I got my new 26cm Mano weed fin from Makani the other day and got to take it for a quick spin before the wind died, even with only half a dozen runs I was impressed at what this fin offers.
Today I got out at Callala bay for a fully powered bump and jump session on a 6.7 and 112FSW.....Nothing short of AWESOME!
I didn't need to use the weed fin as the spot doesn't have a weed problem but being a new toy I wanted to give it a run and see what it could do.
This fin doesn't feel like a weed fin at all, you don't know its there as it feels like a normal fin. There is no feeling of sideways drift that you get with some weed fins and at 26cm enables me to launch from the shallows and sail back right up to the beach without a problem. The fin plains early but I found I had to head a little further off the wind to get it going but it pops up so quick its not a problem. The upwind performance is where this fin shines, It's like nothing I've use on a FSW board before. Normally unless I'm fully powered I struggle to make a heap of gain upwind, Not so with the Mano. I can now make massive down wind runs and have complete confidence in the Mano to get me back upwind. The Mano felt nice with my 6.7 fully powered, No spinout at any point even when landing some big jumps and I can't wait to try it with smaller sails to check it's range. The fin generates enough lift to keep the board alive but not to the point where the board feels like it's not in complete control at all times, It tracks well in the gybe while maintaining speed and pops out of the water nicely for chop hops and jumps. I did notice I was able to keep planning through some big lulls today, being a heavy weight I find I drop of the plain quickly but there was a noticeable difference today. All it took was for me to take my back foot out of the strap and move my weight a little forward and the board just kept gliding along.
Overall a great fin that I'm going to use all the time instead of the stock JP fin, The Mano is simply better and unless something comes to light as far as a performance drop there will be no need to switch back to the standard fin.
Do yourself a favor, If your after a weed fin for your FSW give one of these a go and I think you'll like it, And the price is right as well. If you see me around and want to try it out just sing out and I'll let you have a ride on the best weed fin I've ever used.
The Mano attached to my JP FSW 112L