Author Topic: Board fin setup for rivers?  (Read 3595 times)

ZombieOTTR

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Board fin setup for rivers?
« on: July 31, 2016, 01:28:59 PM »
So I have a smallish river by my house, it doesn't flow fast but I believe it does have some downed trees and stuff along it occasionally. My question is, would it be better to use smaller fins on the board, so that because the fin doesn't go as deep, there's less of a risk of smacking into something I didn't see? I'm new to SUP so not sure how it would really work in practice but I've been thinking about it.

Night Wing

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Re: Board fin setup for rivers?
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2016, 03:18:48 PM »
For river supping with some current and some moderate depth, I've seen some people use 2 sidebiter fins and 1 large thruster fin (2 + 1 setup), but the number of fins is based on their board length (10' and under).

On some longer sup boards, (11' and over), I've seen a few people use 1 large fin. As for the length of the fins on the two fin setup,, I don't have any info on that.

The above is just to give you some food for thought.
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acquamossa

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Re: Board fin setup for rivers?
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2016, 12:32:34 PM »
Hi everybody from Italy, this is my first message, I guess, thus a short presentation: I'm Andrea, 50 y.o., 30 years amateur paddling on all kind of canoes and waters and since 2011 only sup. I've been practising river sup since last year.
To reply to your question: The trend now for river sup is 2+2 lateral fins 2" height. Central fin is not used. Moreover in turbulent waters a taller fin proves contraindicated because of instability trasmitted to the board. On the contrary, for calm rivers central taller fin (say 5") helps a lot the directivity.
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Dusk Patrol

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Re: Board fin setup for rivers?
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2016, 06:28:34 PM »
I'll echo acquamossa's advice about the short side bite type fins, with the caveat that my experience is on a Red Paddle Co 10'8" Ride, with a 2+1 setup, but all three are 3ish inches in height (depth?) which I'm thankful for when I hit shallow sections, or pull off into a shallow eddy near the bank.
Maybe there is a need to have directional stability that a taller fin would provide, but at my casual level, the short fins are adequate.
 It's a lot of fun. In a sport where 'fast' is still measured under 10 mph, drifting along at 5 is nothing to sneeze at...
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Badger

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Re: Board fin setup for rivers?
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2016, 02:52:13 AM »
I wouldn't go any shorter than 8 inches. You need a certain amount of fin for stability and tracking. You also might want a fin that is fairly swept back so that it doesn't catch and drag weeds.

A weed free fin is almost a necessity if you intend to paddle on Great Bay near where you live or you might be stopping every 15 minutes to remove eelgrass.

Weed fins track really well. A fin with a curved leading edge will slide over obstructions easier whereas the straighter knife like blades will stop the board more abruptly when they hit something.






« Last Edit: September 08, 2016, 02:55:35 AM by Badger »
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acquamossa

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Re: Board fin setup for rivers?
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2016, 09:56:49 AM »
Badger, you are in the wrong section with your advice: here you are in the "Whitewater and River Sup" :-)
You simply cannot go on whitewater with fins even half long the one you mention.
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Dusk Patrol

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Re: Board fin setup for rivers?
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2016, 02:01:00 PM »
Badger, you are in the wrong section with your advice: here you are in the "Whitewater and River Sup" :-)
You simply cannot go on whitewater with fins even half long the one you mention.

Well, Badger was writing at 3:00 AM... : )

But he brings up a good point, and one that argues for small flexible fins, and that is when your moving along under the river's power, not your own, it's more likely that you might unexpectedly hit something, and the greater the fin, the greater the chance of getting launched...part of the fun I guess!   
« Last Edit: September 08, 2016, 02:04:27 PM by Dusk Patrol »
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Badger

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Re: Board fin setup for rivers?
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2016, 03:41:59 PM »
Badger, you are in the wrong section with your advice: here you are in the "Whitewater and River Sup" :-)
You simply cannot go on whitewater with fins even half long the one you mention.

ZombieOtter isn't doing whitewater. His river is very slow with almost no current. He's really just doing flatwater. He probably should have posted in the flatwater section.

This is also his first board so he's a total newb. He's mostly worried about hitting submerged logs from trees that have fallen in the river. I don't think he needs any specialized type of river fin for what he's doing.



« Last Edit: September 08, 2016, 03:45:24 PM by Badger »
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acquamossa

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Re: Board fin setup for rivers?
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2016, 06:30:29 AM »
Then you're right, Badger.
In fact the problem is in the terminology: river sup should be sup in rivers, which do not necessarily occur to have white waters. And if not, the boards (and the fin set) should be almost the same as for open waters (I use a flexible long central fin in such rivers).
What we usually call "river sup" should more precisely be defined as "white water (river) sup".
« Last Edit: September 09, 2016, 06:35:22 AM by acquamossa »
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fredi

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Re: Board fin setup for rivers?
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2016, 03:25:25 AM »
For white water, I have two small soft 2" lateral fins, and one 4''7 soft central fin. 4"7 is sometimes too big when crossing cross-current areas, but the advantage is that when water level is low, the fin hit the floor first, I feel it (and if not with the fin it's with the paddle) and can drop out of the board, grab it and walk, so that the board don't hit the floor. Fin hitting the floor is not an issue since it's soft. Other advantage is that row effect is low on flat sections.
For ZombieOtter, the issue is different, it's just hitting something in I suppose opaque water. So I would recommend him a big soft central fin.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2016, 03:28:38 AM by fredi »

Badger

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Re: Board fin setup for rivers?
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2016, 04:03:11 AM »


A soft flex fin is a good option as it might lessen the severity of the hit a bit. For flat rivers, a soft flex weed fin with a nice swept back curve to it might be the best of both worlds as it might help ride up and over the obstruction but I'm not sure if anyone makes such a thing.

Myself, I just be really careful in areas wherever I think there might be logs or rocks. Reading the water and anticipating the hit is the key, which takes practice of course.


« Last Edit: October 04, 2016, 04:10:15 AM by Badger »
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fredi

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Re: Board fin setup for rivers?
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2016, 09:16:03 AM »


For flat rivers, a soft flex weed fin with a nice swept back curve (...) but I'm not sure if anyone makes such a thing.
The French brand where I bought my 4''7 white water fin does also bigger (8'') soft fin, but the curve is not so "swept back": http://www.goldenboard.fr/stand-up-paddle/41-aileron-souple-mystic-river-80.html
But for me, on transparent flat water there is no need for this. Like Badger said, anticipation is enough.

deepmud

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Re: Board fin setup for rivers?
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2018, 11:44:00 PM »
 http://www.frogfishfins.com

For not getting stuck in shallows or hitting hidden branches.

Ichabod Spoonbill

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Re: Board fin setup for rivers?
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2018, 02:23:01 AM »
I use standard fins on the Hudson. There's always a small risk of hitting something with the fin, which I've done! So my fins get a little beat up. On the other hand, with all the river chop a bigger fin just makes more sense.
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