F4 Slalom Fins

F4 D2 Slalom Fin QuiverSome of you might have noticed that I last year started to use F4‘s slalom fins in my setup. I wanted to share my experiences, but the usual time thing came in between, so here we go.

F4 is based in San Francisco and make formula fins besides slalom fins. The company is based around Ben Bamer, their products are top, the information and guidance is very goood and helpfull when deciding upon choosing your fins.

Click on a picture for details.

The slalom fins are based around 2 types, the D2 and the E3. Basically the D2 is suited for upwind and downwind particularly in flat water and high wind. The E3 is fast pinching and footing upwind, and provides fantastic control deep downwind particularly in rough water. My setup primarily consists of D2’s for the “heavy stuff” and the E3 types for lighter conditions.

F4 D2 & E3 46 cm Slalom Fins

The D2 is by far my favorite type of fin, I really like its characteristics very slippery, but allows you to stay in perfect control at speed. The D2 chord is shorter and the foil is thinner, and despite the size it feels like “flyting the fin”. You just feel how it likes to be powered up and it gets better as it gets faster and pushed harder, the more the easier the fin is. It’s an awesome feeling, this fin makes it a secure and good ride. D2 or E3 ? If you can keep the fin powered up then the D2 is the way to go, but if you want more glide because there are holes, the pressure isn’t always there, you need to work to get planing then the E3 is the better choice.

The E3 is based on a different foil and also delivers good upwind and downwind speed, is fast pinching and footing upwind, and is typically used in rougher water conditions than the D2. When comparing identical fin sizes, i.e. an E3 46, then it should have the same power as a 48-49cm D2.  So the E3 in the same size would be like stepping up in power by one size.

F4 D2 & E3 46 cm Slalom Fins ComparisonIn my setup I’ve chosen to go for the D2 for the smaller sizes in XS. In the larger sizes it can be a harder choice as it depends a lot upon conditions where it’s to be used in, weight, board type, personal preferences etc etc. A new option which I’m considering is to just go for a D2 XS with 4cm cut from the tip.  This should work well for more punch and better upwind than a normal D2, and they are still nice and fast and very easy to control. I.e. it takes a D2 52-4 to make a 48cm, tip is finished off nicely so they are very slippery. If however upwind is the most important factor on the bigger fins, then I’d go with the E3 over the cut D2.

The F4 slalom fins have seen some changes when comparing to last years editions. They have new bases, cleaner drilling, more refined flex, and are lighter weight with the same durability. All in all a step in the right direction.

I’m not a Pro nor am I a team sailor, but I do like to use good stuff, and so far I’ve been more than satisifed, therefore I have no doubt in recommending them, they are worthy.

For additional information and price contact Ben Bamer via the F4 Fin Company website.

6 Responses to “F4 Slalom Fins”

  1. Hi Henrik,

    Thanks for the great write up. It looks like my slalom setup will be 34cm D2, 38cm D2, and a 47-2cm D2. It the light wind slalom, as you mention, the fins with the longer chord are more powerful for upwind or if the wind is up and down.

  2. admin says:

    Hi Chris.

    Thanks for your comments and info about your choice of quiver. I’ve just received new fins, and the cut versions really look exciting. Will do a couple of pictures and post them to the public, as they look very promising.

  3. Robert says:

    Nice review.
    I have a C3 D2 36cm. Used it yesterday in very rough slalom conditions, really nice, so much control. I’m now looking for smaller once.

  4. admin says:

    Hi Robert, thanks for the nice feedback. Regarding smaller sizes, the smallest in my quiver is a 34, it works really really well, and I should actually get hold of a 32 as well, since that is my preferred size on the iSonic 86.

  5. nick says:

    Hello

    i just bought 52-48-44 39 D2 in soft

    i want to order 35-41 D2

    do you think to order them in xxs ?
    my waight is 93 kgr ang wwill be use in a 107 -67 board

  6. Henrik says:

    Hi there

    I wouldn’t go for an XXS, think it’ll be a bit too soft.

    Just go with the standard that should do the trick with your setup.

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