by Chris Anders, Contributing Writer
The Need for Speed
Many of you have entered the racing scene in the SUP world and in doing so you have been trying different types of boards. One of the more common characteristics of the SUP race board is that riders look for a narrow board. The idea is that if you have a narrow board then you will be faster. However, the more narrow the board the less stable it becomes. If you are fighting side chop or any chop for that matter then you will be trying to balance yourself and in turn you will slow down. So how do you add stability without decreasing your speed? Well one guy that has changed the way racers think and ride is Larry Allison. Larry Allison has been in the forefront of developing SUP fins for quite a while and has developed a fin system that allows racers to have a narrow board without losing speed and adding stability. When you gain stability you will be able to ride faster. Now that I got that out of the way, here is how it works.
We are used to the single fin on a race board and we tend to sway away from the multi-fin setup for racing because it creates too much drag. Larry Allison has developed the ProBox system which is a multiple fin system with a lower profile but raked back. You can use a twin fin setup or a triple fin with a Ventral fin. The Ventral fin is mounted about the center of the board. Now many people don’t care for the Ventral fin because of the look or they feel it is difficult to stack multiple boards for transportation. However, the Ventral fin snaps in and out easily. The ventral fin is important when using the lower stretched out fins because it adds in stability for side chop, downwinding or any chop for that matter, plus it gives you better tracking. The only thing you have to be aware of when running the Ventral fin is that you will have to get the board up a little higher when making pivot turns. Also, when using the Probox system many riders feel it is harder to draft behind you because the release of water is not smooth, it is more like boiling water and makes it hard for the riders to draft. Although the multi-fin setup has been around for many years, you will still need to experiment with your board to see which fin setup works for you. One thing is sure about the Larry Allison Probox system is that it adds stability on very narrow boards which equates to speed. Check them out www.AllisonSupRaceFins.com
Chris Anders, CEgO
Palm Beach Boat Club and Paddleboard Shop
255 E. 22nd Ct. Rivera Beach • 561.840.1901