Move the Fin
Moving your fin isn't anything new. People have been trying different fin positions since the beginning of wakeboarding. How fin position affects performance on a wakeboard is similar to what fin positioning does on a surfboard or even truck positioning on a skateboard. You move the fins (or trucks) away from the end of the board, and the board becomes looser. Move them out and the board tracks better. It's a simple formula, and it works pretty much with any board. If you want to experiment with this, it's a little trickier than it seems. You can't just blast holes through the tail of your board. First you have to make sure the new holes you are going to drill are straight, running down the centerline of the board. Then you have to make sure the hole you drill goes straight down through the board so you don't have to screw your fin in at a strange angle. But even more important than both of these points is to ensure the board is structurally sound where you are drilling. Most boards use hard ABS plastic inserts molded into the board where the fins go. If you drill through a section of the board that is not reinforced, it may not hold the fin on heavy cuts and will definitely blow out if you bonk something the wrong way. But if you do drill anyhow, make sure you plug up the hole you aren't using so it doesn't drag a bunch of air through the board and cause your fin to spin out. Chewing gum works well for this.
The new Jobe boards (we tested out a honeycomb Ruler) are the only ones we are aware of that are pre-drilled to let you experiment with two fin setups. You have the option of running your fin inward for better release off the wakes on spins and more of a "surfy" feel, or running your fins all the way out near the tips, a full 2 1/2 inches farther forward than the inward position. This setup makes the board track.
Team rider Carlos Rivero is riding the fins in their inward positions. He says he wants release off the wake more than he needs tracking because he is really into spin tricks right now. "You give a little with tracking, but the release on spins is so much better," he says. Having the fins further away from the tips lets you go into the spin earlier and easier because the fin isn't the last part of the board to leave the wake as it would be when the fins are in their outward tracking positions. Plus, because of the shape of the bottom of the board, Rivero says, you can ride without huge fins. When you ride with the fins out you need bigger fins. "Running the fins in toward the center is more for an advanced rider," he says. "If you are a beginner, I'd start with the fins out, and the board will track like an entry level board."
Billy Smeltzer, another Jobe rider, is no beginner, but he rides with the fins out. "If I move them in, the board gets sketchy on me. When I go out and do a spin set I'll move them in, but I'm older; I like to cut hard and even do a Raley if I want. I like the tracking with them moved out."
Rivero went on to say that when he first saw the concept he didn't think it would work, but after riding and experimenting wi different setups, he's convinced. "It's way ahead of its time. I think all boards should have this."