Posted October 9th, 2014 by admin
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Thomas from U-rides K4fins set up.

Le Morne lagoon in Mauritius

Thomas from U-ride has been enjoying a k4fins set up in his Quatro KT Quad at various places around the world and sent us these pics.

“My Stubby 14 and Ezzy asymmetric 8cm 2° loved the windy session in the channel and the perfect waves of the mauritius reef”

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“Some backies during a nice summer session (end of august) in Wissant, my home spot in the north of France.”

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“Jim, Jules Denel’s dog” R.I.P

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“A very windy session at the end of may on the spot of Veulettes, Normandy. Overpowered in 4.0 and I was flying over my friends with my K4fins.”

“All these pics are with my Quatro equipped with Stubby 14 and Ezzy asymmetric 8cm with 2°. I use it in all conditions with 4.0 to 5.0 around the world (France, capetown and Mauritius this year). Next trips are PWA La Torche in October for U-ride and Capetown in january.” Thomas.

Check out U-ride for all the latest windsurfing news.

 


Posted August 19th, 2014 by admin
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How fast can a composite plastic SUP race fin go..

Marcia YorkPhoto courtesy of Marcia York

We’ve been busy designing a SUP race fin. We moulded the first offs last week and I was pretty chuffed with the results -it looked fast! I started to wonder just how fast it could go…
So I decided to try it in my speed board. Jon Kennet from MOO CUSTOM kindly sent me a Tuttle head to resin on, and it was good to go..

 

speedSUP

As luck would have it we had a windy day at West Kirby on Sunday (see top pic by Marcia York). It wasn’t all time fast conditions, with fairly light winds for speed and a broad course with rolling chop, but it was a lot of fun and fast enough to put the fantastic plastic through it’s paces!-It was rock solid.

So just how FAST did it go?!

A peak of 42knots (48mph or 77kmh) on the GPS and a 500m time of just under 40 -the fastest 500m of the day!

Results on GPSSPEEDSURFING.COM

That must be a record for a plastic fin, and it wasn’t optimised for speedsailing by any means, it’s our SUP weed race fin…

SUP24b

Soon to be available in 21 and 24cm, once we’ve tested it on the SUP race course.


Posted August 9th, 2014 by admin
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K4fins welcomes María Andrés to the team.

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We’re stoked to announce that Spanish racer and ripper María Andrés has joined the K4fins team. María is a great ambassador for windsurfing and also a keen Stand Up Paddle-boarder (and editor of supingmagazine).

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We asked María what she liked most about the fins..

“I love my new K4fin set for wave riding because it gives me enough grip for a controlled bottom turn without compromising the speed, to hit the lip where I want. And the Cut backs are awesome! -they are loose but in control!”

Fotograma grabado 56

Fotograma grabado 49

Keep up to date with Marías training and results: WEBSITE and FACEBOOK

 

 

 

 

 

 


Posted July 26th, 2014 by admin
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THESE ARE WAVES

Another great edit from Graham Ezzy..

“This is the result of a summer of wave-chasing. My summer of 2013, to be exact. At that time, I was in the height of my competition hiatus, I didn’t have anything to do but travel around Hawaii and the west coast of North America with Kevin Pritchard finding fun waves and filming them. Most of that footage went to make our Tourists of the Sea series, but looking over the leftovers and throwaway clips unseen by the world, I realized that these were my favorite moments. These clips best express what I set out searching for that summer.”


Posted May 2nd, 2014 by admin
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Rocket man – K4fins 16.5cm Rockets review

 

Rockets

Rockets

One of the newest lines of fin from K4 are the Rockets. Looking like the sleek and svelte wings you’d find on an American muscle car these babies are ready to blast you to the moon. With the brand’s distinct banana yellow colourway, agreeable price point and durability, what’s not to like?

Over to Tez Plavenieks who put the 16.5cm Rockets to good use during the last good blow he enjoyed on the south coast.

Straight outta tha box

Having used a variety of K4s in the past I was keen to get my paws on Mr Thorps latest wave weapons. The Rockets are very distinct looking beasts and will add that much needed bling to anyone’s set up.

Rigid, with a tiny amount of tip flex, I partnered these babies up with my mid-sized wave board and a 4.9m. Keen to test these in real world wave conditions (read chop city) I launched into rippy swell and an onshore wind.

