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24 August, 2014

Single, Twin or Thruster?

The Four Seasons Surfing Champions Trophy recently went down in perfect-peeling, overhead rights at Sultans Reef, Maldives. The six, invited, former world champs (a mix of ASP, ISA, Longboard and Junior world champs) competed on separate days riding single fins, twin fins and then the modern day thruster.

With a consistent wave shape for every day of the event, spectators were granted a unique opportunity to observe the differences in board performance as the same surfers rode the varied fin configurations. The fact that all surfers  were front-side made the comparisons even more striking.

If you haven’t seen the videos, they’re worth a look. Single, twin and thruster highlights can all be viewed on the same page:

For less experienced surfers, the differences in fin set-ups can be a little confusing. So after quizzing the pros, here’s my most succinct summary:-

Single Fins – Faster due to less drag. Back foot power. Longer, more draw-out turns. More flow.

Twin Fins – Fast and loose.

Thrusters – An excellent combination of precision and power.

Despite not having ridden a thruster in years, Dave ‘Rasta’ Rastovich managed to prove his mastery of all three craft to take out the event. His surfing was sublime – show-casing an ability to go critical whilst still maintaining a relaxed composure and flair.

We can’t all surf like Rasta but we can be inspired by his passion for diversity. So take the opportunity to experiment with different fin set-ups. Single, twin, thruster are just the start. Hawaiian back-foot, powerhouse Sunny Garcia loves his single fin. Whereas Brazilian legend Fabio Gouveia told me his all-time favorite set-up is a quad with a tiny FCS Knubster trailing at the back. It’s fun trying different fins. Just don’t expect them to all feel the same.

That’s the whole point of the exercise right?


The legend himself, Dave Rastovich making it look easy on his Joel Fitzgerald single fin.

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