The True Ames 404 O’Fish’l fin is a pretty good fin. The first thing I noticed is you get to choose from a wide array of cool colors when ordering this fin. Being able to add a little bit of custom choice is always a good thing. The next thing I noticed was how light it was. It really was one of the lightest fins I have held for SUP. The honeycomb construction really did away with a lot of weight found in other fins that are sold.
The afternoon I got it, I threw it in the bottom of my board and took it for a test drive. The fin performs pretty well, but does have some minor problems. First it tracks great at lower speeds, but if you’re sprinting fast for any kind of landmark in the distance, be ready to course check a lot. It wasn’t too bad, but didn’t allow me to put my head down, focus on stroke, and zone out to rhythm.
The next thing was it tended to snag some seaweed a little easier than other fins. It shed whatever it ran into fairly easily, but only after about 50 yards or so. Again if you’re racing for anything you don’t want that stuff on there at all.
Those where the only things that I found to be downfalls. So if you’re looking to race (fast) I wouldn’t recommend this fin. But if you’re looking for a solid fin that works great for touring and just enjoying nature around you, this is a good buy.
The Chuck Patterson Great White fin does exactly as it claims. A great fin design that allows it to stay stable, yet can easily be maneuvered when needed.
I took the fin out for two separate tests. One on a downwind run, and one in flat water.
The first thing I noticed in the downwind run was that the fin kept the board loose while dropping in on bumps. Once in the trough between bumps I found the fin easily let me change direction if I needed to follow, or catch another upcoming bump on the left or right. The fin also kept a very straight track. Some fins are great for down-winding because they don’t veer off course, but sacrifice maneuverability when needed in tight spots. This fin has both. You can concentrate on catching and gliding, knowing that the point you’re aiming for is still on track. The fin also had speed and didn’t seem to have any drag what so ever. Easily gliding from one bump and into the next.
The next run was over flat water. Some fins seem to work great in one set of certain conditions, while they lack in others. But not this fin. It held speed in flats just fine. Tracked a straight course just as it had in the downwind run. Even into a slight headwind (5 to 8 knts) it held course, and made it easy to concentrate on paddling by not having to switch sides every 3 strokes.
All in all this is a very impressive fin. At first I liked the aggressive design, hoping that the fin would live up to the name. I had some doubts as some fins work great in some areas and not in other areas. But this handled everything I put it through. It was much better than I expected it to be and a nice surprise. It does exactly what it says it will. If you’re looking for a fin that can go from one set of conditions to another, or just want an all around good fin, this is it. Great fin worth the money.
You can pick up the CWP Great White here.