Since introducing the mini keels to my quad designs almost 4 years ago I have been developing new variations for different purposes. One thing that I did not expect however, was that many first time quad users have used the keel as a transition from thruster to quad to make the adjustment easier. I guess it is about that lost centre feeling. All these fins are solid glass but are still very light and fit into normal FCS plugs.
Large wave keel – Base = 4 7/8” Depth = 1 5/8”
This low profile keel is the first one I designed and is specifically for high speed traction without being too dominant. Understanding the pressures are more intense at high speed: deeper keels will over react.
Medium wave keel – Base = 5 1/8” Depth = 1 13/16”
This keel is a little deeper and longer than the large wave keel. For those who really like that centre feel in their quads and for smaller waves; this keel has proven on the money with most that have used it for either purpose.
The Rudder – Base = 5 1/8” Depth = 1 15/16”
This keel has been designed to give maximum traction further back behind the rear trailor quads. This will suit the guy who wants to add more rear pivot to his quad. Will also be a good trainer wheel for transitioning from thruster to quad.
The Nubster – Base = 4” Depth = 1”
The nubster has obviously been influenced by Kelly, so is a part of my range of keels. I have applied these ones to mainly fish boards that want bight but still shorter arcs; hence the shortest base and forgiving semicircular outline.
INTRODUCING THE MINI KEEL – 2009
Retailers have forced quad designs into five finners in order to make the quad a better seller. Personally I feel that they should be different shapes to accommodate either fin set up but Imust say lately I have seen some crew absolutely rip on a thruster converted quad or vice versa. As a result all my quads this year have become five finners and not entirely for the above reason, although you are welcome to try, but really more to facilitate – my “Mini Keels”.
Over time I worked on a way of giving quads a little more of a centre feeling. I incorporated tail vees of various depths and lengths to mimic a central point from which a board can be tilted from rail to rail with a little more control. In bigger waves I felt that even this feel needed to be a little more pronounced. The fear was if the fin was too deep the design would lock up with just too much grip as this does happen with quads at high speeds if the fins are too big, particularly in the rear.
There was nothing on the market to use so I designed my own and had them made in China out of solid fibreglass a few years back. I was amazed with the workmanship and with the intricate foils on something so miniature.
The first application of this idea was up the Mentawai out HT’s on a day I thought warranted a little more grip and speed off the bottom, and the bottom of that wave is so perfect you can really feel what is going on. From the first wave it was chalk and cheese ; there was no doubt that I could stab the tail and pivot more confidently when the pressure was really on ,and the extra squirt was also a huge bonus particularly in this wave as the surgeons table is never far away.
I really have not had any issues with quads in bigger waves except when I have used too bigger rear fins so if you keep your rear fin size down the mini keel will also help the purchase without overdoing it. I positioned this keel so it sits about another inch back from the trailing edge of the rear quad fins; this in effect gives the surfer a little more rear pivot control and extra drive.
I designed two of them with different depths; the thinking being shallower in bigger waves and the deeper in wider tails and in smaller waves.
Kelly introduced his version in New York and it is shorter and deeper than mine but it seemed to work well for him, perhaps one must keep in mind that he is riding very small boards so a deeper keel may still notlock up a board that would be that loose.
Still I am encouraged by his example to try a deeper shorter base sometime in the future, but I do know there will be a line drawn where there will be just too much fin going on. The mini keels are exclusive to my brand and will come with my five finners on request.