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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2014
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    Semi foiling 'fly fin'

    Not the first to publicise the semi-foiling aproach, but perhaps the first to offer for sale ? http://www.frpgear.com/

    Interestingly they say it works best on narrower tailed boards, rather than recent wider designs.
    May aid speed maintenance in gybes?

  2. #2
    The developer of this fin recently came to my local windsurfing club message board promoting (more like spamming) his product. The guy makes over-the-top, unsubstantiated claims, and then gets extremely defensive when anyone questions his assertions. He ultimately got himself banned. Here is what I can tell you about the inventor:

    • He has a PHD in engineering, so he must be somewhat intelligent.
    • He has not windsurfed since the 1980s and have never used his fin. The only one who has used the fin is his son who has only been windsurfing for a year. The son has never really used regular fins, so he has no way to identify advantages/disadvantages.
    • The inventor will often create multiple accounts for a message board pretending to be different people so he can reply to his own posts.
    • There is ZERO feedback from any experienced sailors, only his son.
    • The fin has never been used on modern, wide-style boards.
    • The inventor just flat out lacks basic windsurfing knowledge. He can't tell the difference between a race and a wave sail. He cannot identify the factors as to why one sailor may be planing, while another one is not. For example, in his videos he will often show his son sailing marginally faster than another sailor claiming itís all because of the fin - leaving out the fact that his son is 20kgs lighter and on a 160l board, versus the larger sailor on a 90l wave board with the same size sail.


    I am not discounting the concept of the fin. It may have some real world benefits, but I would be very wary of buying anything from the developer. Any claims he is making is entirely from theory and not real-world experience.

  3. #3
    Mmmmm.
    30% more lift, 10% less drag.

    Or just choose a floatier board with a conventional fin? Or perhaps use a bigger sail?
    Wouldn't there actually be less drag if you took the foil bit off the fin?


    I guess a proper test, with windspeed logged and GPS action recorded would tell us the truth.


    On the other hand, judging foiling boards in terms of the past is not the way to go. Basically, it's a new sport, currently held back by the need to adapt to existing windsurf kit.

    Time will tell, I guess.
    Last edited by basher; 15th January 2018 at 11:53 PM.
    Now back in the UK.

  4. #4
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    They do admit that given 20 knots, a conventional fin is faster. Their idea is that older (now cheap) narrow boards can be given the early planning capability to match newer (more valuable) recent wide tailed designs- just with a new fly fin. I know that I can get my relatively narrow tailed board upwind better semi-foiling. However, my guess is that if the 'fly fin' has enough lift to achieve that, then it will (like my Zeeko foil) lift the board clear as soon as the breeze picks up and/or the course is further off the wind. But a test would indeed be interesting.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Sailrepair's Avatar
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    If the fin had enough lift to start lifting the board something will break.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Nov 2009
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    Innovation is to be encouraged but there was little to convince me in the web site and videos that this design achieves a great deal. The kit being used was indeed narrow long boards.....and pretty old as well by the look of them, so maybe this is aimed at places around the world where that older kit still prevails. Even so a more modern rig, decent fin and a more proactive sailing style looked like they would deliver as much or even more performance improvement, and based on the amount of wind noise in the mic on the first video, a modern wide short board with modern rig would certainly be planing fast in those conditions.

    Despite all of that I feel sure there is scope to experiment more with fin design without going to the extremes of instability and cost inherent in current foil designs.
    Last edited by mikerb; 16th January 2018 at 10:33 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Despite all of that I feel sure there is scope to experiment more with fin design without going to the extremes of instability and cost inherent in current foil designs.

    Couldn't agree more. The lift to drag must be horrendous on the current crop. We need something much simpler and much more efficient before we throw away our big sails.

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