Into the drink

Having played about with positioning I found the Rockets worked best (for kit and conditions on the day) when set just a little behind centre. When my home turf is onshore there’s usually a decent amount of current running and getting off the shingle quick smart is a good idea.

As soon as I sheeted in it was toe hard down and I zipped upwind at a decent rate of knots. There wasn’t any side slip and quick as a flash I was beyond the flotsam and ready to gybe. Arcing into a full power corner the Rockets held their grip and powered me out of the turn red lining once again once the rig rotated.

It soon became apparent why these had been christened Rockets. Fast, efficient and drivey pretty much sums up their straight line performance. I could’ve actually gotten away with a smaller sail, such is the efficiency of these skegs.

Stunt ramp tastic

Although real waves were lacking there were plenty of ramps for flinging yourself in all directions. With the speed and efficiency delivered it was easy to boost to the sky and rotate.

Anyone who knows will tell you I love turbo loops and the K4 Rockets massively help unstick tails and achieve the desired G Force needed.

Tez Speed Loop

Tez Speed Loop

Bothering chop

The session in question was a choppy affair and kit was prone to bounce out. The Rockets, although blisteringly fast, kept my stick in touch with the water and firmly planted. As already mentioned, I could have rigged a sail size smaller, but even with the upper echelons of control being reached I never felt over finned.

Every now and again a steeper bit of chop would wall up and it was possible to crank a quick turn. These were by no means waves of Cornish standards but it did give an idea of how loose the fins were. For skegs so upright they were surprisingly turny and I now can’t wait to get them stuck in to some better surf.

Summing up

Super efficient and fast fins, the K4 Fins Rockets will get you up to warp speed in no time at all. Great for south coast jump fests and although there weren’t any waves of consequence in sight I’m confident they’d perform great.

With a fantastic price point, distinct looks and compatibility across a wide range and size of wave boards, what’s not to like?

Hold in the turns

Hold in the turns

 


Posted April 11th, 2014 by admin
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Introducing Gary Matthews

Gary Mathews_1

We’d like to give a huge welcome to the team to Gary Matthews.

Here’s some words from Gary who’s a great ambassador for our sport and is helping spread the K4 love..

Home is Parker, Colorado, between Denver and Colorado Springs. Local sailing is limited to lake sailing during the warmer months unless you are in to ice surfing!

My favourite sailing locations from USA west coast to east coast are: Rio Vista, California, Dougs Beach , Hood River, Oregon, Bird Island, Texas, Cape Hatteras , Outer Banks in North Carolina. My home beaches could well be described as in Maine, both lakes and coastal sailing.

Sails; Ezzy and Hot Sails Maui from 3.3 to 7.5m. Favorite setups are the 4 batten versions, 4.7 Heaven.

Boards range from A to W . Angulo –Witchcraft , Naish, Tabou, Fanatic, RRD, Starboard and MOO Custom, which gets used everywhere I go. Board sizes range from 69L to Formula 152, no matter how much or high little wind, I usually manage to get out there!

My collection of K4s seems to get bigger by the day, they are used on 2 Quads and 4 tri fin variations.
The quads really work well with the Ezzy 2 degree toe forward or Shark tooth and Stubbie rears. The trailing tri fins work nicely with Stubbies forward and a small Stubbie rear centre. Looking forward to try the Bubble freestyle fin for the rear on the the trailers.

K4fins offer great value for multi-fin boards they retain a loose feeling with drive and great upwind capability. I highly recommend trying different variations to suit your windsurfing style.

As well as windsurfing, I enjoy; snowboarding, mountain biking and for peaceful moments watercolor painting .

Current project is the recycle of an older Mistral into a 2013 shape whilst reducing the size somewhat, not the best of fun during the Colorado winter!

https://www.facebook.com/garlandmcfarland

Gary Mathews


Posted February 12th, 2014 by admin
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Graham interviewed by Continent Seven

Great Continent Seven interview with Graham on contests, competing, travelling and stories..

http://www.continentseven.com/2014/02/07/graham-ezzy-interview/

Graham Ezzy by Julian Leach


Posted February 11th, 2014 by admin
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Tiny tinkering – K4 Stubby 14” twin fin review

Froth
Image of Tez by Steve Barrow

I’ve wanted to test just how small you can go with fins on bigger boards for a while. It used to be, back in the Dark Ages of windsurfing, changing your skeg to cope with fluctuating wind strengths and/or wave size and quality, was the norm.

