standard Downwind or elliptic rudder advice

  • sv607
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  • Fenn SwordFish S,Stellar SR,Fenn XT
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7 years 7 months ago - 7 years 7 months ago #23269 by sv607
time to change the standard rudder (which is so useless )on the BlueFin. not sure on getting the Fenn Downwind rudder or Orca elliptical rudder whats the best way to go. i heard the elliptical rudder makes the Ski more responsive .i was going to get one from Oceanpaddler as they have the orca elliptical rudder did anyone have to modify it to fit the fenn i didnt want to get the elliptical rudder if its going to throw me when i hit the pedals to much. would if be better to stick to the fenn downwind rudder instead

thanks in advance.

Paddle Smart. Come Home Alive :)
Last edit: 7 years 7 months ago by sv607.

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7 years 7 months ago #23272 by Atlas
Hi sv607. I actually like the standard rudder on the bluefin for paddling in calm conditions. I find it responsive enough, it creates little drag and sheds weeds well. However, like you I didn't buy the bluefin for calm conditions so that rudder had to go.
I can't comment on the performance of the Orca rudder. It looks very similar to the Fenn unit. However I can say that the Fenn downwind rudder transformed my bluefin. It is noticeably more resposive and has far more bite for surfing. I am much more able to surf diagonally on a wave now.

Current boats
Epic V10L Ultra, Carbonology Sport Boost LV X, Fenn Bluefin, Nelo 510, Fenn XT double, Nelo 600, Expedition Kayaks Azure

Previous boats
Spirit PRS, Fenn Swordfish, Fenn XT, Fenn Swordfish S, Think Zen, Epic V10L Club, Epic V9 Ultra, Carbonology Sport Boost LV
Most with DK rudders
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7 years 7 months ago #23273 by Kayaker Greg
On my Swordfish I went from the Fenn shark fin rudder to the Orka rudder to the Fenn surf rudder and now back to the shark fin rudder. Don't bother with trying to get an Orka rudder, their customer service is terrible, the rudder does not fit well straight off and its thick and draggy and weed hooks up on it even with a deflector as it has almost no slope on it (although it works well in big downwind conditions). A good compromise is the Fenn surf rudder, doesn't work with the same bite as the Orka but doesn't catch weed the same. For most conditions I paddle in the shark fin rudder works good for me since I tried it again, although I hated it when I first got the ski, now I'm kind of liking it more, its thin with little drag and nothing gets hooked up on it. But for a big downwind I'll put the Orka rudder back on, I did do some work on it to get it to fit better, basically a little grinding and heating and bending was required, probably not something most people want to deal with.
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7 years 7 months ago - 7 years 7 months ago #23284 by lars eriksson
I switched to the downwind rudder on my bluefin and got the same result as Atlas. Very good bite and much better ability to maintain or change a line, and carve diagonally. On the other hand, with a less responsive rudder, I was forced to concentrate on reading the waves and planning my line better.
Last edit: 7 years 7 months ago by [email protected]. Reason: corrected typo
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7 years 7 months ago #23286 by hamishglen
Not sure about the Blue Fin, but I put an Orca elliptical rudder on my Fenn Glide - wow, what a difference!
Stability has increased (in my opinion), and the ski is way more responsive on waves.
The rudder doesn't look 'right' on the ski. i.e. not flush against the hull, but the performance is awesome.
Highly recommend..
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7 years 7 months ago #23293 by crallan
My friend recently mounted a Orca DW rudder to his Blue fin. I just can't get him to stop talking about what a great upgrade it was, better turning, no broaching, taking and riding waves at an angle.
Hes a happy camper

Swordfish S Carbon
Swordfish glass vacuum
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