Hey everyone, I’m looking for some insight on fins.
I ordered a 14’ board a few weeks ago and just got the call yesterday that it is all finished. It should be shipped up in the next day or two so now I am trying to find the right fin for a 14’ board. I currently have the SUP Gladiator Elite Racer fin on my 12.6 404 which I have loved. I have tried the Larry Alison Ninja fin but the Elite Racer seemed to track incredibly well so that’s what I’ve stuck with.
I see a lot of people using the SUP gladiator fins but I can’t tell which model exactly. I know there is the Hybrid and the Pro Model which are both smaller than the Elite Racer. I figure with a 14’ board I will track better so I might not need the biggest fin which will just slow me down with drag but at the same time find something that is maneuverable also.
At any rate, just seeing if anyone has insight with these three Gladiator fins or if there is something else I should be looking into for a 14’ flat-water board? Thanks everyone!
Hey! Awesome welcome to the 14′ club! My suggestion is if you can find a shop that has some different fins and try em out. Or just borrow some peoples around here. See which fin works best for you. The Gladiator fin is a good fin, but for me it’s one of my least favs. The reason being it tracked too well. So going in and out of tight corners was next to impossible on a 14. But I haven’t tried it on a 12’6. If it were me I’d go a little smaller in the fin. The one I use now is the “Weed” by FCS. It’s super loose on turns, and tracks really well. It’s not nearly as big as the gladiator. Try as many fins as you can and find something that you like. You’re more than welcome to throw on a couple of mine if you want…
If you are going to a lot of short races with buoy turns, go with a smaller fin. If you are into long races with no turns, a bigger fin like the Gladiators work really well. I have one of the large Gladiator fins and it tracks amazing well but turns terribly. Also – if you are in a lot of cross chop, the large fins can be a hand full. As Renick indicated – if you can try some fins out, that would be good.
14′ raceboard just in time for summer STOKED!
I have tried both Gladiator fins on a Bark Dominator (when I owned one) and I liked them both, they tracked well but in some cases too well. I found myself getting quite a few strokes on one side which is what I thought I wanted. Personally the only drawbacks I have seen with both was the pain in my shoulders from not being able to switch when I felt pain. Depending on the type of racing you do or want to do may also be a determining factor. Races with lots of buoy turns you most likely wouldn’t want the original, the hybrid does OK. The other thing I have found its that there is soo much mass or fin in the water it felt like it was slowing me down. Some of my buddies felt the same.
Before I sold my Bark I went back to the original fin that came with it and loved it. Go figure
Short answer experiment with the fin that came with the board and ask a shop to see if they have any demos you can test.
Hope that helps!
Hi my friend this is Larry Allison. In reading your questions, the Ninja is the fin I would change to in Glassy to moderate conditions. The Flex Structure and make up properties of the Ninja in Fiber Glass has the feel of a 8″ fin and the tracking and hold of larger fin , which is a very different feel of the Honey Cone over priced Molded fins. When you start to loose stroke count and your boards starts to Yaw more then it’s time to switch back to the Gladiator to balance out to Mother Nature’s push. Thank you for your support, Enjoy the Ride! Mahalo,Larry
Let me know anytime you might like to demo some Larry Allison fins – I am more than happy to help out!!
I have all 3 sizes of Gladiators: Elite, Hybrid, and Pro
Ninja, stealth mini, Paddlecore fitness, Thresher, or even better – get a twin fin system that Sean can install for you so you have the projection, man-ooo-vrah-bility, without any loss of stability… I have a Starboard Coast runner for you to try out with this system – although heavy for a board, it should give you an idea of how this particular fin system feels.
As Joel said there are some new options out from Larry Allison in the twin fin and twin keels. I have all the new twin keel fins (3 different sizes) and all sizes of ventral fins for the twin fin setup showing up this week. I have my 14′ setup for it your more than welcome to come down and try them out. I am in Olympia.
I have the twinnys set up on my 12’6″ along with a regular 10″ box that you are welcome to try out, and will have the same set on my 14′ board soon. I am out in Issaquah, and am always down for a “board meeting”!
I use the Gladiator Hybrid, which is the slightly smaller of the two. The way i tell the difference is the Elite has a hold in the fiber glass, near the board. I think almost everyone here in the PNW uses the Hybrid if they have a “Gladiator” I too am looking at something else, just because so I am curious what you choose!