If it was breezier, change down, whereas lighter airs called for bigger skegs. With multi configurations now common place (and less attention given to fins) I was keen to see just how micro I could actually get away with in slower, mushier south coast slop.

For the purpose of this review I used a 90L twinny and a pair of K4 Stubbys – hopefully retaining maximum early planing but improving on nippier manoeuvrability.

Conditions

It’s been a hectic full power winter so far – bull’s eye low pressures spinning relentlessly. Large swells, tidal surges and storm force winds have taken their toll on seafront landscapes – in parts, totally obliterating buildings, railway lines and coastal properties.

The majority of the UK’s population is no doubt sick to the back teeth of rampaging Atlantic depressions. Us windies, on the other hand, continue to act like pigs in muck and are positively frothing.
Conditions in my own backyard have been suitably epic. While nowhere near the colossus volume of water the West Country has received, Hayling has had its fair share of swell and breeze.

The problem when waves roll across our humble sand bank is the amount of rip you get. Current can zap power and leave you wallowing in superglue, unable to plane, with sets bearing down. It’s often wise to ride a (relatively) bigger board and use volume and width to combat the negative effects of rip. It’s important, however, you’re then on the right size sail and have ample (but not too much) fin area to make your ride as comfortable as possible – sailing bigger sticks, in overpowered choppy sea states, will rattle the very core of your insides if not careful.

How small?

Having used K4 Stubby skegs for stand up paddle board sessions I was keen to see how they coped with windsurf conditions. Setting the fins right at the back of the box, to increase upwind performance and grip, I commenced battle with side shore head high sets.
Just before launching, there was a slight nagging doubt about fin choice, but I shoved this to one side and jumped aboard with dogged determination.

Early planing

A stiff westerly puffed me onto the plane like a rocket – completely dispelling myths about small skegs impeding get up and go. I was away and blatting towards oncoming loomers in the blink of an eye.
Boosting off the apex I rotated into a forward, a few seconds later touching down with a splash – so far so good. Now I had to get upwind and start bashing a few lips.

Pinch an inch

It’ll come as no surprise that heavy footed technique is a no no when sailing little foils – freestlylers are extremely used to this. Any size under (roughly) 20cm requires a rider to use the board’s rail and ‘drag’ upwind – too much back foot pressure will result in spin out.
The Stubby 14”s did an admirable job of remaining composed while pinching the breeze. Not quite as lightening quick upwind as bigger K4s (due mainly to my 83kg weight), but with a bit of technique and power in your rig, pointing was still efficient.

Lip slides, foam bashes and tail slides

Once in position it was a case of heading full power towards ramps, spinning a move, and heading back shoreward for a spot of wave wiggling.

During testing there was a considerable amount of chop, making wave faces less than buttery. A more drawn out bottom turn was therefore needed to avoid cavitation. Once back up to the lip the fun really started.

I love a bit of tail slide action and the Stubby 14”s certainly allow for that. It took me a few runs to dial into how much ‘push’ was needed – once I eased off the gas, everything settled down. At times I was able to redirect in such an extreme fashion I found myself pointing in the direction I’d just travelled. This usually resulted in a drubbing as I was mown down by a frothy lip – still good fun though!

With each run I was becoming more used to the small K4s and started to enjoy the super skatey feel. This won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but switching your windsurfing up and trying something new can be super rewarding and give a greater understanding of your kit.

Hard landings

At 83kg I’m certainly not the lightest sailor, but equally not the heaviest. Riding on small fins does require a deft technique – especially when touching down after big boosts. There’s a tendency to come down hard on the tail, something that will see medium to heavy weight riders sliding sideways.
Increased awareness is needed when reaching for the heavens – especially if you’re over 12 stone.

Final thoughts

To some, small skegs, a skatey feel and having to concentrate while windsurfing is the stuff of nightmares – most just want to plug and play. However, those who love to slip, slide, boost and invert, in small to medium soft waves, would love a set up like this.

As I said at the start, my home break has its own unique traits and knowing these inside out ultimately helps with kit choice. Small fins, bigger boards and compact rigs are great for flicky, nippy and whippy sailing in slower waves. If windsurfing somewhere with more powerful surf then I’d definitely but opting for bigger fins – the last thing I’d want is to take an unnecessary pounding because of a lack of grip.

