The Kaku, onshore wave fin
Posted on May 21 2010
The Kaku - Onshore Wave
Since most of us ride in less then perfect wave conditions we decided to work hard on a fin that fits those mushy waves we get in lakes and ordinary ocean conditions with gusty winds. The need to go well upwind is essential.
We tested the Kaku 22 cm in the g-10 and vaccum infusion in different conditions. The sails used varied from 4.8 to 3.8 m. with winds between 25 to 35 knots and sometimes gusting close to 40. The boards used were mostly freewave boards and some pure wave like Quatro's 76l.. The fin worked best with 4.2 sails with the freewave boards between 75-85 liters.
We sailed the fin in chop hop conditions in the canadian hole with few weeds and caught some weeds here and then. In heavy weeds area the upper part of the fin was catching too much weeds so we had to switch for weed fins. We also used the fin in the ocean in side off winds with waves coming side wise also making it hard to test the surfing abilities of the fin.
However, the fin worked well upwind but the profile we used made a bit directional so we will thicken the profile slighlty to make it looser for quick turns. The fin was fast and lively like we expected. It is similar to other sideshore fins with a slightly wider upper part for better upwind and we felt the difference. It is also thinner at the tip for flexibility.
The g-10 construction on this one did not make a huge difference and was actually harder to sail in heavier winds. The softer flex of the vaccum infusion fin made chop hopping easier. However, as soon as we hit the sand with the shells the fin needed to be sanded on the leading edge for the next session ... Flex and durability do not seem to go well together. A 20 cm fin probably would have solve the problem.
The g-10 is still the way to go for this fin and a larger quiver of fins that will last longer will be to consider if you sail in wide range of conditions.
Note that most of us think that a 22 cm is small enough and when you pull out your 3.8 sail on your few epic session and you wonder why you are thrown around while others are going ... look under the boards of your mates and you will see 20 cm fins ;-)We should have killer prices on those fins so dont hesitate to build a nice quiver and you will remember those epic sessions !
We also plan on making another fin suited for gorge like conditions ... with a shorter outline and more flex..