Not all windsurfing is done in perfect, deep-water conditions.
Here’s an overview of the types of fins available for those that have to deal with varying or limited depths - or the dreaded clumps of show-stopping weed
At the start of your windsurfing career you’ll probably be taught in shallow water, so, most windsurfing schools like to choose durable foils that can stand up to scrapes and knocks in the shallows.
These types of fin are also a sensible pick for beginners as they learn the basics.
Later, when you’re a top-level freestyler you’ll also want a short, stubby freestyle-fin for maximising the glassy surfaces found at the water’s edge where you’ll be aiming to slip and slide!
Similarly, wave sailors also benefit from sailing on shallower reefs when using multifin twin, thruster/tri, quad, trailer and 5-fin setups too.
Shallow water is important across all disciplines, particularly for intermediates learning to beach start.
Getting going quickly, as near to your launch spot as possible, means you can pass waves (or jump them sooner!), maximise gusts and sailing areas in locations with limited space or area - and generally have more fun.
WINDSURFING IN WEED – FINS FOR DEALING WITH THE EVIL GREEN
In both coastal and inland locations though there’s another enemy looking to kill your enjoyment – but fear not, there are weapons to slay the monster weed.
Typically, at weed-infested locations, performance is never going to be same as in clear-water conditions, so the object is to look for the ‘least worst’ solution.
The high amount of rake needed to slide past weed, results in the Centre of Lateral Resistance (CLR) - or focal pressure point in the fin - moving backwards, effectively making the sail’s Centre of Effort (COE) move forward, which makes it harder to get on the plane and to head upwind.
Also, fins with equal profile thickness, as a lot of heavily raked fins tend to have, lift less than foils in more traditional, upright positions.
The Lessacher Asymmetric design provides lift as well as still delivering a reasonable drag coefficient, which makes the AW fin come very close to a regular raked fin’s performance.
Post by Job Verbunt, Product Development