K4’s 14” Stubby fin set up is super loose on a wave and allows wider tail boards to remain settled – even in super powered conditions. Sail choice is key, as they don’t take kindly to overloading, and heavy back foot technique will give cavitation and spin out. It’s a great set up for some skate style windy fun – in particular, lighter sailors would do well with a set of 14” Stubby fins.

For added grip try this configuration with a smaller 10” Shark trailer fin if you have the option.

Loop
Image of Tez by Steve Barrow


Posted January 31st, 2014 by admin
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BLowin’ up North Wales – Ollie Laddiman interview

Ollie3

Ollie Laddiman is one of a new generation of surf SUPers that’s blowing up the UK at the moment. After turning a few heads during 2013’s SUP National Champs at Watergate Bay, many were tipping this young ripper from Wales as one to watch in the future.
With the likes of Aaron Rowe and Finn Gamblin all in the mix, Ollie will definitely have his work cut out if he’s to get to the top of the pile. But with understanding parents (and a dad that also SUPs), plus support from brands like K4Fins, Laddiman junior’s future looks bright.

Tez Plavenieks had a bit of natter with the Welsh SUP grom to find out what’s occurin’ in 2014 – read on for the lowdown.

Ollie2-2

• Full name?

Ollie Liam Laddiman

• Age?

14

• You’re one of a new generation of UK SUP rippers; how did you get into the sport?

The first time I heard about SUPing was in 2009, when dad went to the Tiree Wave Classic. Obviously it wasn’t windy (it never is at windsurf comps). Someone was renting out SUPs so he had a go on a 12’6 x 31” – he didn’t like it, apparently it was like paddling a big plank.

About two years later dad’s friend Matt bought one, it was the 9`8” Starboard Extremist (it was massive). Then we found out we could surf it. We went down to Cornwall for dad to go windsurfing. No wind. So he thought he would have a go at this SUPing thing. He was starting to get his head around it – I still wasn’t impressed.

A couple of months went by, then there was a sunny day, so we went to the local beach (we brought the SUP). When we got there was no wind, sunny and a swell of less than knee high, great for first time waves. After that first one I caught that day I’ve been hooked.

The next time there was swell it was bigger, but dad wanted to go out, so he got the SUP, I got an old BIC windsurf board, but to be fair it worked for a beginner to go straight lining on the wave. I had that for a couple of months then we found out that Matt had another board, that he was about to sell – the Starboard 9`0 Stinger. We got that out of him, and I’ve been addicted to the sport ever since!

• What appeals to you about SUP surfing?

I don’t have to pop-up; I can catch loads and loads of waves; it’s really FUN!

• It looked like you scored a pretty sick trip to Fuerte over Christmas; how was it?

It was absolutely amazing. That’s all I can say.

• Which spots were working?

All of them, but they were massive, so we generally stayed at Rocky Point. We did venture over to Majanicho a couple of times though.

• How’s the new board and fins – describe the set up you’re currently rocking?

The board’s brilliant. Bill and the gang from Escape Custom SUP did a great job – the fins are great too. I’m currently on a thruster set up with 10” K4 Stubbys all round – a set up for my weight.

• How are your K4 fins working?

Perfectly, couldn’t ask for any fins better than these!

• Are you working on any new moves?

Yes, I’m trying to get my aerials sorted, and I need to get more vertical on the wave.

• You entered the SUP Nationals last year, do you plan on having a crack at any other competitions?

I would love to, but I can’t seem to find any other SUP surf competitions in Britain.

• We know you rip in waves but do you participate in any other areas of SUP?

Not really, I had a go at racing for a bit, but I found it boring.

• What are your SUP goals/aspirations for 2014?

Manage to land an aerial, win the under 16 division in the SUP nationals, and If I enter the men’s not come last…

• Do you have any UK spots you’d like to hit up?

Some of the north east breaks, Thurso to get my first barrel, the west coast of Ireland and head down to South Wales a bit more often.

• What’s the next overseas seas trip on your agenda?

Not sure, but hopefully we’re going back to Fuerteventura next year, and there might be a western France trip sometime.

• Blondes or brunettes?

A bit early to call. (Don’t believe you Ollie nudge, nudge, wink wink).

• Bacon or sausage?

I’m a vegetarian.

• Tea or coffee?

Tea, coffee just tastes like burnt water.

• Favourite pre-SUP tunes?

Teenage Kicks by the Undertones.

• Dogs or cats?

Both!

• Any final shout outs?

Just to all the guys and brands that have helped out over the last 12 months – I hope I can do my bit for them this year.

