Putting a Starfin in this?

I’ll preface this with an “I’m gonna try this tomorrow regardless of the answers (and let you know the results),” but I was just wondering if anyone has any input on how a Starfin might work in this board …



It’s my first single shortboard (6’1"), and I’ve never ridden it before. I’ve also never used the Starfin before. So I figure, “Why not make it as interesting/complicated as possible?”

Most of the stuff in the archives talks about Starfins in wider-tailed boards, nuggets, longboards, etc. I’m curious to see if anyone has had any experience with something more like this combo. Seems like the consensus is to stick a flex fin in this kind of shape but …

Thanks in advance,


P.S. Sorry if the photos are kinda crappy.

It’ll work Nilus, and well, I’d venture. You can advise us how well it goes for you. Surf on the E coast looks to be marginal for a shorty, maybe waistish, but could be enough to give you an idea of what the combo can do.

Don’t be hesitant to load up on the fin in turns, response is very predictable and stable.

Make sure you put it in the right way, heh, heh.

looks like it should work out pretty well!..especially if that board has some thickness/float to it. give it a go and report back…

Looks to me like it will work well.

Whats up Laconic?

Where you place it in the rocker will mean everything.

Got a rocker shot with the fin in it?

No Worries, Rich

Rich is on to it, it all depends on the rocker and the resulting lift angle. . . . impossible to tell from the pictures guys, but the board looks nice in planshape.


Well, how did it go?

I couldn’t be happier with mine, got the first decent surf I’ve had in weeks on Friday (and it wasn’t all that decent, just much better than I’ve been used to!) and I was really getting a feel for the fin, which felt insanely loose and fast in turns, especially after riding my fish a bit lately. I’m thinking the fin could be further back in the box, so there’s an excuse to go out tomorrow and try it. That’s nice looking board, seems like it’d be a fun one with either a starfin or a Greenough flex in there.

Hi kirk !

I’m glad you’re enjoying the winged keel , Kirk !

…fun , aren’t they ?!



Thanks for all the replies, everyone. I took the board/Starfin out for three sessions this past weekend – beachbreak waves ranging from clean and head high to windblown and chest high.

In short, the combo worked very well. The fin had a tremendous amount of hold on big bottom turns, and I was generating a lot of speed (too much for me-of-average-ability to control on a few of the bigger waves). Since my shortboards have been exclusively twins and quads for the last several years, it was a very different experience.

If I had to name a drawback, it’s that I sensed the same “holding power” when paddling out. I could feel the inside shorepound sucking me back and down every time I ducked a wave (and I had about 10,000 opportunities to experience this). Admittedly, my skills in this area need improvement and a better surfer might not have even had the issue, but it really did feel harder to get out with this fin.

All in all it’s a great little setup, and I’m gonna stick with it for a while. Later, I may throw a McCoy gullwing in there and give that a go, too. The box doesn’t really allow me much room for tweaking the fin’s position. Right now, it’s all the way up in the box, and there’s just an inch or so behind it. But I’m including a quick shot …



P.S. This board/fin definitely generate interest on the beach.


Thank mate! You’ve had the exact same experience I’m having, although I hadn’t clicked to the paddle drag. First few times I surfed my setup was in waist to chest high waves with not much power so paddling felt easy. Last couple of times out in better waves I’ve noticed exactly what you’re describing. How far back in the box do you have the fin? I’m going to start playing with the fin position a bit. I’m also really wanting to try a gullwing- Solosurfer, put a fire under McCoy and get some stock!

Mine is all the way up in the box. But there’s only about an inch of room to play with. I may move it back and see if I notice anything. Enjoy!


I have this theory in regards to starfins and there placement in regards to the tail rocker.

It’s just a theory as I have never ridden a starfin myself so I could be total wrong.

If the bolt that secures the fin is at the rear of the fin would it be possible to use some washers or spacers

and a longer bolt so that you could change the angle on the winged keel in relation to the tail rocker of the board.

That way you could put the fin where ever you wanted and have the wings angled correctly.

Do you think this could work?

If the bolt was in front of the fin then it i’m pretty sure it wouldn’t work.

Cheers, JD

It’s at the back and if that’s possible, that’s a pretty smart thing you’ve thought of there.



Actually the thought came to me after watching Cheyne Horans movie “Screaming Blue” when he talks to a shop owner about riding it without a bolt at all so that the fin just adjusts itself with the water flow.

This sounds cool but I couldn’t get my head around it. I would have thought the fin would then slid all the way back in the box, even half out of the box or it would fall out all together.

I thought that if you could adjust the wing angle yourself you could have more control of how the board rides.

One of these days I’ll have to get myself one and give it a go.

Cheers, JD

nilus, that’s a sweet looking board! Have any closer up pictures of the deck? How’d you do the design?


Yup and I have been on Swaylocks suggesting shimming the starfin up in the box to increase the angle of lift ever since 2004


Hey, Matt. I didn’t shape or glass it. It’s a Creme (now known as Gato Heroi) by Robin Kegal. Here are two more pics for ya …