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As most of you probably already know, getting your fins right can mean the difference between your board going insane or not working for you at all. And with such a wide selection of twin keel fins available these days, there's fantastic opportunity to get your twin keel fish dialled. Also, because my boards are very finely tuned, they will be very responsive to different style fins. Sometimes it can be a little frustrating to find just the right fin. But when you do and your board is purring like a well tuned Italian sportscar, the effort is well worth it. To keep it really simple, if your board is feeling a bit unresponsive and resistant to turns, try a smaller fin. If the tail is drifting too much through turns or letting go, try a larger fin. Below is a selection of fins that will work well with my current Twin Keel designs.

Here's our brand new, beautifully handcrafted right here in Bali, K1 fin. Similar to the Futures K2, our smallest keel fin is built for 60 - 75kg surfers or for surfers who like to feel a bit more let go and drift in their turns.

Base : 6.125"

Depth : 4.875"

Area : 21"

Suits surfers : 60 - 75 kg

Our brand new, beautifully handcrafted right here in Bali, K2 fin. Similar to the Futures K1, Machado and Merrick keels, our medium size keel fin is extremely versatile and can suit surfers anywhere from 70kg - 100kg depending on the amount of drift or drive you're chasing.

Base : 6.5"

Depth : 5"

Area : 23.75"

Suits surfers 70 - 100 kg

This is our big daddy keel, the K3, my personal favourite for solid drivey surfing. Built for surfers 90 kg and up, these are beautifully handcrafted right here in Bali. The K3 is similar to the Tru Ames Hobie Fish keel.

Base : 7"

Depth : 5.25"

Area : 25.5"

Suits surfers 90 - 110 kg

Futures K2

At just 22.5" in area, this fin is substantially smaller than any of the other fins and probably not really suitable in my twin keels for surfers over 70kg.

Futures Rasta

At 24.5" this fin is most suitable for surfers 85 kg or less. Note that it has an inside foil that produces extra drive which can prove tricky at times as my twin keels already have a lot of inbuilt drive.

Tru Ames Danny Hess Noriega

While the Tru Ames site says that it's area is 24.5", I measure it at 22", making it more suitable for surfers 85 kg or less. Note that smaller fins will allow the tail to bust out easier if that's your thing.

Futures Rob Machado

The new one from Rob Machado, with an area of 25.4", this is a nice mid sized fin that will suit a lot of surfers anywhere from 75 kg - 105 kg, depending on how you want your board to feel. It has the same area as the old K1 which was a very versatile fin and worked for a lot of different sized surfers.

Futures Al Merrick

This new one from Al Merrick, is a nice mid sized fin. Very similar in size to the Machado with an area of 25.45" but with an increased rake which will make it less pivotable less pivotal and produce more drive in longer turns than the Machado. This fin will suit a lot of surfers anywhere from 75 kg - 105 kg. It has the same area as the old K1 which was a very versatile fin and worked for a lot of different sized surfers.

Tru Ames Hobie Fish

The largest keel fin in this selection, at 26" in area, this fin more suited for larger surfers 90kg plus or surfers who are looking for extra drive. This is the fin I use and that I really like. I'm 105kgs.

Please Don't Use These!

This is your classic MR 70's style twin. My boards are not designed for these sort of fins and you'll be missing out on a lot of the performance potential of my twin keel designs if you use a fin like this. My boards are designed around the keel fin and really need the keels to complete the design.

The latest Hit the Roads are something else. The introduction of the FLV into the bottom contour about 18 months ago has proved to be a massive breakthrough. Not only does the FLV allow the boards to sit over on their rail so much easier than previous concave configurations, they are also much faster than a concave or a vee.

I've been hitting speeds on the latest version 7'3 that I've never hit before. And doing so, without even trying. I recall one surf on it late last year in pretty sizey, double to triple overhead waves. The board was high speed swooping and gliding effortlessly. All i had to do was point the board where I wanted to go and the board would do the rest, even if it was 20 or 30' down the line.

And turns were an absolute breeze. Even when I was absolutely flying, the board would respond easily, allowing me to do whatever I wanted to do. And even though the board was very responsive, it still felt very smooth and very stable under my feet, giving me fantastic control over whatever I wanted to do on the waves.

But this didn't happen overnight. It took a year of building version after version of my 7'3" to get it to this level of performance. Read the previous blog for more about that.

