Saturday, July 17, 2010

What's in a fin? ... that which we call a fin

By any other shaper could turn so sweet?

Misquote. Opposite meaning. Shakespeare forgive me!

The point is - if you've ever had the chance to paddle a craft with a fin shaped by Brian Bills, you are one lucky person! The first time I got a Brian Bills fin (Circa 2002), I passed it around at a BBQ and everyone inspected the fiberglass work of art. At that time, it was a red, "dagger" fin for a 12' stock Eaton paddleboard. Since then, Brian has made me other fins, including one for my Epic V10 surfski.

Last week, I got the opportunity to have Brian make me a two-part fin for my new Bark Pink Panther board.

My coach Eric Abbott dropped my board off with Brian Bills for a few days so he could get the fin just right. The stabilizing fin articulates with the turning fin and fits flush into the fin box at the bottom of the board. As far as I know, this style of fin was first introduced by the Aussies. It allows the board to make softer corrections on the water (because of the stabilizer). My first unlimited board (a 15'10" Mike Eaton) had just a turning fin, and it worked very well. But, as I moved away from the round bottom boards and into the double concave Bark boards, I've also become a believer in the stabilizing fin (I spent some time adding in/taking out the stabilizer and like how the stabilizer feels).

For the panther, I wanted to get a custom fin because I was having a bit of trouble with the fin box fitting properly.... After a few days at Brian Bills' shop,  I  picked up my board with its new fin to discover that the fin is PINK (turning fin) and BLACK (stabilizing fin).

Style-y AND effective!!

The design of the fin results from some serious R&D by veteran paddler Brian Rocheleau - who jokingly told me I owe him a copyright payment for use of the template.

Wow! What a great fin! Thanks BC fins :)

.... and Eric Abbott, not to be left out of the fin fun, got himself a BC dagger fin in baby blue. Nice, nice (just not as pretty as the pink/black combo pictured above - shhh!). He's going to test it in the Maui Moliko Run race this Sunday. Go get um Eric!

1 comment:

  1. AWESOME looking fins! Thanks for the explanation on the blog too. It lets us "spectators" understand just how special the new fin is!