Well, everyone is used to seeing fins on the tail of surfboards. The entire SUP community has latched on to this and accepted it. Not us! Demand more. Fins are on the tail of a Surf SUP for good reason. When you ride a wave you have an external energy force (the wave). We spend a lot of time chasing the pocket or where the wave is the steepest without breaking. This is where we get our power. When you turn you transfer weight to the tail, you raise the nose and mid section out of the water and effectively make the board shorter. Your back foot is over the fins and you can easily pivot the board and change direction (turns, laybacks, hacks, cutbacks, etc.).
Most of this goes out the window when paddling on flat water. We generate our own power with our stroke. An efficient forward stroke is applied before your feet. A fin that is placed about half way between where you stand (mid of the board) and the tail is most efficient. Changing direction with a sweep stroke is much easier. If you need a great angle of turn, you just step back with one foot and bang, it is right over your fin. Paddling at the slower speeds, that we generate on flat water, a board is less resistant to roll (side to side movement) and it is beneficial for most paddlers to not need to get all the way to the tail. It’s easier. Plus, it saves precious seconds that you can delegate to your forward stroke. You will also find that this fin location transfers more stability from a larger surface area fin to your board.
Here at Bishop Boards, we have seen the future. Much of it is rooted in the past. Human powered paddle sports have been around a long time. We have blended this knowledge and experience with creative design to bring you the most efficient paddling boards. Both our 12’6 and 14′ A’u SUPs have the above mentioned fin placement. They are touring boards, designed to meet the needs of the largest portion of the SUP market.