Paul Gross on 4a’s ([email protected])

Budthedog

Active Member
Dec 22, 2020
112
134
California
Found this on an old swaylocks thread. Seeing that 4a is the widely accepted starting point for fin exploration, what are people’s thoughts? Has construction changed?

Q: Paul, whats the difference between the Greenough 4A, 4C and P.G. Flex tip fins?

Paul: The Greenough 4A was a curve I took off an old Wilderness which was owned by Ray Maloney. I sent it to True Aimes, and had them make some 1/2" thick fins from that Wilderness curve. They were very powerful and manuevered well for their size. The stock True Aims version they now sell is made from cheaper 3/8" panels, so they are too thin to be effective. The 4A has to be made out of 1/2" to 5/8" thick panels to work with that large of a base. The stock Aimes Greenough 4A is not worth anyone's money or effort. The Greenough 4C is a curve I developed over 3 years in the mid-90's. It was intended to be a servicable larger fin when made out of a 3/8" thick panel, which is why there is a small base. It is modified from on a larger based fin I designed from scratch in the early 90's that worked best with 1/2" thickness. I don't know why they use George's name on this curve, other than to generate more enthusiasm. The PG Flex tip is a basic flex fin curve, like those developed by Frye and Liddle. Nothing special, but it works well for it's intended purpose, which is to drive thin, roundtail hulls. Best in small point surf. How they differ depends on personal preferance and usage...but, as I said, stay clear of the stock 4A. It's crap-o-la.

(link for the curious - some other great stuff in the thread and it’s fairly short. https://www.swaylocks.com/groups/ta-liddlegreenoughnorm-flex-fins)
 

Proper_Mode

Well-Known Member
Jan 8, 2016
929
514
USA California
The 4A never worked for me in mid or longboards. you can find my broken record posts about recommending 4C in various boards.

When I swapped in the 4C into the magic sam, and other noserider and gliders - they seemed to come alive and turning just felt natural. The 4A always get lagging and washed out by comparison. It was counterintuitive for me because I tend to prefer larger fins but going big didn’t seem necessary with the 4C.

But I guess I need to get my hands on a properly executed 4A and retest?
 
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Chilly Willy

Well-Known Member
Feb 15, 2004
2,321
2,267
USA New Jersey
Pretty interesting. I must have swapped 4A and 4C in my head when I was reading this same thread a while back because I thought he made those comments about the 4C. Guess not! I always thought the 4A was great. I'll guess I'll have to start enjoying those boards a little bit less then. :p
 

nedsurf

Well-Known Member
Jan 22, 2005
3,121
1,243
So has anything changed in production in the past 18 years? Paul is pretty knowledgeable. And apparently there are no thicker 1/2"-5/8" stock fins available for comparison, so maybe there is a positive difference when the two are compared? Maybe we don't know what we are missing?
 

floated

Active Member
May 17, 2019
103
81
Santa Barbara
Also, that was also 18 years ago?

The stock Greenough fins are crap, they made in China out of cheap fiberglass panels and aren't even foiled. The volan fins were the only foiled fins TA made traditionally.
You’re correct about them being cheap and made in China, but they are foiled, albeit not very well.

TA makes their volan fins in house, they might tell you how thick the panel they use is, they might not. It doesn’t matter it’s the thickness of the panel or how they’re made, if it feels good it feels good.

Just because Paul Gross stated these things 20 years ago doesn’t mean they’re true. Greenough still has input regarding his fins over at TA, they’ve got all the numbers down by now I’m sure.

Paul might be extremely knowledgeable but that doesn’t mean we all don’t feel different things under our feet.
 

Budthedog

Active Member
Dec 22, 2020
112
134
California
You’re correct about them being cheap and made in China, but they are foiled, albeit not very well.

TA makes their volan fins in house, they might tell you how thick the panel they use is, they might not. It doesn’t matter it’s the thickness of the panel or how they’re made, if it feels good it feels good.

Just because Paul Gross stated these things 20 years ago doesn’t mean they’re true. Greenough still has input regarding his fins over at TA, they’ve got all the numbers down by now I’m sure.

Paul might be extremely knowledgeable but that doesn’t mean we all don’t feel different things under our feet.
If you want to ride around on literal trash and call it surfing be my guest! (Just kidding)

I don’t know if the comment being made 20 years ago is that relevant unless there’s some reason to believe they’ve actually changed things. Hopefully they do have the numbers down by now but if it’s made in China and selling like crazy, not sure what incentive they’d have to changing things.
 

miscreant

Well-Known Member
May 20, 2016
2,529
1,228
I agree with Floated's perspective.

Paul's usage of words and phrases like "effective", "work" and "worth anyone's money or effort" must be heard as subjective.

There is so much that contribute to the functionality of a board. We all determine what feels like the feeling we want from a board. Some of us might need the 4A to yield the feeling we want from our particular board, for our particular approach to surfing , at our particular spot, on that particular day, on that particular wave.
 




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