I have been thinking about taking the side fins off of my Takayama long board for quite some time, but I never really got around to do it. You know, when you get to the beach, the waves are looking good, the only thing in my mind is to get in the water as soon as possible. I often neglect supplying additional coat of wax too.
Also, why long boarding now?
First I admit that there still is some part of me thinking "long board = old surfers." But that idea is crumbling quickly. One thing is that I can ride short boards with some degree of satisfaction these days and another is that I have been watching some classic long board movies and also new people too on Longboard TV on satellite, and I thought that I really should master long boarding too. Some people are really elegant on the board stepping back and forth, and some younger surfers are also doing some really cool moves on it too.
Also whenever I ride long boards, it also teaches me about short boarding too or vise versa. Since I am not a professional surfer, I should be able to enjoy both and I am lucky that I can actually starting to enjoy both. Plus some places are naturally great for long boarding like Santa Cruz and Ventura breaks, or in the winter when the breaks get bigger and starting to break big from way-way outside!
So back to the fins finally this Monday, I took the side fins out of the DT4, and based on what I am experiencing so far, I probably don't need them again on this board.
I only have been out twice without the side fins, so this is something I will be reporting more as I take out this board a lot more. But, for example, I really had this really gradual but smooth and sweet setup to get into the first turn after the take off. Turns are seemingly becoming more "sweeping" instead of needing to "whack the tail, and push the rail and jet the board out" type turns that works with thruster short boards. The turns seem to come more by changing the left-right balance. At least that is my initial impression. I can be totally wrong. From this stand-point, this really is totally a different kind of experience.
If you have a tri-fin setup on your long boards, I really encourage you to try without the side-fins. Whatever it is, the quality of ride changes very significantly that I feel like I got totally different kind of a board.
Also, this week, I was able to step to about 10 inches from the nose, stood there and kept going. I think I will gradually close that gap so I will be standing right at the nose. It will be fun.