The last few months we have tested the Black Project Type R slalom fins. The Hawaii based Black Project Fins are known to produce a wide range of performance orientated windsurfing fins, SUP fins and SUP paddles. Read the windsurfing fin test below, also read our article about How to choose the right windsurfing fin quiver.
Windsurfing – One board quiver
We have had a somewhat different approach when testing the Black Project Fins, we have chosen to focus on the typical one board quiver freerace rider point of view instead of the PWA hard core slalom racers POW.
Windsurfing fin test equipment
Board: Starboard Futura 121 (2013 / 2014)
Fin: Black Project Fins Type R, sizes 35, 40 and 45 cm
Black Project Fins Type R – The first impression
The finish on the Black Project fins is really good, CNC produced in G10, matching the Starboard fin box (Tuttle) perfectly out of the box. The Type R is offered in three different bases, Tuttle, Powerbox and Deep Tuttle (sizes 40-55).
The first impression of the Type R is that it´s pretty stiff compared to the high performance Drake fin supplied with Starboard Futura. One would suspect that the stiffness would give some advantages compared to the stock fin but also same pretty obvious disadvantages since Starboard have put a lot of effort finding the perfect match for the Futura.
Type R – Close to spin out free
After a few months of comprehensive testing the most outstanding quality of the Black Project Type R is control. We would say that the Type R is close to spin out free. No matter how hard you push the fin it just continues to drive you forward without any hassle. This gives you as a Rider time to focus on board- and sail trim (i.e. speed) as well as on tactics to keep a head of your friends.
Improved planning and upwind performance
The Type R will also give you improved upwind performance with impressive height vs speed ratio. The upwind performance is also crucial when you are bearing of deep to build speed i.e. you don’t have to worry about your way back to shore. The Black Project Type R enhanced the early planning abilities of the board and to get the Futura going with the Type R under the hood was very easy and effortless. The Type R also provides the extra lift to keep you on the plane between the gusts which will give you a very competitive average speed.
Competitive average speed vs top end speed
Although the Type R is a high performance full on slalom fin the Starboard Futura doesn’t feel more technical to ride nor gybe with the Type R under the hood compared to the standard stock-fin and other windsurfing slalom fins we have tested.
From a free-racers perspective, a board and fin combo that will give you early planning, effortless gybing and blistering acceleration i.e. a competitive average speed, will most probably outperform a somewhat more technical board- and fin combo with higher top end speed, a top speed not always that easy to unlock.
Black Project Fins Typ R – Speed potential
Until now we the windsurfing fin test have focused on the importance of a competitive average speed i.e. early planning, good acceleration and effortless gybing, however its always interesting to know the speed potential of a certain windsurfing fin. We are aware that loads of parameters effects the speed potential. The following speeds are set with standard slalom Equipment – powered by Black Project Fins Type. Source: GPS Speedsurfing.com
Speed potential – Black Project Fins Type R 35
Max 2 sec: 40.98 knots
Max AVG 5*10 sec: 37.62 knots
Max Alpha (gybing): 25.31 knots
Speed potential – Black Project Fins Type R 40
Max 2 sec: 38.08 knots
Max AVG 5*10 sec: 35.52 knots
Max Alpha (gybing): 23.31 knots
Speed potential – Black Project Fins Type R 45
Max 2 sec: 35.15 knots
Max AVG 5*10 sec: 32.8 knots
Max Alpha (gybing): 23.34 knots
Black Project Fins Type R – The verdict
After several months of testing of the Black Project Fins Type R, the Type R has proven to be a great choice rewarding you with early planning, improved acceleration and great gybing performance. The speeds above will give you an indication of the potential of the Black Project Type R fin. The Type R will give you the control and confidence you need to push your limits. How far is up to you!