Yssssss, the new Dusty Payne fins from Kinetik Racing are just the coolest looking fins ever. When Carpark John first saw them all he could say (repeatedly) was "These are the siiiiiiiickest fins I've ever seen!"
No doubting they look as cool as polar bears, but fins are about function first - so how do these guys ride? Turns out they work as good as they look. Lekker.
I got them just before heading over to Indo for a month, so their first test run was in some super sucky rights. Sucky as in the bottom just fell away underneath you and if you blew the take-off (or any part of your ride actually) you were going to be paying reef tax. The extra stiffness created by the extended carbon base - which comes to about halfway up the leading edge of the fin - means plenty of hold in the wave face when you're flying along. Great for the bigger/hollower stuff when you want your fins to be as grippy as hell.
The Dusty's did equally as well on long whackable walls. Plenty of drive available from the carbotune set-up to get you around the sections. There's a good mix of hex material and fibreglass in the upper half of the fin body, with lots of glass on the trailing edge to add to the stiffness. Drive. Lots of it.
They have a decent rake - which is the amount of the fin outline that is curved backwards. Basically the angle created between the back of the fin base and the offset of the tip of the fin. Fin rake is one of the aspects affecting the turning ability of the board. More rake means nicer, more drawn out turns. Less rake equals snappy, more pivoty turns. This slightly bigger rake angle is also what helps to add additional drive to the Dusty fin set.
The foil looks like a pretty traditional flat foil set-up to me. Again, good for the more hollow or bigger stuff. Less foil helps control speed. More foil generates it.
So taking into account all the afore-mentioned components, what you have is a really good all-round fin that is going to thrive in hollower/bigger surf, giving you lotsa drive, and plenty of stability and control. The Dusty's are a set you could leave in your board and know they're going to work in pretty much everything you surf, and shine when the surf is pumping.
And of course they look frigging rad....
So should you grab a pair of Dusty Payne Kinetik Racing fins?
Yah, I reckon. Specially if you're someone who surfs the Wildside, JBay or Seals regularly - which is when you're wanting a fin set-up that has plenty of grip and drive.
PS...what's surprising is how much fun they were in absolutely crap conditions too. Had gone out for a paddle at basically flat Millers just to get a few GoPro shots of them cos conditions were beaut (weather that is, not surf), and managed to hook some unexpected turns on the odd 6-incher that came through thanks to being able to get some oomph outta the fins. Definitely the most drivey fin set of all my boards right now.
Available for both FCS and Future fin plug systems.
Got a new board. Which means gotto buy some fins. Bumped into Vaughan Jones in the Pipe carpark and was checking out his new Koeksister, and he was raving about how well the Kinetic Racing Fins were working on it. Got me thinking - haven't tried any Kinetiks before, so why not.
Turns out it was a fine decision. Cos these fins rock!
Bought two different sets to try out on the Greg Smith Gobbler (as it's a 5 fin set-up). Got the X-2's and the Bruce Iron's Quads.
A quick head's up on the test vehicle: The Gobbler is a 5ft6 mini-simmons design, that's 20 inches wide by 2.5 inches thick, with a full nose and a big fat-ass square tail. A cruisey board made to catch lotsa waves, devour the chop and make all the crumbly sections. Got it to take the place of my 7ft mini-mal which I used on the marginal/onshore/ lumpy/ pap/ crowded days.
Bruce Iron's Quads
Flip, these fins are kiff. Dig em cos they're smaller than the normal quads sets. So suited to smaller to medium surfers (rated for 55-75kg's).
Nice and stiff in the base cos of the carbon, with some flex in the tip. Really straight up rake. Rake not being the thing you use in the garden, but a term applied to the angle of the fin. The rake measures how far back the fin curves in relation to its base. The more upright the fin - the more pivoty it is - in other words it turns easier.
What's cool about these fins is that the stiff base gives them plenty of drive, but the small rake means they still turn super easy. And man, do these things FLY!
Greg Smith had a few rides on the Gobbler with this set-up in and was just loving them. He's sold on the quad fin set-up for the board cos just soooooo much more drive than the keels, and that extra stability so you don't slip slide all over the face.
Would I recommend these fins? Damn right. I'm gonna go buy another pair for my normal 5ft4 shortboard too!
This is a twinnie set-up that comes with the option of a small stabilizing fin. Stick the lil fin in if you don't wanna feel too skatey, or leave it out if you're looking for that super loose twin fin feel. The side fins are a bit bigger than your normal thruster side fins - slightly wider in the base and a coupla mil's higher too.
The trailer fin is quite a bit smaller than a normal fin, and has the front tab set right at the front of the fin, meaning the fin itself sits a bit further back in the board than a normal fin.
These guys are designed for small wave fun. Think chest high and smaller - with the trailer fin they're cruisey through the turns, and whipping the trailer out gives you the full-on skatepark feel. They also work well in choppy or onshore conditions, the extra height gives you that added bit of hold through the bumps.
I loved them in small NW choppy conditions, but when the waves got better I preferred the Bruce Irons quad set-up for sure.
But definitely a fun fin set to have in your arsenal for the marginal or small days.
What's cool about the Kinetiks is that they come in both FCS and Future Fin options. So yah - something to think about when you get your next board. Cos let's be honest - it is kinda counter-productive to spend good bucks on a custom board, and then go whack in some cheap and nasty fins. Don't skimp on the fins peeps, they do make a surprising difference.
What's Gear Guide?
I hate shopping, but I LOVE buying surf stuff. So I'll be posting reviews of whatever new kit I lay my hands on. No sales talk fluff, just telling it like it is. If it rocks I'll say so. If it sucks I'll say so. Simple.