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Wakesurfing - Adjustable Fins


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For my latest project I ordered a high end fin set up - called 4 Way Fin System or 4WFS for short -- website www.4wfs.com -- they are not readily available in the US due to a lousy distributor - but I was able to connect with their main office in Australia and they hooked me up. Well, I shouldn't say hooked me up as these fins don't come cheap (especially factoring shipping from OZ), but they were more than happy to help me get what I needed.

The fin system allows the rider to adjust the fins by

1. moving them forward or backward about 1/2 inch

2. twisting the fins towards or away from the nose (toe-in or splay)

3. adjusting the cant (or lean) by removing the finbox inserts and replacing them with ones that have different cant presets

4. this one shouldn't really count - but "removing and replacing" the fins

for me, i was most interested in discovering and testing adjustments in toe-in and this is the only system that allows the toe-in adjustment

all the materials -- two fiberglass fins (white and red) two composite fins.

the blue fin boxes are at 0 degree cant (lean) and the yellows are at 4 degrees lean


checking out the proposed placement


measuring the alignment for the jigs


the foam jigs have PSA backing so it is best to trace them to make sure that you put them in the right place when sticking them on


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jigs in place


cutting into the foam and glass -- regardless of how many times i do - it always makes me cringe just a bit -- in this case i used a hole saw that i taped off to ensure the right depth


popping out the glass


routering the rest of the foam out


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checking fit


the manufacturer recommends removing a thin layer of foam underneath the glass around the edge of the fin boxes so that the resin can seep in an create a stronger bond


everything ready to go --

round patches of fiberglass to go in the holes

foam jigs in place to help catch the excess resin

now just mix up some resin and pour in and put the fin boxes in


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boxes in and check the level


now - it was going to cost about $100 for the "official 4wfs weights" to be mailed from OZ -- so I decided to improvise -- this is to make sure the boxes set level and don't come up when the resin is gelling... ummm ummm good!!!


a few hours later -- peeling away the foam jigs


ready for sanding / grinding down the resin dam/edges that stick out...


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sander ready with 40grit


almost ground down.... at this point i switch the pad to 80 grit -- i promise it will look better later


almost ready -- just making sure the boxes fit


i decided to go with the 4degree boxes on the front


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locked and loaded

(i was too anxious to fine sand, buff and polish at this point to make everything all pretty -- just wanted to get it on the water)


if you look closely you can see that I angled the front fin in towards the nose slightly -- that is the beauty of these things - you can adjust it on the fly


"toe in" options


ready to roll -- unfortunately the wife didn't get any shots of me riding :Doh: but how can I blame her. we had our 2yr old and 6mo old on the boat as her only passengers. we'll have to get some later this weekend


it was all new for me -- new shape "the wombat" and new fin system.

overall - i really liked how they rode. with the quads it was very fast down the line, but harder to bust loose for lipslides/ tailslides. i took out the back fins and was able to break it loose well on the lip and even get the fins out of the water a bit...

i adjusted the toe-in on the water and brought the fins more parallel to the stringer instead of pointing towards the nose. for the few short runs I had, i seemed to like it better with the them straight on... but i need to play on it more and also try moving the fins forward and back.

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Beautiful Smed. Keep 'em coming.

That new form looks solid. Playing with the angles like that will help you set them perfect for retail. Keep tweeking it. That's sweet.

BTW - where'd you get that HUGE SL flag? :)

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GREAT job! Those finboxes look really cool. Too bad their distributor is lousy. Have you thought about being a distributor too? Could be a good opportunity ...

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What you think is an SL Flag is actually the strap for the straight line, illusion in the pic i think?

Smed, I would like to ride that board at the Free Ride in May!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

thanks everyone

i cannot tell you how happy I am with this board. super fun!

just got some new fins in for the boxes from the manufacturer in Australia - they are "bonzer" fins -- about 3 inches at base, with 2 inches tall.

i put them on the back of the quad set up and dang this thing came alive!


here's a little vid of my wife's first ride with the new fin set up


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What brand board and size is it?



Its a Smedman special Thumbup.gif not sure on the size. He has been making all kinds of boards by hand for over a yr (I think) and you can pull up picks of the other board with a quick search. Now I'm just waiting to see when he's going to start selling them to the public Yahoo.gif

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What brand board and size is it?



If you click on the website in Smedman's signature, I bet you'll find out what brand of board it is ... Thumbup.gif

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