We’re sure you will Ollie – stay tuned…

Ollie1


Posted January 20th, 2014 by admin
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Size matters -improving your SUP performance

Bigger fins for increased grip and drive in choppy conditions - pic Blossom Photography

Bigger fins for increased grip and drive in choppy conditions – pic Blossom Photography

Smaller fins for skate style SUP performance - pic Fi

Smaller fins for skate style SUP performance – pic Fi

As you move up through the ranks and start looking for more performance, the SUP gear size question will no doubt raise its head..
‘What size SUP should I be looking at? What size fins and what size paddle should I be rocking?’ Tez Plavenieks explains how to navigate these tricky subjects.

Small versus big

Back when stand up paddle boarding was but a young buck boards were more akin to Redwood logs, paddles overly long and kit generally cumbersome and severely lacking in performance. Fast forward to today and we’re constantly bombarded with media declaring how small your SUP needs to be or how small you should set your fins. It’s easy to end up confused; believing you should be riding gear lightweight pros.
There are a few things to consider when browsing for new kit. Where do you normally ride? What are your waves like (generally)? What’s your style and what are your SUP aspirations? It’s no good choosing a super small stick, micro fins and an extremely narrow paddle if you’re a racer – likewise, forget plus 9ft SUPs if you a budding wave aerialist.

Surf SUP

Your location, wave type and riding style should be the determining factors when choosing the type of set up you ride.
As a general rule of thumb, small mushy waves require sub 9ft surf SUPs – specific sizes are then based on rider weight – if you want to be able to rip, shred tear and punt. Anything bigger simply doesn’t have the rail to rail manoeuvrability required for nippy/slashy surfing. Speed is your friend in and big logs will drag, slow you down and make stomping those big moves much harder– if not impossible.
Flip the script and those looking for longboard nose riding performance will need something that’s equally accommodating. A longer ‘full in the nose’ SUP will give the rider more chance of getting 10 over before banking into a drop knee swooping turn.
If you’re a big wave charger then performance surf SUPs around 9ft would be a good bet. Once waves hit overhead sizes they’re generally moving faster and you’ll need an extra bit of length to promote gliding speed and get you in early. Narrower tails and increased rockers are also good ideas – you want to avoid nasty spin out situations if possible otherwise poundings will be common.

Racing and downwind

Long and narrow stand up paddle boards glide more efficiently and cover distance quicker. Therefore if you’re into racing or downwinding a 14ft SUP would be the go. The only reason to choose something around 12.6ft (for racing at least) is the competitiveness of class. Width also needs to be taken into account as narrower boards are trickier to pilot in choppy conditions.
Storage and transport issues do crop up with longer boards, in which case, consider an inflatable. iSUPs offer a level of performance that’s fine for most SUPers.

Fins

I’m a massive fan of swapping fin set ups depending on what type of performance I’m after. The general rule is smaller for more skate style SUP surfing performance while bigger delivers more drive, speed and grip. There are infinitely more traits that affect fins – hit up K4 Fins for advice and They’ll steer you in the right direction.
In small waves I’ll stick my small foils in the box while bigger skegs will give me better carving performance when hollow and steeper waves hit.
For racing; it’s much more open to interpretation although bigger is generally better as longer skegs give more efficient straight line tracking. Longer fins also stop your SUP rounding up during downwinders. Racing and coastal running foils are a real minefield and therefore spending time hunting down your perfect combo will pay dividends.
Fins shouldn’t be underestimated and can dramatically change the performance of your stand up paddle board – indulge in a little experimentation and who knows what you’ll discover.

Paddles

SUPers should have at least two paddles in their arsenal – particularly as most sweepers switch between waves and flat water.
Shorter shaft lengths with smaller scoops are usually more suited to surf sessions while slightly (and I emphasise the word slightly) longer shafts and fuller blades are better for downwind and racing. However, this won’t always be the case and only by experimenting will you find your perfect SUP ‘engine’. (If you can only stretch to one type there are now some fine examples of adjustable paddles on the market).
I personally favour a short shaft but fuller blade (with shallow scoop) for SUP surfing – this gives me quicker acceleration for later drops right on the peak – narrow types don’t give me this oomph.
The best advice when looking for performance orientated SUP equipment is to try as much as you can before parting with your dough. However, at some point you’ll have to take a leap of faith – you’re never going to be able to demo all the kit you’d like but you can get a good idea by trying a few different SUP set ups.


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