D fins and Oinkers

Discussion in 'Surfing' started by Flaco, Apr 11, 2010.

  1. Flaco

    Flaco New Member

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    Oct 10, 2009
    With all the recent interest in pig boards and D fins, thanks (or no thanks) to guys like Thomas Campbell and Gnar Gnar, I decided to pull an old piece of well-used bacon out of the rafters and give it a whirl. Not a true oinker, it was a little too slim in the hams, but had the D fin way back on the tail, belly, and is heavy. It is a mid 60's Harbour to be more precise.

    Reflection: So the idea with the original pig, as I understand it, was to lighten up the front end and make the pivot point farther back, thus making the board easier to turn and such. Problem was, those darned D fins of old are kind more for holding the board on a line than in aiding in directional changes. Like you need to be right on the tail really put your weight into it.

    Greenough (I think) and others started to make fins with smaller bases, and sleeker templates that made turning A LOT easier in the mid 60's.

    Discussion: Since we have way "better" fins than the old, beastly D fins, why are dudes putting them on these updated "pig" shapes, unless they are trying to purely make them authentic remakes? Wouldn't a board that was porky in template with a more "modern" fin be a lot more versatile and easier to surf? Anyone have a board like that? Just curious....
     
  2. shapewright

    shapewright Active Member

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    Aug 6, 2006
    USA California
    The one point that is being missed is, the boards of the 60's weighed 30 lbs. and upwards, the rockers were so flat that any rail surfing was limited to the very best who grew up on Pigs.
    The rails were the famous, "turn and burn 'em", grind out as many shapes in a day as possible, not much in the way of real thought and design.
    I go out on my board and ignore what the shape is, I try to ride it in a modern fashion, actual cutbacks, floaters.
    Hold the fins off the very end of the tail, rather than extending inches behind the board, it only makes the board ride longer than it is.
    I am not "cloning" pigs, but modernizing them by bring them into the 21st century, otherwise, ride that brown, waterlogged, pop out of a custom from a bygone era.
     
  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Flaco wrote:
    Matt Clavani answered this question in a soon to be released article I wrote for SLIDE magazine concerning pig boards: "The pig worked because of the fin. If you stick a big ass fin on a board and you don't move the wide point back you can't turn. With a big fin you need more distance between the base of the fin and the rail of the board. That way when you go to turn it you don't have as much resistance. If you put a big fin on a narrow tail, you are not going to turn. They kind of knew this. I think the key is, they really kind of built the pig around the fin. They couldn't conceive of any other shape of a fin. They were just like...this is the fin, this is how we make them. "
     
  4. opalcliffs

    opalcliffs New Member

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    Aug 5, 2007
    Shapewright,

    Thank you for that reply. Personally, I am an advocate of "surfing the rail" of a board. One of my past shaper's told me that if you are not surfing the rail, you are not really surfing a board. I am not sure that I am in total agreement with him on that, but, in my humble opinion, many of those who currently ride longboards have transformed riding the rail of a longboard into a lost art.

    Do not see many "D" fins here. Perhaps they have not been resurrected here, or? Shapewright, any input on the lack of "D" fin boards in Hawaii?
     
  5. tentoesed

    tentoesed New Member

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    Oct 7, 2004
    opalcliffs wrote:
    Thomas Campbell, Nesh, Monica Rose, among the most notables that spring to mind, and an occasional GP board now and then. There's a little contingency.
     
  6. opalcliffs

    opalcliffs New Member

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    Aug 5, 2007
    Ed,

    I must not be hitting the right spots to see them in the water. Perhaps, I should ride in Town more often:D
     
  7. log donkey

    log donkey Member

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    Sep 8, 2004
    USA California
    gnar gnar wrote:
    actually i think Jim just answered it in his reply above

    I am not "cloning" pigs, but modernizing them by bring(ing) them into the 21st century, otherwise, ride that brown, waterlogged, pop out of a custom from a bygone era.

    well said
    i have a 'pig' from Jim and it's one of the smoothest boards i've ever ridden,... Jim has tinkered with a basic design and made it far better, smoother, 'funner' than most will admit to understanding

    modernizing is a good word,.. even if i'm way too young to understand the original
     
  8. gene

    gene Member

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    Oct 1, 2004
    The way I see it is if your going to go with the big fin then stick it right on the tail and put plenty of curve in the back 3rd of the board. Otherwise it stiffens up and tracks because your trying to push rail around that's behind the the fin. Also I think that if the foam is too buoyant then you have a board that just wants to flop around.

    If you want to turn off the rail then go more 67-68 style with a smaller high aspect fin that's moved fwd 6"-8"-10" (depending on the length of the board),thin the rails out, and go lighter.

    An early style pig requires a specific approach. If you enjoy the feeling that it gives you then ride that. If not then there's plenty of other surfboard designs that you can choose from to ride.

    Personally I feel that Velzy was a very thoughtful surfboard designer by the mid 50s. I think that the design that he came up with was a complete package. I'm a fan of the orig mid 50's design. Fun.

    I see a lot of updated versions and if that what works for you then there's no reason for debate because (once again) your having fun. All of these approaches have merit.
     
  9. Flaco

    Flaco New Member

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    Oct 10, 2009
    Wow! Great info guys.

    I like what Gene said about taking the pig/D fin combo "as is" and enjoying it on its own merits. Sounds like others have done a little tinkering with historical context intact. It seems that the Alex Knost boards are somewhat "pigish" with pivot fins right on the tail, and his surfing is grade A on those boards in the small stuff. Have others found the basic template to work with other fin modifications? I'm not talking about anything too radical, just something a little more "modern," say like a Yater spoon fin or hatchet with a trad pig style board?

    I have a friend with a early 90's Velzy that is wide in the rear and narrower in the nose, very heavy V bottom, and he has run things from Wingnut cutaways to Farberow Flex. Better on some than others,... but the V is so heavy that it is hard to say what the board truly is. Basically a pig in template
     
  10. tentoesed

    tentoesed New Member

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    Oct 7, 2004
    gene wrote:
    All very intriguing and with good thoughts. For me personally, I feel there is much yet to be explored in the realm that has captured my imagination the most, which is that place Bob Purvey romanticized about, just outside the '66 Morey-Pope noseriding invitational:

    "It's a shame that longboarding went out then, because we were just starting to explore the realm of functional nose surfing, where you're actually riding, turning and cutting back, all while on the nose. The limits of top performance were expanding and then suddenly it was all gone."

    Maybe I haven't allowed myself enough of the older/newer parallels of different approaches to the wave by various throwbacks such as pigs, hulls, alaias, etc., or maybe I'm just feeling constrained by the limits of my own declining physicality defined by time and age, but it seems to me at this point in my surfing that the modernized board evolving from Bob Purvey's perspective of time is still too vital to ignore. I don't really get the "Pig" fascination notwithstanding all of the attention cast by the likes of the Alex Knosts, et al. despite their "modernized" renditions.

    I must admit when I rode a couple of boards owned and/or previously owned by Thomas Campbell, (Dano's, and Michel's models) I found them to be amazingly easier to turn and nose-ride better than anything I had preconceived them to be, yet still too limiting for what I think is possible for the furthering of that '66 paradigm. Well, I guess this is why some of us do and some of us don't. It's really what you stated Gene, "if that works for you then there's no reason for debate because (once again) you're having fun."
     

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