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K4 Fins………. 3 months in….

November 5, 2014 7:39 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

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As you all know I have been testing the NEw K4 fin range of plastic fins in my Fanatic Freewave Textreme boards recently and I am now getting a good idea of what I think of them. Now I’m sure Andy Holland (Fellow Team QSW Rider) will disagree with me but I have been testing these fins which now come in Powerbox fitting to suit Fanatic Tri-fin boards, and have thruster fins in either 1% toe-in or 2% Toe-in.

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First impression is that they are softer (bendier) than the standard Fanatic Composite fins. That said they are also very very cheap in relation to standard fins, ranging from around £45 for a set of 3 for a Tri-fin board apposed to circa £110 for standard ones. So this does encourage you to try a set as its no drama if you don’t like them. They fit in very easily replacing the std fins and do feel very flexible or soft in comparison.

Having now used them in both well powered conditions and light wind conditions here is what I think:

 

High Wind Conditions – Well powered

The K4 fins really feel smoooth!……. kicking the board onto the plane without trouble and allowing brilliant trimming in any water state – I am using the 1% Toe-in thrusters which give a little more thrust and a little less slashy feel. The board really does benefit from the softer fin in these conditions as the way the board behaves is definately smoother and far more trimmable. In gybes its sublime……. you can just trim the board exactly how you want it to carve and adjust trim without issue. I really do like these fins in these condition on both my 86 freewave and my 96 Freewave. Highly Recommended!!

 

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Light Wind Conditions – Underpowered

Now these conditions require fins that give forward drive….. something you can push against to drive the board onto the plane and keep the board moving forward. I found ( and Andy will disagree with this) that the K4 fins, because of their inherant softness, flex when you drive the board and do not deliver that punch I like to get up and going. The board even looses grip sometimes, not spinout, just lets go a little giving you nothing to drive against. Now to qualify my thoughts as I am no fin scientist I spoke to a very knowledgable pro windsurfer who actually designs fins and he agreed that the science does concure with what I am saying. Once up on the plane the K4 fins settle in nicely gaining grip and feeling firm but not solid like the standard composite fins. Gybing is good although again the lack of drive through the fins is evident and the board does stall quicker than the harder fins.

Conclusion

In my opinion on any multi-fin board the K4 fins definitely have their place. For what they cost you would be mad not to try them at least. You just have to pick your time to use them – asses whether you will be well-powered or underpowered and choose your fins accordingly. The K4 certainly made well-powered sailing much more controllable and sweeter to sail, but if you are a lazy sailor who doesn’t tend to drive the board forward in under-powered conditions you will probably find these fins don’t give you the grip you want. But after all that has been said……… i say again, for under £50 you would be silly not to try them.

You can contact Nikki at the shop to speak to me or Andy about which K4 fins are best for you on 08700 347414

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This post was written by Neil Greentree (Team Rider)

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