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Top 5 Speed Tips with Zara Davis - Fin Talk

11:27 7th November 2013 by Adam Sims
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Namibia seems to be pretty quiet at the moment, not much wind so we got a few words off Zara Davis about what the fastest windsurfers on the planet do in their ‘down-time’. She also shared with us a few top tips about choosing the right fin for going fast.

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Zara checking out the second biggest canyon in the world

Not much happened here in the last week, it’s just not been windy enough really.
I am still fastest lady but speeds aren’t much to write home about. However, we are expecting more wind at the weekend and it should be good – we will see. Tomorrow the course is opening but for more of a practice day I think.

We have just done a trip to the River Fish Canyon – second biggest canyon in the world next to USA grand canyon – and it’s on our doorstep here in Luderitz, 3.5 hours drive away.

Here are a few photos of the sights.

Top 5 tips for fin choice

Fins

Secure Fin
The most important thing for speed is security – if you think your going to spin out you can’t go fast.

Size Matters
Better to go too big than too small because of security and the difference in the small amount of drag unless you are going over 47 knots is minimal.

Fin Profile
Broader course, smaller fin – squarer course larger fin. This is in area and power not just length. A shorter wide based fin can give as much lift as a narrower longer fin. So you need to look at the profile of your fin and see how much lift/power it will give and the area that the fin presents to the water – don’t just go I need a 24cm!!

Size Matters Even More When it is Rough
Choppy water – go for a bigger fin. Far more likely to get spin out, cavitation in choppy water as the water on the windward side of the fin can’t stick to the foil as well and as the angle changes in the chop the water doesn’t hug the foil and spinout occurs.

Asymmetric Fins??
Go asymmetric – controversial I know but I have just had a long chat with Anders Bringdal in the bar tonight and the advantage with an asy fin is the foil on the windward side can present to the water at more angles with a flat leeward side so allowing the water to “stick” to the foil in more situations minimising spin out. In fact we were both saying we have never spun out an Asy fin. How do you go upwind I hear you say – no problems, can’t push quite so hard and occasionally may get a bit of spin out going slowly upwind but its not an issue.

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