting in too much resin. Too much resin pooling up can create enough heat to eat some foam & then you’re worse off than before you started. Sand the outside of your boxes a little and mix up some lam resin with cabosil or chopped glass or some other thickener which will also slow down the heating & add strength. You’ll be fine.


Can you clarify what you mean by a widowmaker set up? Is this a surfboard model (e.g. Dave Parmenter Widowmaker) or is this some special thruster setup?

I’m not sure I get it.

Some guys are using gp resin and putting white pigment in it. I don’t cause it means I need other resin.

hi Sidey !

yep, the Dave Parmenter board . Also seen in the dvd “Glass Love” . Big back single fin , smaller sized side fins . I remember boththe Toms [Curren and Carroll] enjoying these designs at one stage [?maybe the mid '90s?]

I’ve seen them set up ranging from from 7-9" back fins and 2-4" depth side fins , but I guess there will be heaps of variance in what people choose to suit their particular wave[s] and style . And where the fins are placed , with systems and boxes freely available.

The footage of Neal Purchase jnr. in “Glass Love” shows the board well , especially the fin setup.

I should add that I have seen the back fin moved way forward in the back finbox , more like a three fin bonzer setup , almost …as well as the “traditional” thruster measurement setup too , of course …but with the bigger back , and smaller side fins .

When I have ridden them , to me it felt like the back fin is providing the hold and thrust , while the side fins are guiding / stabilising the rail THROUGH the turns , if that makes sense …as opposed to thruster tail slidey kind of turns , or single fin carving type turns …it felt like a nice combination of both those styles.


Hi Scott

The clear fin I made from “Acrylic Plastic” similar to perspects. Its a little on the heavy side but they are cheap and easy to make.

You just jigsaw your outline and foil with grinder. No glassing involved.

Have fun!


I rode the prawn [‘fish’] in good shaped lefts (mainly) today , again with the widowmaker setup. For three hours . Got heaps of waves !

It feels really drivey , good off the lip , and definately projected well off the bottom , Greg .

I’d like to have taken more rights on it , but for some reason the lefts predominated , today .

Tomorrow I hope to be able to try the bonzer side runners I made [the wood ones] on the prawn , for the first time… waves and conditions permitting …