With my FLV 7'0" Hit the Road, I got super lucky. Straight off the bat, the very first one that I built was spot on. I've been surfing it for over a year now and still feel no need to improve it. Right from the very first wave, I could feel how the board just wanted to play. It was so much more responsive and alive than it's previous concave version, which up until the FLV version was by far the best 7'0" that I've ever ridden. But the new FLV version was light years ahead.

One of the things that I really love about the FLV's is how they allow subtle adjustments on the face, while still feeling smooth and stable under the feet. I had got so used to the stickiness of a concave bottom, that I had forgotten what it felt like to have a board that responded to subtle weight adjustments, and how much easier this made the board to ride.

Probably the biggest surprise with my 7'0" was how easy it is thru tight hooks under the lip. I can still remember the first hook under the lip with my 7'0". It happened so fast, I was almost not ready for it. No loss of speed thru the turn at all. If anything, it actually accelerated thru the turn.

Sorry if I'm raving a bit here, but my son Harley, who usually cops my raves, has told me that I need to share this with crew so that they can also enjoy the benefits of having boards that are so much faster and easier to ride.

Oh, I nearly forgot to mention the new improved paddle power.

Over the last 18 months I've been playing around with the volume in the last 18" of the nose of my boards. Originally I was doing so to improve the flow of the rail as it moved thru the nose. But what a difference it's made to catching waves. Once again, it was another big surprise for me. I remember during one of my first surfs on my FLV 7'0", of paddling for a wave and thinking that I had missed it, when much to my surprise, the board picked up momentum and launched me into the wave. I'd say that it's least a 20% improvement in wave catching. Which, when you consider that most waves we miss, we probably only needed another 5 - 10% paddle power, is a stack of extra paddle power.

Anyway, that's enough raving from me or now. I'm going to check the surf...


Like I've said before, getting it right is the never ending challenge of building surfboards. With so many factors, and the complexity of them interacting with each other, all having an effect on the final design of the board, it's an extremely complicated process that can take years to get right sometimes. Sometimes, I get really lucky and the very first build of a new idea is killer.

My 7'0" FLV Hit the Road is a great example of that. Built in April last year, it was the first 7'0" to get the FLV bottom contour and from the very first wave, the board felt fantastic, swooping and gliding all over the face so effortlessly. Towards the end of the surf, I pulled a hook under the lip that gave me the first glimpse of how much faster the FLV could be through critical turns. Since then I have surfed the board numerous times and still, a year later, I feel no need to change anything about it.

My 7'3" FLV Hit the Road was a slightly different journey. It was actually the very first board I had built with the FLV and the first surf was a desperate last minute session trying to get a couple of waves before dark to get a feel what the FLV was going to do. But my timing was off and I was missing every wave that came thru as the sun dropped below the horizon. Finally, right as it was getting too dark to see anything, I managed a last minute scramble into what looked like a decent wave. But as I leaned into my bottom turn and looked down the line, I could see it was a closeout. I almost screamed in frustration, as this was the very first FLV board and I really wanted to know what the FLV felt like. With every ounce of pent up frustration, I launched off the bottom and straight up onto the closing out face, regardless of the lip coming down the other way. The board responded by laying over on its rail and taking off with this smooth high speed acceleration. And it was was enough to let me know that I was onto something.

But unlike the FLV 7'0", and even though the FLV 7'3" was surfing so much better than previous versions concave versions, I could feel that it still wasn't exactly where I wanted it to be. It took about a year of building various versions, with each board a steady improvement over the previous one, before I got it to where I wanted it to be. Funny thing was, the final version actually ended up surprising me with a level of speed and response that was way beyond what I'd been chasing.

My 6'6" Indo Rocket however, was a whole different story. Some of the first attempts really did feel like I was going backwards. It took a whole year of building version after version before I felt like I was even starting to make any progress at all. Fortunately, I can be very stubborn at times. And so, through much perseverance and the building of many versions, I finally reached a point where the latest FLV versions were finally outperforming the previous concave versions. But boy, did it take some work!

And so, the ongoing journey of building surfboards continues. Taking an idea and trying to make it work. Sometimes it easy and then sometimes it's a hell of a lot of work....

But at the end of the day, it all adds up to one thing....

Constantly improving boards that make surfing, more exciting, more fun and ultimately... easier!

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