Tilting single fin

Chilly Willy

Well-Known Member
Feb 15, 2004
2,321
2,267
USA New Jersey
Soooo, how noticeable is it when a single fin tilts slightly to one side? My Yater Spoon has been sitting unridden for quite some time -- partially because of a crack that needed to be repaired, and partially because of too many other boards. Anyway, I finally repaired the crack and popped in the big Yater Spoon fin and noticed that it was tilting slightly to one side. I know that I can sand it or shim it to correct the tilt, and I also know that Joel Tudor will feel things differently than Flailing Freddy down the street. And it's also a pretty big fin, so maybe the effects of tilt would be amplified. But I thought I'd poll the crowd -- how much of a difference has something like this made in your experience?
 

shadydave

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2014
2,232
2,133
Ayer Ma USA
My main concern would be why is the fin tilting. In regards to your question I imagine it would depend on if your going front side or back side. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: DJR

Niau

Active Member
Dec 18, 2020
146
209
Necarney City
Soooo, how noticeable is it when a single fin tilts slightly to one side? My Yater Spoon has been sitting unridden for quite some time -- partially because of a crack that needed to be repaired, and partially because of too many other boards. Anyway, I finally repaired the crack and popped in the big Yater Spoon fin and noticed that it was tilting slightly to one side. I know that I can sand it or shim it to correct the tilt, and I also know that Joel Tudor will feel things differently than Flailing Freddy down the street. And it's also a pretty big fin, so maybe the effects of tilt would be amplified. But I thought I'd poll the crowd -- how much of a difference has something like this made in your experience?
Are you sure you'll be able to shim and straighten? Maybe the board is twisting, it's known to happen. Don Hansen replaced a board I bought new, no questions asked, in '69 or '70 when I brought it back and showed him a tilted, removable, fin. There was even a ding, 'patched' with that colorful waterproof tape popular at the time. That board did seem to snap off the bottom when surfing frontside compared to backside, but who knows if it was the fin causing that.
 

Chilly Willy

Well-Known Member
Feb 15, 2004
2,321
2,267
USA New Jersey
Are you sure you'll be able to shim and straighten?

Nope! The only thing I’m sure about is that I’m rarely 100% sure about anything related to surfboard repair. A twist certainly could be the case but I’ll have to do some more research, try some other fin/board combinations to be sure.

@shadydave Ha ha, I thought that too. Maybe it will be the elusive board that makes me enjoy backside more than frontside. It tilts ever so slightly to my heel side, so maybe it’ll grab water differently.

Meh, I’ll just go surf the thing and see for myself.
 

Sax-son

Well-Known Member
Nov 23, 2019
620
602
Three Rivers, CA
My thoughts! If the board was twisted, you could tell that immediately without a fin in it. If it's the fin box, see if there is play from side to side, that can be shimmed easily. If the fin box was cracked like you say, if not replaced, water exposure to the foam underneath could deteriorate to a point where the whole box could be out of alignment. If you have the vintage style Yater spoon fin, it definitely has some mass, but I have that fin in a few different boards without any problems. Hopefully shimming can resolve your problem, but if not, try a different fin to see what happens. That could tell the story right there.

I had a Dewey Weber with the hatchet fin and torque from the mass on that fin tore the whole box out of the bottom of the board during a hard bottom turn. The Yater fin is nowhere near that.
 

Chilly Willy

Well-Known Member
Feb 15, 2004
2,321
2,267
USA New Jersey
@Ricksurfin -- Awesome idea. I'll give that a shot tomorrow. I kind of thought the fin almost looked like the flat top of the tab wasn't entirely perpendicular to the trailing edge of the fin, but I could be completely wrong. Might have also been that I was looking at it too long and started seeing things.

@SeniorGrom -- Yep! I'll grab one tomorrow.
 

Chilly Willy

Well-Known Member
Feb 15, 2004
2,321
2,267
USA New Jersey
Okay, here’s what I’m seeing. I put in a dummy fin and the box looked pretty straight. Acknowledging that the ridge of tape makes for an imperfect measurement, but generally looks good to my eye.

CCA47671-CFFE-49CD-837C-9DFDA8C2D25A.jpeg

014163B4-9676-4061-B0BB-38380701AD3E.jpeg


Next up is the Yater fin, forwards. Looks like ~1-2 degrees of tilt. Acknowledging that the fin foil might interfere with a real accurate measurement but it does confirm some amount of tilt I’m seeing. Measuring on the Yater T for ballpark comparison.

A9B10A45-B5A9-4756-9FF6-23A2B7522BF8.jpeg

6FBE36A4-4390-4A9C-B950-54FC14CB53AA.jpeg


Last up is the Yater fin backwards. It kind of straightens out a bit, though I couldn’t get the fin completely in the box because I’m too lazy to fish the leash string out of there. The fin occupies the entire box. Maybe I can see whether the front or back of the fin is the culprit by inserting each side in there. Measurement seems better, acknowledging again that the T might be in a different location, fin foil, yada yada.

E4A0F1AB-A903-4AA4-B8D0-4A17816ED656.jpeg


A989B1E1-4010-402D-BFE6-169D28AC8D53.jpeg


I’m thinking the fin is the culprit, yeah? The board doesn’t look twisted at all.
 

Chilly Willy

Well-Known Member
Feb 15, 2004
2,321
2,267
USA New Jersey
It should be noted that it seems like a massive fin (9.75”) for a 9’4” with a pretty narrow tail, so I may totally hate it even if it were perfectly straight. I’ll still give it a go for fun and for the sake of research.
 




Top