FCS Team rider Julian Wilson has given weight to the theory that changing your fins can enhance your surfing performance by winning the Nike US Open at Huntington Beach, Cal.
In what is arguably the biggest spectator event on the surfing calendar, Jules utilised the performance benefits of three different fin templates on his way to defeating an all star field of high flying super stars.
“Matt ‘Mayhem’ Biolos made me a great board for the event, and we were hit with heaps of different conditions so I ended up switching fins almost every heat”.
Julian’s fin of choice for the early rounds was his signature FCS JW-1.
“The JW-1 was great for those first few rounds, the waves were pretty small and I wanted my board to turn super quick in the tighter sections. The smaller centre fin in this set also came into play and let me release the tail easily and get a faster rotation in the air”.
As conditions changed and wave size increased slightly Jules made the switch to Mayhem’s signature fin, the FCS GMB-5 thruster set.
“When the swell kicked I wanted a slightly bigger fin that could generate more speed and acceleration so I could utilise the sections when they came. You need as much speed as possible in a short amount of time at Huntington because you generally only get one or two big moves out the back. Matt’s signature fin has a nice balance of drive and manoeuvrability and it worked a treat right up to the final day”.
On the final day Julian switched back to the white FCS MF-1 Prototypes that have been his preferred fin of choice for competition over the past 18 months.
“The FCS MF-1 is a big fin with a lot of sweep and I can literally push it as hard as I want. On the final day conditions were really bumpy, and turns also came into play. I needed a fin that I could turn hard and feel confident that I was going to maintain control, the MF-1 template was perfect for that”.
After the post heat celebrations were over Julian went on to remark, “The variety of fin options FCS has on offer was really valuable this week at Huntington”.
A notable mention must also go to Kelly Slater and Gabriel Medina who finished equal third in eth event. While Kelly maintained his commitment to riding a modified version of his K2.1 Quad setup for most of the event, Gabriel continued his allegiance to the PC-5 Graphic that features Inside Foil Technology (IFT).
Image source: usopenofsurfing.com