Recently, in part because I have a short attention span, but also because I was asked to, I’ve had the pleasure of testing a few different fins on my 9’6″ Becker UFO – a board with a lot of rocker and “just a tad of nose concave for a smooth rail to rail transition.” It’s my twin stick. A surfboard I don’t care too much about, but seem to surf more often than not. I’ve tried pivot fins, performance fins, a 2+1 setup and even a small seven-inch single. But now, thanks to some extensive research (and a few recommendations), I think I’ve found a fin that’ll do everything I desire.
According to Wikipedia, George Greenough is “an innovative surfer and cinematographer from Santa Barbara, California.” Known by many as the father of the modern surfboard fin, Greenough altered the design from a wide-based keel to a more powerful and efficient dolphin fin design. The 4-A, one of Greenough’s earliest iterations, has a narrow, flexible tip that enhances maneuverability and a flared base for increased stability and drive. The 4-A I interviewed was 9.75″ and worked well on the end of my Becker. It held tight, allowing me to pivot late and pull high into the pocket.
On a board that I find rather unstable, especially up front, the 4-A is extremely steady, allowing me to take a few quick trips to the nose. Bottoms turns were big. It did not rotate as well as the 9″ Future I recently reviewed, but once you had that big bastard pointed down the line, the 4-A didn’t disappoint. Perfect for point breaks, the 9.75″ 4-A was long enough to generate a tremendous amount of hold on a board with quite a bit of tail rocker. And it’s fast. Fiberglass instead of flimsy plastic, the 4-A worked well on slow rolling swells and ugly overhead waves.
If you’re looking for a fin that does everything alright, I’d recommend the Greenough 4-A. It’s not great at any one thing; noseriding, fast on the face, snappy bottom turns, cutbacks, whatever, but it’s good at almost everything. And good is, well, good. So if you have a stick that’s in need of something new, something that will enhance the overall appeal of an otherwise outdated design, like a late 90’s longboard, I’d recommend a 4-A.
– Justin Coffey
You can pick up your own Greenough 4-A here.
Justin Coffey is known to enjoy small waves, strong drinks, motorcycles and misbehaving. He’s also the guy that runs Peanut Butter Coast.